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Gettysberg

Pete 13 Apr 99 - 03:14 PM
Susan A-R 13 Apr 99 - 11:11 PM
Peter Fisher 13 Apr 99 - 11:15 PM
Banjer 14 Apr 99 - 05:57 AM
Don Meixner 14 Apr 99 - 07:35 AM
Steve Parkes 14 Apr 99 - 07:45 AM
Banjer 14 Apr 99 - 06:47 PM
LEJ 14 Apr 99 - 07:45 PM
ddw in Windsor 14 Apr 99 - 08:45 PM
LEJ 14 Apr 99 - 08:56 PM
DonMeixner 14 Apr 99 - 11:01 PM
Bud Sherman 14 Apr 99 - 11:37 PM
Pete M 15 Apr 99 - 12:03 AM
catspaw49 15 Apr 99 - 01:15 AM
catspaw49 15 Apr 99 - 09:12 AM
Pete Peterson 15 Apr 99 - 09:43 AM
catspaw49 15 Apr 99 - 10:43 AM
Lonesome EJ 15 Apr 99 - 12:01 PM
Pete Peterson 15 Apr 99 - 12:20 PM
catspaw49 15 Apr 99 - 12:29 PM
Pete M 15 Apr 99 - 05:01 PM
Susan A-R 15 Apr 99 - 09:53 PM
16 Apr 99 - 03:48 AM
Tucker 16 Apr 99 - 11:39 AM
catspaw49 16 Apr 99 - 12:58 PM
Rex 16 Apr 99 - 01:37 PM
LEJ 16 Apr 99 - 01:39 PM
LEJ 16 Apr 99 - 03:25 PM
Rich and Dee (inactive) 16 Apr 99 - 04:33 PM
LEJ 16 Apr 99 - 05:16 PM
katlaughing 17 Apr 99 - 12:28 AM
catspaw49 17 Apr 99 - 12:45 AM
Penny 17 Apr 99 - 05:03 AM
Pete M 18 Apr 99 - 04:54 PM
Pete Peterson 19 Apr 99 - 10:03 AM
catspaw49 19 Apr 99 - 10:13 AM
katlaughing 19 Apr 99 - 02:01 PM
Pete Peterson 19 Apr 99 - 03:30 PM
katlaughing 19 Apr 99 - 06:42 PM
Reiver #2 (inactive) 04 May 99 - 08:23 PM
MarkD 04 May 99 - 09:30 PM
Greg Baker 05 May 99 - 05:58 PM
LEJ 05 May 99 - 08:32 PM
Ole Bull 06 May 99 - 01:12 PM
Pete Peterson 07 May 99 - 12:42 PM
Mark D 07 May 99 - 09:37 PM
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Subject: Gettysberg
From: Pete
Date: 13 Apr 99 - 03:14 PM

Whilst watching the film of the above name (a recent big budget one were they all wore unconvincing beards!) I was struck by a beautiful fiddle tune played by a fiddler during a camp scene. Any one know what it was called or have a sample of it??

Pete


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: Susan A-R
Date: 13 Apr 99 - 11:11 PM

Believe that it's Kathleen Mavorneen (sp)

Susan


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: Peter Fisher
Date: 13 Apr 99 - 11:15 PM

I suppose it might have been Ashokan Farewell, which is indeed a beautiful tune. It can be found on the sound track to the PBS series The Civil War, and I'm sure many other places.


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: Banjer
Date: 14 Apr 99 - 05:57 AM

Ashokan Farewell was not around during that time period. It is a recent composition.


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: Don Meixner
Date: 14 Apr 99 - 07:35 AM

Peter,

Ashokan farewell was from the PBS speicial. Jay Unger wrote the tune a few years back asnd itfound its way to the PBS show. Gettysburg, (The Movie) had a camp scene in it and I think thats the question. And I believe it was Kathleen Mavourneen.(sp)

Don


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 14 Apr 99 - 07:45 AM

Since when did the fact that something wasn't around at the time keep something out of an historical movie?!

