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Mr. Mercanto

The Civil War: Everything You Wanted to Know but Were too Afraid to Ask!

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18 hours ago, Mukremin said:


Thanks for clearing up mate, i appreciate it. Some good points there, although i cannot get into detail because i lack the historical knowledge about Gettysburg and the Civil War.

To me, the feeling what i had at the end was that Lee was responsible for the losses and failure that day along with the absence of Stuart and his Cavalry. It felt like Longstreet wanted to re-deploy and fight on better ground, so he confronted Lee several times in the movie about it.

Guess i will have to dive into the books :)

And that with the rifle, all good movies have that :D you have to have a sharp eye and knowledge to see that, i recognized some rifles because of Ultimate General game.


Alan C. Guezlo makes a pretty good argument that Stuart's absence was irrelevant. Cavalry was tasked with scouring enemy movements, not battle lines; that role was for scouts, which failed Lee at Gettysburg. Lee's plan, to fall upon the AoP Corps upon Corps occurred without Stuart, and there is no evidence that Lee would have acted any differently with him there. Lee came to blame Stuart only about a year after the battle. 

Yes! Dive into the books! :D Always the best answer! Stephen W. Sears writes well on the topic, though I think Alan Guezlo's recent book is better. I've only heard amazing things about Pfanz's two volume series on the 2nd day, but while I have one my shelf, I haven't gotten to it yet (have a few essay collections I want to nose through first). 

The rifle in question is a M1863 Remington Zouave. It was comissioned by the US ordinance department as a short pattern alternative to the M1861 Springfield. Despite being an excellent gun, the rifle was not ready until 1863, and by then, the Federal government had standardized the M1861 and the M1863 Springfields as its standard arm. As a result, the Zoauve was sequestered in amouries only for a emergency use, and was never actually issued. Thus, no soldier on either side ever actually wielded the rifle. 

At the birth of modern reenacting, a reenactor who wanted to use a Civil War musket had to procure an original, as there were, at that time, no reproductions available. The M1863 Zouave was highly available for this purpose, as they had languished in armouries for decades before being sold as commercial surplus. As such, they were numerous and in serviceable shape. Depsite their complete absence from the Civil War battlefield, their availability made them ubiquitious in reenactment. As firearm manufactures (Chiappa, Euro Arms, Miroku, Pedersoli, et cetera), entered the repro business, many began producing the Zoauve based on its popularity. In the 80s, the Zoauve was essentially banned for being so "farby" (anachronisitc). In response, repro companies began selling their Zoauves at lower prices. Zoauves still remain popular today with those who want a cheaper Civil War(ish) alternative. Hence, they remain ubiquitious, despite their total lack of military use during the war. They shouldn't ever be in Civil War films, but c'est la vie, everyone cuts corners ;).  
 

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On 1/1/2018 at 5:05 AM, Mukremin said:

I watched Gettysburg on Blu-Ray yesterday. What a great movie, i liked and enjoyed every second of it. This is the 10th time i watched it. The acting is great, Pickets charge, Armistead getting hit, Chamberlains bayonette charge.

Can someone explain what exactly are the historical errors? Minor or major issues?

Hi Mukremin,

A couple insights for the movie "Gettysburg" might be:

1. In my opinion, a better actor for General Lee would have been Sean Connery (instead of Martin Sheen), as GEN Lee had a presence about him that got everyone's attention.

2. In some scenes, the stunt men are semi-obvious as they are the ones with the rubber muskets that flex.  The 4,000 re-enactors all had real weapons and real bayonets - it was a real effort for us not to hurt each other.

3. The scenes showing us marching in Pickett's Charge from a start in front of the Spangler's woods thru the cannons - some of those (especially the film from a distance) were performed on the Gettysburg National Battlefield Park grounds on the actual ground that Pickett's Division marched over going toward what is now Business Route 15.  We were allowed by Park Rangers to only march halfway to Bus. 15 - although the first time, as we didn't know where to stop, we marched all the way to the picket fence on 15.  All the people who had parked along the road hoping to hear and see something, got a real thrill as 4,000 of us marched up in front of them - they were cheering - we reenactors were cheering - the Park Rangers were going nuts as they didn't want us to go that far!   :D    The next five times we marched that route, we were only allowed to go half way.

