Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New Gettysburg movie on the History Channel

Remember the movie The Horse Soldiers with John Wayne?  I watched it again last night, it remains a favorite.  The dialogue is clever and the history is oddly familiar if not quite accurate.  Nonetheless, as a kid, it sparked my imagination, made me a lifetime learner on the Civil War, and that is the really noble purpose of such pieces of entertainment.

Enter Gettysburg on the History Channel this Memorial Day weekend.  If the insignia on the Hardee hat is any indication there should be plenty of grist here to keep the mills of the blogosphere running.  Go to the link, see what you think, then spill some ink.  I'll be interested in the variety of reviews that come in.

Here's the hunting horn insignia of the infantry as worn on the regulation Hardee Hat:

Here's the crossed rifles insignia from the History Channel film Gettysburg:

(click on it to examine closely)

And here's that same, exact insignia as found on the six dollar kid kepis from China:

Perhaps this is one of the consequences of having Larry the cable guy help make history one day at a time.

As for me, I'll be thinking of all the nine-year-olds who may be avidly watching it, warts and all, with unjaundiced eyes, who will be the historians, avid tourists, and park rangers of tomorrow.

Here's hoping.



Anonymous said...

Mannie you may be right. All of us who have learned so much about the Civil War pick movies apart for the things that are wrong.
I saw the Horse Soldiers as a 14 year old with my friends. We loved it . We didn't know anything about Grierson and his raid. It was a good movie. Of course now I can see all the "mistakes" Oh well. Same with my favorite which has lead to a lifetime interest in Andrew Raiders, the old Disney movie
Great Locomotive Chase.
Susan Sweet

J David Petruzzi said...


I too posted about this show on my blog - in addition to the crossed rifles (not used by the Army until 1875), soldiers are seen marching in column with their muskets on FULL cock (gee, that's not dangerous and against regs), and the rebs are carrying the 1864 pattern 2nd Confederate rectangular battle flag over the wall in Pickett's Charge. Sigh. I'm sure the dramatics will be breathtaking, but the critics are gonna skewer this production...


Anonymous said...

What is really sad is I just read on another site a posters comment that they were reenactors from the Southern California community. I have attended many reneactments here in Southern California . Usually the guys are really concerned about getting it right. Can't believe they would wear or carry etc some of the things we have seen in the trailer. Would love to know which reenactors they were and where in So Cal they were from.

Anonymous said...

It always seems odd how hard a time the film industry generally has with authenticity. Oh well..

Thanks for the great blog Mannie. I've enjoyed following it very much from out here in Seattle.

JC Hile
14th Brooklyn
69th NYSM
7th SC