Steve


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: Banjer
Date: 14 Apr 99 - 06:47 PM

The fact that something was not present during the historical period that a movie represents, but is shown anyway in historical context makes one wonder how accurate the rest of the movie is. It also changes the spelling from historical to hysterical. I had a few of my reenacting buddies that took part in the filming report that there was a great effort towards historical accuracy. As someone pointed out earlier that effort should have also gone into researching the beards and checking the continuity. In one scene, general Longstreet had one style beard and when the scene switches to later the same day, a completely different one! Quite a few other such discrepencies can be noted if watched for....


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: LEJ
Date: 14 Apr 99 - 07:45 PM

Some great scenes in it, though. Especially the sea-saw battle between the 20th Maine and the opposing Alabama units. When the Rebels begin to emerge from the darkness of the forest it brings a chill up your neck just like the rebel attack in "Red Badge of Courage" that caused Audie Murphy to turn tail and run. The cannonade that precedes Pickett's Charge is one of the most stirring spectacles I can remember in any movie. Unfortunately, the dialogue doesn't come up to the level of the battle sequences. Still, it's a very powerful film and probably the best existing depiction of what a Civil War battle may have been like.

By the by Banjer, I'm not a re-enactor, just a Civil War buff. Also a western history, celtic history and just about any other kind of history buff.


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: ddw in Windsor
Date: 14 Apr 99 - 08:45 PM

The movie Gettysburg was taken from Michael Shaara's historical novel The Killer Angels, which is the work that got me hooked on civil war stuff. Since I read it and the prequal and sequal written by his son, Jeff, I've read everything else I could get my hands on about the war and in particular that battle. I also spent two days last May touring the battleground -- a very moving experience -- and so far I have found nothing in either the book or the movie, apart from the kinds of filmmaking errors noted above, that would call the account into question. I think their treatment of Longstreet was excellent, since he has been so badly maligned by so many historians and he was really the on-site voice of reason while Lee was pursuing what he thought would be a quick end to the war.

Banjer and LEJ, do either of you have any suggestions of other good battlegrounds to tour? My daughter lives in Nashville, TN and says there are lots of sites around that area that I can check out when I visit. I'd especially like to get over to Vicksburg, since that was such a pivotal battle in the western war.

cheers

ddw


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: LEJ
Date: 14 Apr 99 - 08:56 PM

Not too far north, in Southern Kentucky,is the Perryville Battle site where Bragg was repulsed by union forces under Buell during the South's drive toward Louisville in 1862. I haven't visited it in many years, but it was one of the most unspoiled battlefields of the western theatre. My great Grandpa lost an ear there fighting for the confederate side. Keep an eye out for it if you visit...LEJ


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: DonMeixner
Date: 14 Apr 99 - 11:01 PM

LEJ,

A friend who is a reenactor in an artillery brigade says that the barrage that preceeds Picketts Charge was the largest mass firing of blackpowder cannons since Pickets Charge and as powerful as it was, it was still only half the number of the original emplacement.

Don


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: Bud Sherman
Date: 14 Apr 99 - 11:37 PM

Just east of Nashville on I-24 is Murfeesboro (sp?) . there was a battle fought there. I stopped there along time ago to visit it. Further east is Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain. Chattanooga changed hands severaal times during the War.In the mountainous northeast part of Tennessee around Knoxville is the area that was a Union stronghold. (In fact it was true in most of the Confederacy that the mountainous regions were pro-Union and anti-slavery. West Virginia separated from Virginia during the War because of opposition to slavery and secession.)

There are alot of other Civil War battle sites in all parts of Tennesee. In the western part, is the Fort Pillow massacre site. A force of black Union troops were captured and then executed by the Confederates.

If you contact the Tennessee tourism office, then can send you tons of stuff about the State. They must have a website. Just specify that you are interested in Civil War sites.


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: Pete M
Date: 15 Apr 99 - 12:03 AM

Well I don't think I'd ever go to the cinema for a history lesson.

One aspect of battlefields especially the black powder era, was that you couldn't see bugger all, let alone stirring sights. Quote from Colonel Lyman who fought in two pitched battles for the Union in the US civil war: "I have scarcely seen a Rebel save killed, wounded or prisoner,... I remember even line officers, who were at the battle of Chancellorsville saying: 'Why we never saw any rebels where we were; only smoke and bushes and lots of our men tumbling about.'".

Capt Mercer, Artillary battery commander at Waterloo: "What passed to the right and left of us I know no more than the man in the Moon. the smoke confined our vision to a very small compass, so that my battle was restricted to two squares and my own battery."