4. When the 23 cannons fired in unison to start the Pickett's Charge, the original intent was to film each cannon going off one-by-one, but each time they attempted it there was always one or two mis-fires, so the guy in charge in his frustration, ordered them to fire all at once.  This is a unique moment in the film and otherwise as none of the reenactor gun crews had EVER participated in an event where all 23 discharged simultaneously like this.  They, and we 4,000, were all duly impressed!

5. The scene where Pickett says to give him his glass (binoculars) - that red building is the Codori barn on the Park.

6. The scene where the Southerners go up to the stone wall - this wall was built up on site about 1-2 miles west of the National Battlefield Park.

7. A command of "Right Shoulder - Shift" was given as we were about to march.  This command is unfamiliar to today's military, but back then, one would maintain a good balance of one's musket on the collar bone.  As the soldier behind was to maintain a gap 13 inches behind the in front, in case of the front soldier bobbing or falling wounded or whatever,this would offer some protection from the bayonet to the guy behind

8. The spoken lines were from the book "The Killer Angels", as that was also the initial title of the movie until the marketers determined "Gettysburg" would be the best title.

9. I was "recruited" for the film by my brother to march with his unit, the 116th Pennsylvania, during Pickett's Charge Week.  For the two days I participated, we wore Southern gray as the "galvanized" 116th "Virginia".  I had been attending school at the US Army War College during two weeks in July, and the local TV news was always showing clips of the filming that was leading up to Pickett's Charge Week in August.

10. In this stunt scene (below) used in Pickett's Charge, on extreme right with full face was the personnel manager for Hershey Park, next to the left is a tall 116th reenactor whose name I forget, next and shorter is my brother, and next to him with the flat hat is me (25 years ago in 1992). It is a memorable moment in my life, and this scene played at about 3/4 speed was used in TNT's TV and theater commercials.

capture(7).thumb.png.792f4a51af0bc91097a50cda993442d3.png

 

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On 3/9/2017 at 11:18 AM, Kiefer Cain said:

With a sweeping generalization... could it be said that Country/rural brigades were (are ;)) better soldiers/fighters than their populous urban counterparts?  Was it not for the rural troops of the North, would most battles have been decided by the 'country' heavy brigades of the south... haven't been in a Civil War book for the better part of ten years, but I always got that distinct impression?  Were Wisconsin/Minnesota/Michigan troops, Vermonters and Mainers the backbone of the Northern army? 

The whole "yeoman" soldier thing is a myth. Some of the best regiments on both sides came from cities (the 20th Massachusetts were a regiment of boys who'd never seen a ploughshare, and you did not want to face them in a battle). The overwhelming majority of both armies were rural, and its important to note that while the New England states were industrializing, they were still mostly rural. No evidence has ever demonstrated that rural boys fought any better then their urban counter parts. Experience was what made excellent combat regiments. 

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5 hours ago, Gael said:

Hi Mukremin,

A couple insights for the movie "Gettysburg" might be:

1. In my opinion, a better actor for General Lee would have been Sean Connery (instead of Martin Sheen), as GEN Lee had a presence about him that got everyone's attention.

2. In some scenes, the stunt men are semi-obvious as they are the ones with the rubber muskets that flex.  The 4,000 re-enactors all had real weapons and real bayonets - it was a real effort for us not to hurt each other.

3. The scenes showing us marching in Pickett's Charge from a start in front of the Spangler's woods thru the cannons - some of those (especially the film from a distance) were performed on the Gettysburg National Battlefield Park grounds on the actual ground that Pickett's Division marched over going toward what is now Business Route 15.  We were allowed by Park Rangers to only march halfway to Bus. 15 - although the first time, as we didn't know where to stop, we marched all the way to the picket fence on 15.  All the people who had parked along the road hoping to hear and see something, got a real thrill as 4,000 of us marched up in front of them - they were cheering - we reenactors were cheering - the Park Rangers were going nuts as they didn't want us to go that far!   :D    The next five times we marched that route, we were only allowed to go half way.

