The good folks at Great Divide Pictures were kind enough to send me a complimentary copy of their forthcoming series, Civil War: The Untold Story, which tells the story of the war in the West. I’ve watched the first two episodes on Shiloh and skimmed the rest. Overall, it’s a solid production. The digital maps are well done and the reenacted battle scenes are entertaining. The narrative effectively weaves together a big picture of the cause of the war and its various stages with focused coverage of both the strategic and tactical decisions in the field. Stories about individual soldiers, civilians, and slaves drive home the human experience. So, overall the series is well worth watching. Continue reading →
This is a fabulous film from 1963 of the U.S. Army Band and Chorus commemorating the Civil War Centennial. The narrator makes it clear at the beginning that the “Union found itself split in two over the issue of states rights.” There is not one mention of slavery or black Union soldiers exactly one hundred years later. Songs include “Down By The Riverside”, “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”, “We are Coming Father Abra’am”, “Lorena”, “Tenting On The Old Camp Ground”, “The Battle” (new music & spoken word piece), “In the Sweet By-and-By / The Army Bean”, “Yellow Rose of Texas”, “Bonnie Blue Flag”,”Home! Sweet Home!”, “Dixie” & “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”.
It’s the name of a 5-part documentary that will air on PBS in February 2014. The preview looks pretty good, though it’s not clear to me exactly what is new or “untold”. The commentary by historians is certainly within the mainstream of current interpretation, but perhaps parts of it will be new to the general public. One thing that I really like is Allen Guelzo’s constant reinforcement of the importance of democracy and republican government as what was at stake. The scene of impressed slaves working on Confederate earthworks looks very promising for the obvious reasons. No hint of Lost Cause rhetoric, which is very nice to see.
From Wikipedia: Set during the American Civil War, “Rebel Love follows a Yankee war widow who takes an injured Confederate spy into her home out of pity, only to find herself falling in love with him. The film was a finalist in the 1985 USA Film Festival in Dallas. Despite a modest theatrical run, Rebel Love enjoyed a cable release on Showtime and was later distributed on video by Vestron.
All I know is I laughed my ass off! Apparently, this movie fell through the cracks. I couldn’t find it in Gary Gallagher’s recent survey of Civil War movies.
Here’s a nice little Lost Cause tune for ya’ all. I especially love the following lyric from the beginning of the song: “It’s not founded on old politics or race or slavery. Those who see no more than that care not for history.” For some reason poor old Braxton Bragg gets the back of the hand in this tune. Enjoy.