Moving on to WWI Charles Carrington "battles...were rarely spectacular,...a smoke filled cloud filled the valley in which now and then one saw a distant figure moving aimlessly it seemed.."

Reality doesn't make good cinema.

All quotes appear in "Firing line." Holmes R 1985.

Pete M


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Apr 99 - 01:15 AM

I've been to every major battlefield and most of the minor ones and Tennessee is a gold mine. I'm one of the nuts that thinks the war in the "west" meaning TN., MO., AL.,MS., LA., to be far more fascinating than the east. I lived in both Chattanooga and Nashville (also Atlanta) and loved the history rooted there. I wouldn't make the trip without taking a side trip one way or the other.

To the southwest there is Shiloh and Vicksburg...both well worth the trip. Shiloh is such a strange battle because of the earliness in the war. Many opps on both sides squandered and much bravery shown. At Shiloh Grant learned that he couldn't let casualties stop him. We see the effects of Shiloh late in the war at Richmond, Wilderness, Petersburg, etc. Vicksburg is remarkable for the bluffs, the difficulties faced by the Union in even getting there, and the tenacity shown by both sides during the siege.

Nashville is probably the least significant of all the battlefields you can see, but head down I-24 for Chattanooga. Stop first at Murfreesboro to see Stone River. It was another of the artillery "Hells" and had it's own "Bloody Angle." You'll be there in the summer, but remember that this battle was waged during the bleakest part of a Tennessee winter with the rain, snow, and mud as a common opponent. Though it had shown before, this was the first place where the brilliant light of George Thomas shown brightly. I agree with others in believing he was the most brilliant defensive General we have ever seen, before or since. This Union victory also gave Lincoln the high note he needed to issue the Eman Proc, not totally something he had wanted to do.

As you drive toward Chattanooga, note the terrain. This was covered by both armies in the late winter and early spring, again with the snow, rain, and mud ever present. I have always been struck by the terrain surrounding Chattanooga as it must have been a different breed of man in those times to have accomplished the marches alone, forget the battles.

In Chattanooga, Lookout Mountain gets the"airplay" and the drive up to the top is worth it, for the view, if nothing else.(or ride the Incline if you want a fun way up) The battle was not one of the toughest by any means, but Hooker's men had been humiliated in the east and were not about to deny the publicity they got...and they did do a great job...just not as tough as it was portrayed at the time. Remember too that the Army of Tennessee had also taken an embarassing defeat at Chickamauga just prior to this, so go to the Cemetery in the Orchard and take a good look at Missionary Ridge. One of the most remarkable feats of the entire war was the unordered advance from the base to the top by those Chickamauga vets. It's an inspiring story to read, but when you stand at the base of Missionary Ridge and imagine the gun implacements at the top...Damn!

Bringing us now to Chickamauga, only a few miles to the south of Chattanooga in LaFayette (pronounced there as Luh-Fay-ett`) Georgia. It is very much today as it was then. No, it's not all the same trees or underbrush, but it might as well be. It is easy to see how Rosecrans became confused and how the mistake was exploited. Chickamauga brought some of the best and worst from both sides together. Braxton Bragg...what can you say? Old Rosey was brilliant, but one of the worst field commanders. On the other hand, and facing each other in a bit of a standoff at the end (as it should be when greats meet), was Pete Longstreet and George Thomas. I've always loved Chickamauga, it is the most haunting of battlefields, east or west. And the stories of courage and bravery that took place there.........On Snodgrass Hill, you can stand where Thomas did, thanking every man of the 2nd Minnesota as they came through the lines and you can see the monument (the place is loaded with them) with the Tiger on top, Opdyke's Tigers, the 125th Ohio Volunteers, where it sits close to the place that, when told by Thomas that the ridge had to be held at all costs, Opdyke said, "We'll hold this hill or go to Heaven from it." Chickamauga is one of a few battles I suggest reading about before you go as it is very large and not easily assimilated unless you have a general idea of the battle's flow.

Geez, I didn't mean to get this carried away...Sorry! I'd personally suggest the Nashville/Chatta side trip...plus you're on I-75 and ready to head home.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Apr 99 - 09:12 AM

Sorry, it's what I get for posting long harangues in the middle of the night...