4. When the 23 cannons fired in unison to start the Pickett's Charge, the original intent was to film each cannon going off one-by-one, but each time they attempted it there was always one or two mis-fires, so the guy in charge in his frustration, ordered them to fire all at once.  This is a unique moment in the film and otherwise as none of the reenactor gun crews had EVER participated in an event where all 23 discharged simultaneously like this.  They, and we 4,000, were all duly impressed!

5. The scene where Pickett says to give him his glass (binoculars) - that red building is the Codori barn on the Park.

6. The scene where the Southerners go up to the stone wall - this wall was built up on site about 1-2 miles west of the National Battlefield Park.

7. A command of "Right Shoulder - Shift" was given as we were about to march.  This command is unfamiliar to today's military, but back then, one would maintain a good balance of one's musket on the collar bone.  As the soldier behind was to maintain a gap 13 inches behind the in front, in case of the front soldier bobbing or falling wounded or whatever,this would offer some protection from the bayonet to the guy behind

8. The spoken lines were from the book "The Killer Angels", as that was also the initial title of the movie until the marketers determined "Gettysburg" would be the best title.

9. I was "recruited" for the film by my brother to march with his unit, the 116th Pennsylvania, during Pickett's Charge Week.  For the two days I participated, we wore Southern gray as the "galvanized" 116th "Virginia".  I had been attending school at the US Army War College during two weeks in July, and the local TV news was always showing clips of the filming that was leading up to Pickett's Charge Week in August.

10. In this stunt scene (below) used in Pickett's Charge, on extreme right with full face was the personnel manager for Hershey Park, next to the left is a tall 116th reenactor whose name I forget, next and shorter is my brother, and next to him with the flat hat is me (25 years ago in 1992). It is a memorable moment in my life, and this scene played at about 3/4 speed was used in TNT's TV and theater commercials.

capture(7).thumb.png.792f4a51af0bc91097a50cda993442d3.png

 

What?? Oh my God, this is so cool. Thank you sir for sharing! Never knew i would meet one of the reenactors! Watching the charge on tv is amazing. Must have been awesome, thrilling and sad to march that very same spot.. thank you for this insight information :)

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On 15.10.2017 at 9:30 AM, Hjalfnar_Feuerwolf said:

Not asking, but rather showing something quite awesome. Whitworth 1860 sniper rifle.

 

 

Ian issued a correction to this:

 

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My knowledge of the ACW is minuscule, so I don't have any pertinent questions to ask about it directly, but I am a bit curious about one of the effects, namely the census effects on the freeing of the slaves. Taken at face value, the effect of making all the slaves count as 1 whole person in the census after the war vs. 3/5 of a person prior to the war, did the Southern states actually gain representation in Congress due to a rise in the census following the war? Is it even possible to tell, since losses in the war and after, migration to some degree, etc would warp the numbers?

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I think this belongs here:

I personally love the channel, but I'm curious what some of you might have to say. Especially you Gael since you've take part in it :)

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On 2/19/2018 at 12:07 PM, Hussar91 said:

I think this belongs here:

I personally love the channel, but I'm curious what some of you might have to say. Especially you Gael since you've take part in it :)

I left a few comments on the video, as it chance would have. I couldn't get all the way through. The narrator has some working knowledge of the period, but not a lot of in depth knowledge. He makes himself look a bit silly by claiming there are no real errors to talk about, when in fact there are several. His lauding of the film as "balanced" is also problematic. Gettysburg is one of my favourite movies, and why I'm so stir-crazy over the Civil War, but it dabbles in false-equivocation and presentism in order to create the illusion of 
non-bias."

