Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Gods and Generals

Watched "Gods and Generals" the other night and it was a fabulous film.  Thought it interesting that there were a number of historically accurate quotes interspersed throughout the film including Gen Robert E. Lee's reference to Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson as his right arm.  He was probably Lee's greatest supporting General and was responsible for many of Lee's early successes in the War to Prevent Southern Independence.  It has been suggested that the loss of Jackson may have been more than coincidental to the beginning of the demise of the Confederate fortunes on the battlefield following his death in May of 1863.  What was also interesting was the historically accurate portrayal of the reasoning of Lee (played by Robert Duvall) and the other Confederate leading men to support their states in the establishment of the CSA and defend their homeland from the invasion of the Northern aggressors. Seemed to be no dilemma in their reasoning as to the true cause of the conflict.  Nonetheless, the Hollywood script writers saw fit to include two bits of dialogue from slaves who decried their tribulation as servants apparently in a foreshadowing of their politically correct subsequent scripts in the trilogy (Gettysburg and The Last Full Measure).  Also interesting was the discussions of military strategy which Lee provided while discussing the preparations for the defense of Fredricksburg especially the artillery, infantry earthworks and reinforcement support provisions.  Then at the Battle of Chancellorsville the illustration of Jackson's tactical flanking maneuver and surprise attack to route superior forces was portrayed amazingly.  Jackson's character played by Stephen Lang was Oscar worthy and accurately portrayed him as a man of deep religious practicing faith and conviction.  This theme was carried throughout as the other Southern Generals and other Southern characters in the movie correctly showed a society of deep Protestant faith which contrasted markedly with those from the secular North.  This lack of moral clarity in the Yankee political and military leaders proved to be telling as the root cause for the North's aggression in starting the conflict as well as their contemptuous disregard of the established rules for war against civilian populations and in their vile carpetbagging in the post-War years.  Here is a link to a site providing a synopsis of the movie as well as trailers and reviews -

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