Paragraph 5--Army of Tennessee should be Army of THE Tennessee. A major difference.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: Pete Peterson
Date: 15 Apr 99 - 09:43 AM

One of the most wonderful things in my life has been to get to know people for ONE reason and suddenly find ANOTHER common interst as has just happened here! I've done a lot of Civil War reading-- first book was Fletcher Pratt's Short History of the Civil War which is exactly what it says went from there through Bruce Catton to Shelby Foote & then back to some of the original memoirs plus the four-volume reissue of Battles and Leaders. Haven't had much time to travel & visit battle sites but that may change. And the songs! A friend and I do historical programs & show up in Civil War costume & start with Darling Nelly Gray, go through the war and generally wind up with Home Sweet Home. I still have trouble singing the line in Bonnie Blue Flag about "Fighting for the property we gained by honest toil." At least they were honest about it. And we generally do Dixie more or less the way Gid Tanner recorded it. I'm glad the North won. (My great-grandfather helped) PETE


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Apr 99 - 10:43 AM

Hi Pete,

It is amazing and kinda' fun...I wholeheartedly agree. And as ypu say, the songs. This probably should be on the show-off thread, but the Civil War medley I do on Hammered Dulcimer, totally instrumental, NEVER fails but to get great crowd response, no matter what size crowd or where it's at. It opens and closes with a several bars of "Dixie" and it's also used as a connector, but is never played in it's entirety. The only non period piece is, of course, Ashokan Farewell which has now become so closely associated with the Civil War that I had to include it...plus like eveerybody else, I love it too.

I really wonder how many "buffs" are out there with us in Mudcat?

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 15 Apr 99 - 12:01 PM

Pete M...True about the "fog of battle" obscuring activity on the battlefield, but I believe the cannonade was realistic. There had been a lull in the battle for some time prior to the attack, and in fact there had been little activity at the point occupied by Pickett at the Confederate center.

Cats...was Stone River the impetus for The Emancipation Proclamation? I had thought it was the "declared" Union victory at Antietam.

More re: the obscurity of battle conditions. At the Battle of Perryville there was an atmospheric effect that prevented units within 200 yards of the battle from hearing the sound of gunfire. The initial success of the Confederates was in large part due to this effect, Buell being forced to retreat in the teeth of the Rebel advance. It led to the isolation of many units behind enemy lines, a terrifying circumstance in most cases. One Union company was able to capture a section of the Rebel line from behind due to this, however...LEJ


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: Pete Peterson
Date: 15 Apr 99 - 12:20 PM

Emancipation. Yes the Prelimiary Proclamation was issued after Antietam, but Lincoln then had to decide whether or not to go ahead & issue the final document on 1/1/63, and based on the early news from Stones River, he did. Or that's what the books say, I wasn't there myself.


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Apr 99 - 12:29 PM

Hi Leej,

The consensus seems to be for Murfreesboro by the big guy historians and I think it's based both on timing and a message Lincoln sent to Rosecrans later as a sort of high note to relieving him of command. Without looking it up, it said in effect that Lincoln would never forget the victory he gave him the previous winter when he (Lincoln) so badly needed one. Catton, Foote, and others give most credit to Stone River as it was a clear victory although truly snatched from the jaws of defeat by George Thomas. Rosecrans knew how to run an army and build morale. He was an excellent tactician too. But as a field commander he was out of his element. That was an all too common problem with Union generals. Most of the best field men went south except Thomas who was a Virginian. Of course the south had there share of oddballs too and leading the list was Braxton Bragg! I assume you're familiar with the story of his having a feud with HIMSELF when he was both acting commander and quartermaster of the same post? I think it was Catton who had the best line about Bragg, "He wore failure like a habit."

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: Pete M
Date: 15 Apr 99 - 05:01 PM

I don't mean to knock cinema representation of warfare, per seI think it is as valid in an artistic sense as the pre WWI paintings of battles, and in fact derives from that tradition. The object of the exercise is to depict a totality in a way which tells a story and makes a point. To be successful it also has to entertain, in its broadest sense. To achieve these aims it must at some point abandon reality, since the one thing which is common to all participants is a total lack of any sense of what is going on around them or the overall picture. As many have pointed out, the thing that amazes most about the reality of a battle is the emptiness.