 This is why I don't do a history vlog, I suppose. You simply can't churn out high quality content at the rate you need to produce. This is the kind of video I'd expect from a channel that doesn't really know the subject matter well enough to talk about it seriously :/. 

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On 1/12/2018 at 8:42 PM, Zajuts149 said:

 

On 1/12/2018 at 8:29 PM, Zajuts149 said:

Ian issued a correction to this:

 

Whitworth's were so damn cool, it hurts...

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On 1/12/2018 at 8:42 PM, Zajuts149 said:

My knowledge of the ACW is minuscule, so I don't have any pertinent questions to ask about it directly, but I am a bit curious about one of the effects, namely the census effects on the freeing of the slaves. Taken at face value, the effect of making all the slaves count as 1 whole person in the census after the war vs. 3/5 of a person prior to the war, did the Southern states actually gain representation in Congress due to a rise in the census following the war? Is it even possible to tell, since losses in the war and after, migration to some degree, etc would warp the numbers?

The short answer is yes, sort of. 

First off, the raw numbers on the census did not change. Slaves were only counted by 3/5ths with respect to proportionality of Congressional representation. They were still counted as one full person on the census. 

The Southern states did gain more representation, however in the aftermath of the war, during Congressional Military Reconstruction, the rights of Southerners who had participated in a leadership capacity the Slave Holder's Rebellion were disbarred from holding office, and former Confederates were forced to take an oath of allegiance to restore loyalty. With black voting rights protected by the military garrisons occupying the former Confederacy, black leaders began to revolutionize the social order and structure. So while the former Confederacy did in fact gain representation, it was, for a small time, directed in a profoundly Liberal and Progressive direction. 

After the disasterous Slaughterhouse and Cruikshank cases, the power to enforce the XIV and XV Amendments went to the State governments, who naturally used their new found States Rights to mercilessly strip away the Civil Rights gained by Black Americans in the Civil War. The North, growing weary with Reconstruction, elected Conservatives who had little problem betraying the Black veterans of the Civil War in favour of their White Rebel counterparts. As such, Reconstruction faded, and Jim Crow allowed the former Confederacy to use its now increased representation to struggle against Civil Rights. Quite an ironic turn. 

With respect to population distribution. There really was not a significant diaspora out of the former CSA after the war. The first Southern Diaspora, which embraced the former Confederacy as well as loyal Southern States, didn't really begin until the late 1880s-90s. The Black Southern Diaspora didn't happen until the Depression years. 

While the South did gain greater numerical representation once Black Americans were counted as one person each proportionally, the South never recovered economically from the loss of slavery. Especially the Confederate South, which also had to attend to its massive proprietorial losses from the war. As such, it never regained its former political power it held in the Old Union, let alone gain greater ascendancy. 

Hope this answers your questions XD

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On 2/19/2018 at 12:07 PM, Hussar91 said:

I think this belongs here:

I personally love the channel, but I'm curious what some of you might have to say. Especially you Gael since you've take part in it :)

Hussar91, 

Where are you from?  I currently live in Maryland, northeast of Baltimore.

The movie was filmed partly on-site in several locations, and partly off-site to the west.  I was there for portions of Pickett's Charge.  I am a history buff just like so many (like Mercanto and AP Hill) who pass thru this site.  My Great-Great-Grandfather was a private in Co. A, 6th Regiment, North Carolina State Troops, Hoke's Brigade (Robert Hoke had been wounded a few weeks before at Fredericksburg/Chancellorsville, so COL Isaac Avery led the brigade on the 1st and 2nd day - mortally wounded that evening), Early's division, of Ewell's II Corps flanking of XI Corps which regiment participated in the first day's "brickyard fight", and the second day's evening attack onto Cemetery Hill with ~75 of the 6th North Carolina and ~12 of Hays' Louisianan's breaking thru the XI Corps' line and capturing some of the guns of the batteries on the crest before being later pushed back down the hill that night.

