The good folks at the History Channel contacted me today about a new documentary on Gettysburg that will air on Monday, May 30 at 9 PM. The documentary was produced by Ridley and Tony Scott, a couple of big Hollywood names.
It figures that the 150th anniversary of the Civil War would garner some big name attention and I applaud the Scott brothers for their work. (I know I will be tuning in on the 30th.) On the other hand, I would like to see some major attention paid to many of the other Civil War battles. Gettysburg has indeed worked its way into our national story to almost mythic proportions. Unfortunately, this comes at the expense of many other lesser known battles. So while I will indeed be watching, and if you are interested I encourage you to watch as well, I hope you will use this as a stepping stone to learn more about the war. If you think that Chamberlain’s defense of Little Round Top is heroic, discover the stand that George Thomas rallied saving the Union army at the Battle of Chickamauga. Pickett’s Charge has gone down in memory as a gallant effort, but let’s not forget the Union advance up Missionary Ridge during the Battle of Chattanooga. Or the Union attack on Lookout Mountain at the same battle. Forgotten too is the Battle of Stones River fought largely over New Years Eve in 1862. There are plenty of other battles that deserve to have their stories told so in the wake of the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, let us remember them as well.
Gettysburg is a 2-hour HISTORY special that kicks off a week of History programming commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
Executive produced by Ridley and Tony Scott, this special strips away the romanticized veneer of the Civil War. It presents the pivotal battle of Gettysburg in a new light: as a visceral, terrifying and deeply personal experience, fought by men with everything on the line. Compelling CGI and powerful action footage place viewers in the midst of the fighting, delivering both an emotional cinematic experience and an information packed look at the turning points, strategic decisions, technology and little known
facts surrounding the greatest engagement ever fought on American soil.
The special begins in the high stakes summer of 1863, as the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia crosses into Pennsylvania. Trailed by the Union’s Army of the Potomac, Lee’s 75,000 strong army heads towards Harrisburg, converging instead near a quiet farm town, Gettysburg. Known then only as a crossroads where ten roads running in all directions converge
like a wagon wheel, this small town would become site of an epic battle between North and South. For three days, each side fought there for their vision of what America should be.
In collaboration with highly esteemed Civil War historians, HISTORY combed through hundreds of individual accounts of the battle to find the unique voices of struggle, defeat and triumph that tell the larger story of a bitterly conflicted nation.