So I can accept that a film maker may re-create a given scene accurately for his "placement" shots, but I don't think this should be taken as an indication of the veracity of the film as history. For the film to be cohesive artistically, let alone comprehensible to an audience, liberties have to be taken.

One of the reasons I think this is an important subject is the apparent growing tendency of the general public to swallow entertainment as fact. Apart from the anachronism of the tune mentioned above, which I am sure is now "recognised" as a US civil war tune by the majority of the US population, we have seen examples in other threads of folk song being taken as accurate history! I think this is worrying trend from both an artistic and historic point of view, both of which fields interest me.

Pete M


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: Susan A-R
Date: 15 Apr 99 - 09:53 PM

I've just come from a rehearsal of "Hardtack and Homespun" where we are going from the ridiculouus (The Army Bean) to the sublime (Tenting on the Old Campground)

Any of you follks involved with the effort to preserve some of those battlefields? That seems to be our big focus here in Vermont (interesting, since all we had wos the famous St. Albans Raid) Seems we are paving a lot of history over. So, Catspaw, have yo9u been to Picacho Peak in AZ?? If so, have any clue as to HOW it became a Civil War battle site?? I mean, how did those guys happen to run into each other amongst all of those cacti??

Susan


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From:
Date: 16 Apr 99 - 03:48 AM

Unconvincing beards?: see the Mudcat picture gallery!


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: Tucker
Date: 16 Apr 99 - 11:39 AM

That wasn't nice from no name. I too thought the beards were overdone in Gettysburg but the battle scenes were great. Acting could have been much better. by and by, I didn't see anything wrong with Y'all's beards


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Apr 99 - 12:58 PM

Hi Susan,

Like I said I've been to a lot of minor battle sites, but never there......and PLUS, I'm not ashamed to say, I don't know diddly squat about it!!!However, I'm always amazed at how much more there is that I don't know as I get older. What really pisses me off is the logarithmic growth of my lack of knowledge...You'd think it would have the good taste to at least be linear! I haven't lost the ability to become fascinated with something so you can bet your favorite veggie concoction I'll be digging into this one!

ANYONE HERE GOT SOMETHING ON THIS????(might as well start here)

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: Rex
Date: 16 Apr 99 - 01:37 PM

I do living history from around 1820 to 1900 depending on the venue. The period of the "War of the Rebellion" is a favorite. I have appeared as a Union soldier as well as Confederate depending on what was needed. Even a "galvanized Yankee" once. A fun time was as a Confederate prisoner under armed guard in a Union camp. I was forced to play tunes to improve moral for the troops. 19th century music is something I dearly enjoy. Rex


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: LEJ
Date: 16 Apr 99 - 01:39 PM

Pete M...I think it would be difficult to portray tactical movement, attack and counterattack cinematically while realistically portraying actual battlefield conditions. I think the filmmaker in Gettysburg was essentially interested in presenting the ebb and flow of the battle from the tactical standpoint, the clarity of view being a help to the viewer in his understanding of the battle. Was it realistic (or ethical) to present the battle in this way?

In The Thin Red Line , a depiction of island battle in World War II, despite basic themes of alienation and horror, many battle scenes contained the realistic smoke, ear-shattering sound,panic, and confusion of a battlefield. While being a more realistic representation of war from s soldier's standpoint, little is gleaned of the overall struggle for Guadalcanal.

I think both movies have something to say in terms of what happened on their respective battlefields. And both are certainly more accurate representations than, say, They Died with their Boots On , the Custer saga starring Errol Flynn, where all of the false stereotypes about the battle and the 7th Cavalry are perpetuated.

LEJ


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: LEJ
Date: 16 Apr 99 - 03:25 PM

And speaking of old G A Custer, are there any traditional songs that tell of his death at The Little Bighorn? DT only brings up one (comical) reference...LEJ


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: Rich and Dee (inactive)
Date: 16 Apr 99 - 04:33 PM

Hi,

Speaking of history vs fiction, I can't recall the name of the main character in the Red Badge of Courage. I do believe, however, that Audie Murphy was a soldier in WWII, who, basically, went ballistic and killed a bunch of Germans in France during a tank battle. He later made a movie or two about his exploits and was a national hero for awhile.