I thought the presentation on History Buffs was fairly good for the very small amount of time available for the show.  The commentaries about the reenactors bringing their own equipment, uniforms, weapons, etc. was totally correct - they had a great deal of authentic items which you see on-screen, and when the actors and prop guys needed something such as a tobacco pouch, one of the reenactors would readily offer to lend the item to the actors.  The cannons were real - when I heard one artillery group man-handling their cannon to go down the narrow paved walk-way in order to pick up speed to go up the shallow hill next to the Lee monument, I and EVERYONE got out of the way of the ~1200 lb brass cannon - lot of heavy rumbling by that gun.  I was surprised at the one HISTORY BUFFS scene showing one of the make-up ladies powdering one of the re-enactors.  The two ladies I remember (this was one of them) were going along the front lines, powdering faces and uniforms to make us look grimy from sweat and dust, and spraying our hair to look matted and grimy.  There were other ladies who were reenactors who were in the soldiers groups, and the ~6-person band shown during Pickett's Charge was partially composed of 4 ladies - a couple fifers and a couple drummers.  They were asked by the movie-makers to pull down their caps and not look into the camera so no one could readily see they were females.  One point that was not shown was the blacks - free and slave.  A doctor at Boonsborough right before the Battle of Sharpsburg/Antietam counted about 20% of the composition of Stonewall Jackson's Corps was composed of blacks at that time.  Zero mention was made in the movie and most books of the many Yank letters after the battle of Gettysburg mentioning the black corporal (possibly free black Greg Powers?) who lifted the fallen colors of the 57th Virginia and carried them part way up to the stonewall during Pickett's Charge when he was wounded or killed (per one of the articles in GETTYSBURG magazine of about 20 years ago.) 

Thank goodness for film, as I walked back to the tent city with who I think was the actor Stephen Lang - the gentleman who played Pickett was slightly smaller than me at 5'8", but the uniform makes him look good.  He later plays the part of Stonewall Jackson in the movie Gods and Generals.

The tent city was composed of a couple hundred white pup tents, but the location was extremely interesting.  The woods on the one corner of tent city was where the hospital for AP Hill's III Corps was located during the original battle.  Many reenactors complained to the film managers about guys fooling around at night in the woods - screaming and yelling.  Management several times had to tell them that they had sent guys out there to prevent that but found no one there ...  Other things were occurring such as observing a number of campfires(?) in the nearby fields at night that increased in number as the weeks crept closer to Pickett's Charge Week.  Ghosts ...?

The thing about Lee was that he was a good judge of ability and very familiar with a number of his former students at West Point, but with George Meade, he had actually shared a tent with him during the Mexican War campaign toward Mexico City under General Scott.

For Chamberlain's defense at Little Round Top, he was lucky MG Hood was wounded and BG Law on the extreme right was put in charge.  When the Texans encountered stiff resistance at Devil's Den (the movie shows a small portion of the real thing), Law ordered his two right wing regiments (I think 44th and 48th Alabama) to go from the extreme right to his own extreme left to help at Devil's Den.  If those two regiments had remained in place, Chamberlain & Vincent's brigade would have been out-flanked by a width of two regiments - leave this to your imagination as to what might have occurred.

If anyone has the opportunity to visit the battlefield, be certain to visit the Pennsylvania Monument - go up the stairway, take an immediate left and take the internal stairway up the corner column to go out onto the roof to overlook a major part of the battlefield.  The distances to different key features are all marked on top of the wall.  Facing toward the Confederate position to the west, the monument to the attack of the 1st Minnesota of the 2nd day is on your left, and the stonewall focal point of Pickett's Charge is on the right.  :D 

                      --Gael

 

 

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@Mr. Mercanto

To be honest its really hard to know that for example the reenactors guns weren’t exactly correct for someone who’s not a hardcore civil war reenactor (and lives in usa). So altough i understand your critical view i think you’re being too harsh. Besides you should look into his other videos on different films perhaps to understand his channels mission? Anyhow it’s okay if this doesn’t fall in your alley still. Also in comparison to other, 2011ish “Gettysburg” i’d would call the 1993 movie perfect ;)

@Gael

I’m from Europe, Poland to be exact. So sadly it’s doubtful that i’ll ever manage to visit any of the american monuments - would they be from civil war or from more modern times like ww2. Just saying this since i love history just as much as some of members here.

