'The Civil War' and Religion This week, PBS is airing a re-mastered version of The Civil War by filmmaker Ken Burns. When it was first presented in 1990, it became a cultural phenomenon. Sales of books about the Civil War increased. Visits to battlefields skyrocketed. The documentary is well worth watching again, says commentator Joseph Loconte, but he feels that in its nine episodes, the film neglects an important aspect of the history: how religion fueled both sides of the conflict.