Now, do I understand I was born a good 20 years after WWII ended, so if anyone has better details, I'd be happy to stand corrected.

By the way, what is the blasted name of the character in Red Badge? The name "Henry" is coming to my mind.

Regards,

Rich


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: LEJ
Date: 16 Apr 99 - 05:16 PM

Rich..believe you are right about "Henry" being the character's name. Audie Murphy portrayed the character in a 1950's version of Red Badge of Courage , and that was what I was referring to. Audie indeed won the Medal of Honor for his bravery, which gave irony to his role...LEJ


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Apr 99 - 12:28 AM

I was at a Powwow on the CT river a few years ago and heard Floyd "Red Crow" Westerman sing his song, "Custer Died for Your Sins". Can't remember the lyrics, but you can find the cassette at rainbowwalker.com, a fantastic site of Native American music. If you go there, be sure to read their words in the Timeline and check out the online radio stations. They are really great! My great,great grandma was Native. Over the years, I've realised a lot of my own spirituality has basically been Native American; it is said my heart is "red", but really I am a mix just like almost everyone else in America.

Our family has a cap and ball Union pistol which a Confederate ancestor got off of a dead Union captain. We also have a pass filled out for Mrs. Capt. Forsythe to pass unharmed through enemy lines. It had a line for deignation of what type moustache or beard the bearer had! We've also got a few pieces of Confederate paper money. some of our ancestors were on the Union side, too and I, too, am glad they won. The southern background did show up in our family, though. I had never heard it called the "war of the rebellion" until moving to New England!

katlaughin/katlaf


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: catspaw49
Date: 17 Apr 99 - 12:45 AM

Audie Murphy had a reasonably successful acting career after WWII, using his book turned to movie,"To Hell and Back" as his first role, playing himself. He won the Medal of Honor as Leej said, but was also the MOST decorated soldier in US history. He enlisted under age and always looked much younger than his years. He died in a plane crash in the sixties and is buried at Arlington where they could not fit all of his decorations on his stone marker.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: Penny
Date: 17 Apr 99 - 05:03 AM

There's a boy in my school who goes to be a drummer boy in American Civil War re-enactions. (Over here, that is.) His father takes part as an adult. Apparently, the attraction of doing battles from that war is that the costumes are cheaper, and easier to acquire than those needed for our Civil War, or medieval re-enactions. The lad knows a great deal about the technicalities of battles, though I'm not sure how much he knows of the background. However, since I went to see a re-enaction of Hastings, I've had very uneasy feelings about the activity. About half way through the event I realised that the point of it was not to understand the strategy and tactics, or the weaponry and armour, or indeed the political implications of the battle, but to have a fun day out and raise money for English Heritage. And this was on the actual battlefield, on which the Normans left the bodies of the Saxons they had killed unburied, and where the chroniclers record that skulls were turning up through the soil for a long time after. It suddenly felt very ghoulish. Naturally, those who re-enact the American Civil War over here don't have this problem.


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: Pete M
Date: 18 Apr 99 - 04:54 PM

HI LEJ, I agree entirely that it would be very difficult to portray small group tactical manouvere, and if you tried it would not mean a lot to a viewer. That was what I was trying to say. I think that the contrast you note in your examples: "Gettysburg" and "The thin red line" are good examples of what I was getting at. The film maker had a particular point of view which they wanted the viewer to take away, and to achieve this they used artistically valid "distrortions" of actuality. That is quite natural and I would argue ethical, because it is clearly takes place in an artistic context and tradition where it is accepted that this is necessary and beneficial. What would be unethical would be to present the result as an accurate re-creation of battlefield conditions as experienced by a participant.

The reason I raised this issue was because of Banjers comment that "...The fact that something was not present during the historical period that a movie represents, but is shown anyway in historical context makes one wonder how accurate the rest of the movie is...". Given Banjers interests I can understand his concern for accuracy, but that is not the point of the film, if using an anachronistic tune sets the scene better than a contemporary one it is valid in the film's context. As a simple test, probably 80% of the films audience outside the US had no idea of Gettysburg place in the US civil war. Would the film have been any less successful in its artistic intent if it had shown the Confederates as victorious? Personally I don't think so. However I also think that those 80% would have gone away believing that the South had won, and it is the lack of critical analysis and willingness to apply an appropriate intellectual framework to differentiate between an artistic viewpoint and an historical one that concerns me, and I think diminishes both art and history.