Anyhow, now I want to watch the movie again to spot the things you mentioned. I would naver have thought that they put female actors on the set. I guess that some of the things you can get to know only by being there when it happens.

And i have also seen the Gods & Generals. Gettysburg and G&G are in my mind probably the last objective movies about the period. Maybe not completely but at least they tried to show that that war wasn't as simple as just to free the slaves. The G&G’s opening with Lee refusing to march onto Virginia as federal was telling for example.

 

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@Mr. Mercanto

Ps. To perhaps illustrate my point i’ll mention the widely applauded “Dunkirk”. It’s good and i like it. But it wasn’t accurate at all despite what so many have spoke about that movie. There was a bucketlist of stuff they got wrong and if to be absolutely critic they shown dunkirk totally wrong. But they haven’t used cgi at least. ;)

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7 hours ago, Hussar91 said:

@Mr. Mercanto

Ps. To perhaps illustrate my point i’ll mention the widely applauded “Dunkirk”. It’s good and i like it. But it wasn’t accurate at all despite what so many have spoke about that movie. There was a bucketlist of stuff they got wrong and if to be absolutely critic they shown dunkirk totally wrong. But they haven’t used cgi at least. ;)

Most specifically renaming James Campbell Coulston as 'Commander Bolton'. 

There was only one Pier Master, he was a hero in every sense of the word; failing to use his  name to make it a universal story of all men is just plain wrong. 

Other than that, I saw the movie in the theater. I had that sound in my head for days of the clock unwinding. Rather brilliant. 

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I am reading through the Civil War book by Bruce Catton, he mentions the story of the Merrimac. Is it really true that if CSA had more industry to built and uphold such ships the war may have ended differently? Do we often forget the impact of the naval blockade by the Union?

And how serious was the Federal Government in going to war with Great Britain if Britain would deliver ironclads to the CSA? I highly doubt that the Union was ready for a war with Great Britain, at that time considered the strongest and wealthiest nation on earth.

I have read that there were naval battles at the Bering sea, and off the coast of France? The CSA Alabama was sunk far away from mainland USA?

Edited by Mukremin

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1 hour ago, Mukremin said:

I am reading through the Civil War book by Bruce Catton, he mentions the story of the Merrimac. Is it really true that if CSA had more industry to built and uphold such ships the war may have ended differently? Do we often forget the impact of the naval blockade by the Union?

Sure, but if the South had the industry to win an ironclad arms race, it would have been the north that was seceding to protect its slave economy.

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8 hours ago, Andre Bolkonsky said:

Most specifically renaming James Campbell Coulston as 'Commander Bolton'. 

There was only one Pier Master, he was a hero in every sense of the word; failing to use his  name to make it a universal story of all men is just plain wrong. 

Other than that, I saw the movie in the theater. I had that sound in my head for days of the clock unwinding. Rather brilliant. 

I would call it a minor inaccuracy as they failed with so many other things starting with soldier behavior, amount of equipment, through depiction of involvement of RN ships ending on aeronautical terms and combat. A 2007 movie "Atonement", though not about Dunkirk, have depicted it better. Even the brief opening shots from the classic Battle of Britain did. "Dunkirk" was a 'reenactors' home movie in comparison if you were to judge it by the scale. So few people, so little of equipment lost for the british in this movie.

I still enjoyed the movie but only for that they refrained from cgi a lot. Plus it was kind of artistic.


Anyhow, lets go back to the Civil War :D

Maybe I'll redirect us back there by asking have anyone seen the second "Gettysburg movie"? From 2011 I think?

