I received this from a buddy I reenact with a few months ago. I thinks its says a lot about Civil War memory. Its says a lot about where Civil War reenacting is going. It explains why Civil War reenacting might be dying out in the next few years. I think it says a lot about what’s wrong with capitalism and the way it’s used in this country.
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This group is what you call a hardcore campaigner group that I have reenacted with in the past. They work hand and hand with the Shenandoah battlefield foundation to put on living histories to raise money to save the battlefield there. Civil War reenacting breaks down into two camps Main Stream (farbs) and Campaigners. There are four types of reenactments Main Stream Battle Reenactments, Living Histories, Campaigner Reenactments, and the rare Immersion Reenactments. This group does living histories and Campaigner Reenactments.
Dixie Stampede may not fit in with the topic of the week. If you are not familiar with this chain of restaurant, Dixie Stampede is a Civil War themed restaurant similar to Medieval Times. The restaurant offers you dinner and a show in the form of a Civil War experience. You choose which side you would like to sit on Confederate or Yankee and are waited on by people in costume. The pig attraction is the horse and wagon races. The restaurant chain was created and owned by Dolly Parton. They are at three location across the South.
Gods and Generals is prequel to the movie Gettysburg, both directed by Ron Maxwell, that depicts the first two years of the Civil War. The story mainly centers on Stonewall Jackson, but also includes other military commanders such as Robert E Lee, Jeb. Stuart, John Hancock, Joshua L Chamberlin, Isaac Tremble and others. The film also includes a number of civilian characters which differs from Gettysburg. The movie begins with Robert E. Lee being offered the command of the Union forces around Washington, and then follows the military events that occurred during the early years of the war including the Battles of Manassas, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and ends with the death of Stonewall Jackson.
After participating in our class and then watching the movie, it seems to me that Gods and Generals is what happens when Lost Causers make a movie on the Civil War. The movie reflects a readjusted view of the Civil War that differs from the socially accepted version. It is not that the movie has inaccurate information, but it is the information that the movie leaves out that has had many critics denounce it. The movie focuses mainly on the Southern view of the war. The movie almost completely ignores that issue of slavery, and the one slave that is depicted shows affection and sympathy for her masters. Most of the information and attitudes of the Confederate commanders are accurate, but only a professional Civil War historian would understand that the only way that the general public could know that is by watching the commentary on the DVD. To the average person watching the movie, it seems like Lost Causer propaganda.
In terms of Civil War memory, Gods and Generals is a reaction to the standard acceptable version of the Civil War. The movie empathizes with the Southern view of the war. It does this through Jackson’s and Lee’s motivation for fighting for the South. It does acknowledge the Northern motivation for fighting the war, but that perspective is buried in the movie while the Southern point of view is dominant. The movie attempts to add new information that is not well known to the public, but ignores generally accepted views. The movie was made for Civil War buffs and may be too accurate. The movie tries to change the general public’s attitude about the war by explaining that the North lost many of the early battles. The movie also reflects traditional 19-century values that are incompatible with today’s social norms. Many of the characters in the movie are depicted praying and using religious references that may make today’s audience uncomfortable. The movie portrays a standard romantic image of the Civil War that glorifies the generals and combat of the era. The romantic image is a contrast from other war movies that were made around the same time. The movie Gods and Generals is just another example of the fact that Americans can not agree on how the Civil War should be remembered.
For those not familiar with this story Jennie Wade is one of the big legends surrounding the Gettysburg battlefield. She is famous for being the only civilian killed during the battle. Her house or sister’s house still survives today and is a popular tourist attraction. I have been in it is nice. After reading our book I wander how much of her story is myth and how much fact. I now that a lot of civilians died after the battle from the illness of all the dead bodies.
My resource this week is a website dedicated to historical markers. It may have been used before but I am using it on a specific statue. This ties into what we talked about on Tuesday and goes with my research topic. The marker is a statue dedicated to James Longstreet. It is the only statue of James Longstreet that I know of and was not erected until 1998. The fact that statue is not on a large platform like over monuments is interesting I think it because people see Longstreet as a down to earth figure in the Civil War. Is also important to note that Longstreet perception has changed over time in a more positive light.
The first lines from the websites page sums up what this websites about. This goes with how the flag is used today.
We’re Great War of the Confederacy and we have the best deals & largest selection of Everything Confederate and
“We ain’t jest a-Whistlin’ Dixie!”
Compare our Prices to what them Yankee Stores charge and we’re sure you’ll agree…
“We got them Yankees Beat!”)
www.youtube.com Drunk History Vol. 5 Featuring Will Ferrell, Don Cheadle, and Zooey Deschanel.
When we talked about in class somebody suggested that I use this as my resource for this week. You should watch it is very funny. All kidding aside I think that Don Cheadle would make an excellent Fredrick Douglas in a serous movie. Enjoy
This website talks about the 1913 reunion at the Gettysburg battlefield. What I like about the page is the pictures that it displays. I like the bottom picture of Devil’s Den the most. I have never seen that picture before. I looks like some of the old soldiers my have written their names on the rocks. It also cool that the Colonel of the 2nd Rhode Island is still alive at the time and is in the picture.
I thought about this website when we were talking about the capitalization of the Civil War. This company makes T shirts with the Confederate flag as their logo. They have an entire line devoted to southern heritage. This is not just making money of the Civil War they have also found a way to make money on the lost cause. This the lost cause through T shirts.