Pete M


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: Pete Peterson
Date: 19 Apr 99 - 10:03 AM

Can't resist a literal answer to Catspaw's problem "why is it the more I know the more ignorant I feel?" (paraphrased) Consider "knowledge space" which is a sphere filled with all the things you know; its volume is of course 4/3 pi r cubed, and its surface area is 4 pi r squared. . and think of the "interface" between what you know and what you don't know is that surface. Now you learn something, or a bunch of things. The sphere gets bigger. AND SO DOES THE SURFACE. So the more you know, the more you realize you DONT know, and the more fun you can have. I think I stole this from Freeman Dyson. PETE


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Apr 99 - 10:13 AM

If you did Pete, you got it from a good man. He shared an office at one point with Richard Feynman and the stories of their imaginative arguments/discussions/jokes are legendary. Can you imagine the collective brain power in that small space?

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: katlaughing
Date: 19 Apr 99 - 02:01 PM

But, Pete, can a sphere be "squared"?:-> Images of fitting a suare peg in a round hole, ya know? Just joking, very good point and example. Thanks, Kat


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: Pete Peterson
Date: 19 Apr 99 - 03:30 PM

I never understood the business about the square peg not fitting in the round hole. It does, it just doesn't FILL the round hole. That's a different problem. so, Catspaw, you and I seem to have MANY things in common; love of music, of the Civil War, and common interest in Feynman and Dyson! (who I don't think were ever sharing an office; Feynman was at Cornell & Dyson was already at Inst for Advanced Study) this is getting serious. Getting back to original subject of thread and Banjer's comment, it did not spoil as good a movie as Gettysburg to see Longstreet w two different length beards, or to see R.E. Lee looking not at all like his pictures-- I just sat back and enjoyed it. OTOH I think it's a lot more authentic to play Carter Family songs using a thumbpick not a flatpick, to play very uncomplicated autoharp parts, and to Never Never play the II chord even when it sounds like it belongs. (I guess I am practicing my speech for the Carter Family workshop I'm going to give this weekend at Neffa) Am I gonna meet any Mudcatters there?


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: katlaughing
Date: 19 Apr 99 - 06:42 PM

Maybe fitting squares into holes is more in the realm of male experience? Beat cha to it, 'Spaw!:-> kat


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: Reiver #2 (inactive)
Date: 04 May 99 - 08:23 PM

This has been a fascinating thread to an old Civil War buff like me, even though the original question seems to have disappeared long ago. Getting back to that: I'll have to get out my video tape of the Gettysberg movie and see if I recognize the fiddle tune. If it, indeed, is "Kathleen Mavourneen", I'm wondering about it's "authenticity" during the Civil War. Does anyone know where that song comes from and when it was written? I've always had the impression that it was one of those many "Irish" songs that were actually written by non-Irish persons for the American music hall public -- but if I'm wrong, please let me know. I have an old copy of "The Golden Book of Favorite Songs" that has the song with words attributed to Mrs. Julia Crawford, and music to Frederick N. Crouch. Neither name is familiar to me, but reinforces my feeling that it is a fairly modern "composed" song and not a true Irish folk song. I can find no date and wonder if it dates back to Civil War days.

As to the inquiry about Picacho Peak, as an Arizonan (for the past ten years) I am familiar with it. Briefly, in 1862 the Confederates tried to take control of New Mexico and Arizona and had thoughts of invading California. A Confederate force under Gen. H. H. Sibley marched up the Rio Grande from El Paso, won a victory of sorts at Valverde near Ft. Craig, moved on north and were finally stopped by a Union force moving down the Santa Fe Trail from Colorado at the battle of Glorieta Pass, not far from Santa Fe. Alvin Josephy in his book "The Civil War in the American West" refers to this battle as "the Gettysburg of the West" (which may be stretching things a little, but it was an important an interesting battle). Sibley's force then retreated back to El Paso.