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1 hour ago, Hussar91 said:

I would call it a minor inaccuracy as they failed with so many other things starting with soldier behavior, amount of equipment, through depiction of involvement of RN ships ending on aeronautical terms and combat. A 2007 movie "Atonement", though not about Dunkirk, have depicted it better. Even the brief opening shots from the classic Battle of Britain did. "Dunkirk" was a 'reenactors' home movie in comparison if you were to judge it by the scale. So few people, so little of equipment lost for the british in this movie.

I still enjoyed the movie but only for that they refrained from cgi a lot. Plus it was kind of artistic.


Anyhow, lets go back to the Civil War :D

Maybe I'll redirect us back there by asking have anyone seen the second "Gettysburg movie"? From 2011 I think?

Second Gettysburg movie? I always thought it was Gods & Generals.

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2 hours ago, Mukremin said:

Second Gettysburg movie? I always thought it was Gods & Generals.

G&G leads up to Gettysburg, neither it is named "Gettysburg" as 1993 movie classic and 2011 quasi-movie/documentary are. I watched both "Gettysburg's", and 2011 for me was... Lets say that it very politically correct and demonized one side.

Edited by Hussar91

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On 2/20/2018 at 10:59 PM, Hussar91 said:

@Mr. Mercanto

To be honest its really hard to know that for example the reenactors guns weren’t exactly correct for someone who’s not a hardcore civil war reenactor (and lives in usa). So altough i understand your critical view i think you’re being too harsh. Besides you should look into his other videos on different films perhaps to understand his channels mission? Anyhow it’s okay if this doesn’t fall in your alley still. Also in comparison to other, 2011ish “Gettysburg” i’d would call the 1993 movie perfect ;)

@Gael

I’m from Europe, Poland to be exact. So sadly it’s doubtful that i’ll ever manage to visit any of the american monuments - would they be from civil war or from more modern times like ww2. Just saying this since i love history just as much as some of members here.

Anyhow, now I want to watch the movie again to spot the things you mentioned. I would naver have thought that they put female actors on the set. I guess that some of the things you can get to know only by being there when it happens.

And i have also seen the Gods & Generals. Gettysburg and G&G are in my mind probably the last objective movies about the period. Maybe not completely but at least they tried to show that that war wasn't as simple as just to free the slaves. The G&G’s opening with Lee refusing to march onto Virginia as federal was telling for example.

 

Thanks Hussar91.

I am really enjoying reading the different perspectives of everyone, especially you guys over in Europe (in your case Poland).  We have our monuments, but I am one who sees the many monuments and fortifications in western and eastern Europe and elsewhere on the internet, and wish I could have seen and understood better the many things you and the others have studied and observed.  Over here our school history books touch on the Romans and Greeks, and then all of a sudden they talk about the 1800's and our revolution, and those of us who are really intrigued have had to wander all over looking for good books and sources of information.  East Asian history is somewhat like attempting to get info from the Moon.  Thank you for your perspectives, and to Mukremin, and Andre, and all the many others.

                  --Gael

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On 2/21/2018 at 10:16 AM, Mukremin said:

I am reading through the Civil War book by Bruce Catton, he mentions the story of the Merrimac. Is it really true that if CSA had more industry to built and uphold such ships the war may have ended differently? Do we often forget the impact of the naval blockade by the Union?

And how serious was the Federal Government in going to war with Great Britain if Britain would deliver ironclads to the CSA? I highly doubt that the Union was ready for a war with Great Britain, at that time considered the strongest and wealthiest nation on earth.

I have read that there were naval battles at the Bering sea, and off the coast of France? The CSA Alabama was sunk far away from mainland USA?

Mukremin,

For a quick bit of info on CSS Alabama, check https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CSS_Alabama .

Raiders like the CSS Alabama and CSS Shenandoah are said to have impacted the northern shipping owners in convincing many of them to register their ships under other countries' flags in case the South would eventually rise up once more.

I don't know anything about a conflict in the Bering Sea.

            --Gael

Edited by Gael
hit wrong button too fast
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6 hours ago, Gael said:

Mukremin,

For a quick bit of info on CSS Alabama, check https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CSS_Alabama .

