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Jimbo
31 May 11,, 04:14
So I heard that the History Channel was airing a new documentary about the Battle of Gettysburg. I figured I would give it a try and see how good/bad it was. It was about what I expected from a documentary brought to you by the History Channel and Ridley Scott.

There were some things I found to be informative. It was interesting to hear Col Dawes story, and there were a couple of other stories of units (6th Wisconsin, the Mississippi brigades) that aren't so ingrained in the popular knowledge. It also was not a romantic depiction.

There were also some things I found disappointing. I do think it was harsh on Sickles in that it never explained what happened to his corp in Chancellorsville and why he moved his unit forward this time. There was also no mention of the cavalry action on either the first or third days.

So did anyone else catch it and have any thoughts about it?

editec
31 May 11,, 13:37
I haven't seen it, but I'll try to catch it and comment.

Have you read: American Scoundrel: The Life of the Notorious Civil War General Dan Sickles?

I did.

While not exclusively an exploration of his military career, it does offer us some insight into the political scene that put him in uniform, as well as the man, rather than the officer.


It's a book well worth reading, I think, for those seeking to understand the larger picture of what that era was like.

Albany Rifles
31 May 11,, 15:41
I din't watch it because I heard ahead of time that they producers used crossed rifles for the infatry regiments which wore Hardee hats...the insignia for the infantry was a bugle and the Hardee hat sported one on the front and had a brass eagle plate to hold up the right brim.

Hardee hat - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardee_hat)

I may be a little too harsh....I may catch it later after a few beers!

Shek
31 May 11,, 16:58
I din't watch it because I heard ahead of time that they producers used crossed rifles for the infatry regiments which wore Hardee hats...the insignia for the infantry was a bugle and the Hardee hat sported one on the front and had a brass eagle plate to hold up the right brim.

Hardee hat - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardee_hat)

I may be a little too harsh....I may catch it later after a few beers!

Don't you mean you were still drinking beers celebrating the 1-0 win?!?!

Albany Rifles
31 May 11,, 19:13
Don't you mean you were still drinking beers celebrating the 1-0 win?!?!

Ahh, you know me so well, Brother Shek!

So, are you 6 times zones away yet?

Jimbo
01 Jun 11,, 02:02
I din't watch it because I heard ahead of time that they producers used crossed rifles for the infatry regiments which wore Hardee hats...the insignia for the infantry was a bugle and the Hardee hat sported one on the front and had a brass eagle plate to hold up the right brim.

Hardee hat - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardee_hat)

I may be a little too harsh....I may catch it later after a few beers!

Might want to make that several beers. I think you would get perturbed by some of the pop history in there. There were a few lines that were in their to make it more "exciting" for the audience. While covering the 6th Wisconsin and the fight at the railroad cut, it doesn't give the other units that fought well and at the expense of high casualties, 24th Michigan for example, much credit and actually had negative comments on the other federal units of the 1st day. There was also a certain jumpiness to it that would leave one who isn't somewhat familiar with the battle confused.

So if the hats get you well...

Shek
01 Jun 11,, 06:19
Ahh, you know me so well, Brother Shek!

So, are you 6 times zones away yet?

I wish. A good Nurenburger bratwurst and a hefe or kristal to wash it down sounds great about now. Unfortunately, I'm 7 away and it's that single time zone that makes all the difference!

Officer of Engineers
01 Jun 11,, 06:27
It would make this all the more interesting to see the Canucks trash the Bruins. Vancouver in 5.

Skywatcher
01 Jun 11,, 14:38
There was also no mention of the cavalry action on either the first or third days.


Maybe they cut out the cavalry because to be honest, they really didn't do very much in the overall scheme of those three days. With a lot to cover, you have to do some pretty judicious editing to get a coherent narrative.

Albany Rifles
01 Jun 11,, 19:11
I wish. A good Nurenburger bratwurst and a hefe or kristal to wash it down sounds great about now. Unfortunately, I'm 7 away and it's that single time zone that makes all the difference!

never could count!

Stay safe, bud!

BTW, the Rev War Tour with my brothers went great. Sorry we weren't able to pull of an Overland Staff Ride!

Albany Rifles
01 Jun 11,, 19:13
Maybe they cut out the cavalry because to be honest, they really didn't do very much in the overall scheme of those three days. With a lot to cover, you have to do some pretty judicious editing to get a coherent narrative.

Other than set the stage for the entire thing to happen in Gettysburg in the first place!

Davin's & Gambles fight under Buford was critical to there even being a battle at Gettysburg, and not at Harrisburg or Pipestem Creek.

Albany Rifles
01 Jun 11,, 19:13
It would make this all the more interesting to see the Canucks trash the Bruins. Vancouver in 5.

Colonel, behave.

Jimbo
01 Jun 11,, 20:02
I hear people often say that the battle occurred by accident. Certainly it was somewhat to chance that Buford located the forward elements of Lee's army where he did, but once found Buford , to my understanding, very definitely chose the grounds of which he wanted to put the Army of Potomac to battle Lee.

I also wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the efforts of Custer in repelling Stuart in the East Calvary Field. I have heard it debated that had Stuart succeeded, things may have turned out differently that third day, not only Pickett's Assault but also perhaps Culp's Hill.

S2
05 Jun 11,, 04:28
"I hear people often say that the battle occurred by accident. Certainly it was somewhat to chance that Buford located the forward elements of Lee's army where he did, but once found Buford , to my understanding, very definitely chose the grounds of which he wanted to put the Army of Potomac to battle Lee.

I also wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the efforts of Custer in repelling Stuart in the East Calvary Field. I have heard it debated that had Stuart succeeded, things may have turned out differently that third day, not only Pickett's Assault but also perhaps Culp's Hill."

Jimbo,

Well put on both counts.

Manuevering armies have meeting engagements, the size of which is generally determined by the importance of the general location. For Lee it was the crossroads. Gettysburg was important if not critical to Lee's operational intent. For Meade it was bringing Lee to battle on favorable ground. Both found their reasons to fight at Gettysburg.

That Buford found Lee's advance guard where he did and recognized the value of the terrain to his back meant a great deal. That his cavalry division fought with extreme distinction made possible the arrival of Reynolds' I Corps to secure the tactically critical ground.

Chogy
06 Jun 11,, 13:52
I finally caught up with this documentary last night.

Overall not too bad. I did like the "grit" of the battle scenes, and the general lack of napoleonic wheels and turns; had more running, more cover, more entrenchment. But one thing drove me insane...

When the "Pickett's Charge" sequence came up, they tended to make the charge direction (if there is such a thing as direction) from left to right on the TV, as if you are watching from elevated terrain to the South. When they zoomed in on the soldiers getting slaughtered by artillery, I noticed they had all become left-handed, and all of the rifled muskets magically had their cap locks on the left side rather than the right. It looks like they reversed the video in some fashion so the charge direction remained consistent. Would reversing the video do this? It left me confused.

I know it's trivial, but seeing all the rifled muskets with locks on the left drove me a bit nuts.

Little mention of Longstreet, Reynolds, almost zero mention of the round-top fights, which I suppose is good, because they had seen so much attention in the past. The story of the man with the picture of his three children was touching.

I also thought the praise of the Southern soldiers was over the top, and their raggedness was more appropriate for Appomattox rather than Gettysburg.

ace16807
06 Jun 11,, 13:57
I believe that reversing the video would indeed do that. However, why they didn't just film it such that it was consistent? Then you don't even have to bother with flipping the video.