Meanwhile a Union force under Colonel James Carleton marched east from California. Carleton, from Ft. Yuma, on the Colorado River, sent out a force of 272 men under Captain William Calloway to take Tucson. Some of Calloway's men commanded by Lieutenant James Barrett had a "brisk encounter with a small body of Hunter's Confederates among the saguaros and mesquite trees at Pichacho Peak, a fingerlike rock spire north of Tucson." Barrett was killed and Calloway withdrew until joined by Carleton's main force, which then advanced on Tucson. Hunter, outnumbered, withdrew his troops back to El Paso, and Carleton's army went on to occupy an abandoned (by the Confederates) Tucson. This ended the Confederate thoughts of invading California, and left the Union in control of New Mexico and Arizona for the remainder of the war. A "turning point" in the tide of war in the far west -- hence the "Gettysburg of the West" appelation, I guess.

R#2


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: MarkD
Date: 04 May 99 - 09:30 PM

Mudcatters:

Just to make sure the record is set straight, "Ashokan Farewell" does not appear anywhere in the movie Gettysburg. I disagree with the notion that the use of a modern tune in an historical film is appropriate to set a proper tone - especially in a Civil war film. There are gazillions of period tunes that can be found for any occassion or sentiment. I, too, will have to pull out the video and listen for the fiddle tune. "Kathleen Mavourneen" is sung in the movie - prompting the conversation between Longstreet (I think, or maybe Garnet) and Armistead "That boy can sure sing" - allowing Armistead to describe his freindship with Hancock - they sang that song on the last night they were together as U.S. Army officers in California before they all went East or South as the case may be- "It may be for years or it may be forever" (At least that's the vehicle that Michael Shaara uses in the novel to flesh out this relationship and it is carried through in the movie).

I would love to hear from any other Civil War reenactors out there. I am with a New England Irish Brigade Unit and would really like to link up with others sharing the period Irish (as well as American) music interests.

Your obedient servant, Mark D


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: Greg Baker
Date: 05 May 99 - 05:58 PM

The Irish Brigade fife and drums, of course, played "the Minstrel Boy" in the movie.

Speaking of historical accuracy in war movies - I just saw an Indian movie, "Border", dealing with a battle in the Rajasthan desert in the 1971. Though purported to be true, it was pretty clear the battlefield was scored for cinema rather than for historical accuracy... I could have taken either the Pakistani or Indian commanders with a company of Brownie Scouts armed with cookies.

Greg Baker Filker, folker, former 1st Lt, US


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: LEJ
Date: 05 May 99 - 08:32 PM

Has anyone seen the late 70's film "Ulzana's Raid" with Burt Lancaster? About a renegade Apache chief who decides to flee the reservation with his braves, it strikes me as the least romanticized version of the Indian Wars that was ever made.In general, Westerns that depict this fighting portray the whites as honest, salt-of-the-earth types against the murdering savages (pre-1966) or honest, salt-of-the-earth Native-Americans against the murdering white men (1966-today).

LEJ


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: Ole Bull
Date: 06 May 99 - 01:12 PM

Kathleen Mavourneen was indeed published prior to th War Between the States. I do recall the tenor's rendition in the movie. I also recall a short bit with Joe Ayers performing a tune- what one I don't recall. I was on the set myself where we spent some time together. My pards and I have reenacted CW for 20 years or so. At some point we recognized that Bluegrass and Old Time was not at all appropriate for the hobby and began avidly researching and then performing in a truely period fashion. This has lead to fasinating insight to the much maligned topic of Blackface Minstrelsy- the fusion that was America's first indiginous musical form (sorry, it wasn't Jazz) and which spawned Old Time & Bluegrass, much of AmerFolk, tapdance and Vaudeville, and maybe even TV sitcoms! You can check us out at http://www.monumental.com/sanfords/serenade.html


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: Pete Peterson
Date: 07 May 99 - 12:42 PM

Wondering if Ole Bull (related to the violinst of the same name?) has discovered Harry C. Browne, whose songs I never get to sing in public? we are a far ways away from the orig topic of this thread but i invite Mr. Bull to email me directly at ppeterson@lonza-us.com & I hope to check out the minstrel site he mentions.


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Subject: RE: Gettysberg
From: Mark D
Date: 07 May 99 - 09:37 PM

Unless I am mistaken, the lyrics to Kathleen mavourneen were written by a man who later enlisted in the Richmond Howitzers.


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