Raiders like the CSS Alabama and CSS Shenandoah are said to have impacted the northern shipping owners in convincing many of them to register their ships under other countries' flags in case the South would eventually rise up once more.

I don't know anything about a conflict in the Bering Sea.

            --Gael

It was a Confederate surface raider, British built, steam-screw propulsion; The Sea King. 

It circumnavigated the globe and its last sortie was to lay waste to the American whaling fleet operating in the Bering Sea after the actual end of hostilities because of a lack of communications. 

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I think it curious after reading that article.  They claimed that Captain Waddell wanted to attack San Fransisco....Would've been quite the folly considering Alcatraz Citadel was complete with over 110 cannon, 10,000 muskets and estimated 100,000 rounds of ammunition alone and a full garrison.  

Also, as the Union found many times over...a ship can't sink a fort.  Would've made for an epic attempt, yet futile.  Still a good story.

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The 1993 Gettysburg isn't perfection but it's a pretty good TV movie (of which is the longest ever made), it deserved a theatrical release because the quality was there. It's probably the closest you will get to the real Civil War experience other than participating in reenactments yourself. Even the 150th Gettysburg reenactment was nothing like the film, and if you look at how they made the film it is incredible. Thousands of extras and all that organisation, make-up and wigs, constant effects, authentic uniforms and weaponry, filming cameras on rails going up and down the real national park. They just don't make movies like this anymore, it's quite possibly the last Historical Epic ever made using thousands of actors and no CGI.

On the other hand the later Gods and Generals is very good but has flaws. But still a worthy Civil War film, I've seen the Directors Cut and it's so much better than the Theatrical release (which everyone saw and condemned the film on). You cannot fault the battle scenes other than excessive use of CGI in some bits. 

Also the soundtracks make both films, some of the best music ever composed for Civil War films.

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21 hours ago, Sanny said:

They just don't make movies like this anymore, it's quite possibly the last Historical Epic ever made using thousands of actors and no CGI.

Yeah they don't. Now people wonder why I'm worried about a remake of the classic "Battle of Britain" for example...

 

On 2/23/2018 at 12:11 AM, Gael said:

Thanks Hussar91.

I am really enjoying reading the different perspectives of everyone, especially you guys over in Europe (in your case Poland).  We have our monuments, but I am one who sees the many monuments and fortifications in western and eastern Europe and elsewhere on the internet, and wish I could have seen and understood better the many things you and the others have studied and observed.  Over here our school history books touch on the Romans and Greeks, and then all of a sudden they talk about the 1800's and our revolution, and those of us who are really intrigued have had to wander all over looking for good books and sources of information.  East Asian history is somewhat like attempting to get info from the Moon.  Thank you for your perspectives, and to Mukremin, and Andre, and all the many others.

                  --Gael

Hmm yeah. History teaching is a huge problem for every country I guess. Just fire up the news and listen in to the recent drama that's going on thanks to polish government now. U:

And I had a pleasure to travel quite a lot around europe in the past. If you were ever wanting to go Normandy - you need to ask yourself a question first: "Do I want to experience the anniversary or do some actual sightseeing and visit the museums?". I'm saying this since I was on 2004 and 2014 anniversaries - both were my "best holidays ever". But thanks to modern threats and all, half of normandy was closed off in 2014 and in general it just gets worse and worse. Whole regions were being closed off cuz of politicians, while back in 2004 I remember encounter on Omaha beach museum grounds with secret service. I was in cafeteria with my family, having a good time when they come in. They just asked the owner to stop selling/serving new things and politely asked everyone to finish their meals in an hour and leave because they have to secure the area for G.W.Bush as he was going to appear in few hours for the celebration. In 2014 normal people were not even allowed nearby the site for many hours prior, and local populace had a special passes issued for them. So yeah, it's just gets crazier by a year...

If you wanna experience the feel tho, go for the official anniversaries. It's still worth it, as the whole Normandy goes back to the 1944 and there is probably as many reenactors zipping around in jeeps (or halftrucks followed by shermans) as many as there's tourists.

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