[the family is saying grace]
Charlie Anderson: Lord, we cleared this land. We plowed it, sowed it, and harvest it. We cook the harvest. It wouldn't be here and we wouldn't be eating it if we hadn't done it all ourselves. We worked dog-bone hard for every crumb and morsel, but we thank you Lord just the same for the food we're about to eat, amen.
Charlie Anderson: Do you like her?
Lt. Sam: Well, I just said I...
Charlie Anderson: No, no. You just said you loved her. There's some difference between lovin' and likin'. When I married Jennie's mother, I-I didn't love her - I liked her... I liked her a lot. I liked Martha for at least three years after we were married and then one day it just dawned on me I loved her. I still do... still do. You see, Sam, when you love a woman without likin' her, the night can be long and cold, and contempt comes up with the sun.
[at the site of his wife's grave]
Charlie Anderson: I don't even know what to say to you any more, Martha. There's not much I can tell you about this war. It's like all wars, I guess. The undertakers are winning. And the politicians who talk about the glory of it. And the old men who talk about the need of it. And the soldiers, well, they just wanna go home. I guess you're not so lonely any more, with Ann and James and Jacob. And maybe the boy. You didn't know Ann, did you? Well, you'd like her. You'd like her, Martha. Why, she and James are so much alike, they're just like... no... no... we were never that much alike, were we Martha? We just sorta grew alike through the years. But I wish, I wish I could just know what you're thinking about it all, Martha. And maybe it wouldn't seem so bad to me if I knew what you thought about it.
[He notices the church bells are ringing]
Charlie Anderson: You never give up, do you?
Charlie Anderson: Jacob, you look like you got somthin' on your mind. Go ahead, say what you think.
Jacob Anderson: We've been through it all before.
Charlie Anderson: Now now, don't pat around with me. You were raised to say what you think. You were all raised to say what you think. If there's anything I can't stand, it's a lot of noisy silence. Now, come on, let's have some talkin' here.
[Jacob stands up]
Charlie Anderson: Well, if you're going to make a speech, I'm sorry I said it.
Charlie Anderson: I was talking to Henry.
Henry Anderson: Sir?
Charlie Anderson: Well, what do you think?
Henry Anderson: Well, no sir, I wouldn't.
Charlie Anderson: Why not?
Henry Anderson: I don't see any reason to fight for something I don't believe is right and I don't think a real friend would ask me to.
Charlie Anderson: Can you give me one good reason why I should let my sons march down that road like a bunch of damn fools?
Lt. Johnson: Virginia needs all her sons, Mr. Anderson.
Charlie Anderson: They don't belong to the state they belong to ME! When they were babies I never saw the state comin' around here with a spare tit!
Charlie Anderson: I wanna say somethin'. I've known since the train that we weren't liable to find him. It was just a hair of a chance that we got Sam back. I knew that. Maybe I knew even before we left home, but somehow I just had to try! And if we don't try, we don't do. And if we don't do, why are we here on this earth?
Train Engineer: You can't do that! You can't burn my train!
Charlie Anderson: Maybe not, but you gotta give me credit for tryin'!
Train Engineer: But why? Why?
Charlie Anderson: It's not the kind of train I favor.
[during a battle]
Carter: I never seen nobody get so peevish over a cow before
Lt. Johnson: When are you going to take this war seriously, Anderson?
Charlie Anderson: Now let me tell you something, Johnson, before you get on my wrong side. My corn I take seriously, because it's mine. And my potatoes and tomatoes and my fence I take note of because they're mine. But this war is not mine and I don't take note of it.
Jacob Anderson: I know how you feel about this war, Pa. I guess we more or less feel the same way, but I don't see how we can sit by and ignore it anymore. Now you say it's not our business, not our fight, but we're Virginians and I believe that anything that concerns Virginia concerns us.
Charlie Anderson: John...
John Anderson: Sir?
Charlie Anderson: What are you going to do? You gonna keep your slaves or let them go free?
John Anderson: You know I don't have any slaves, Pa.
Charlie Anderson: That's right, John, you don't have a slave to your name, do you.
Charlie Anderson: Suppose you had a friend that owned slaves and suppose somebody was going to come and take them away from him. Would you help him - fight to help him keep them?
Nathan Anderson: No sir!
Charlie Anderson: Your name's Nathan, isn't it?
Nathan Anderson: You know my name, Pa.
Charlie Anderson: I seem to remember something about...
Charlie Anderson: Why we have this same conversation every Saturday before Sunday meeting, I'll never know, but I'm going to pray to the Almighty that this will be the end of it.
[pouring whiskey to celebrate the birth of his granddaughter]
Charlie Anderson: How old are you now, Boy?
Boy Anderson: Eighteen, sir.
Charlie Anderson: That means you'll be twenty in four years. Eighteen to you, sixteen to me.
Boy Anderson: Just a little bit, sir. I've never tasted it.
Charlie Anderson: Well, that's no good reason at all. I've known men who've been drinkin' hard and steady all their lives that have never tasted it, either.
Capt. Richards: If your son is among these prisoners, you're too late. There's a war going on, Mr. Anderson. Sergeant!
Union sergeant: Sir?
Capt. Richards: Lock 'em up.
Union sergeant: Alright, lock 'em up!
Capt. Richards: [to Anderson] We have schedules to keep.
[in order to rescue Boy, the Andersons have captured the Union POW train]
Capt. Richards: You're the man who's looking for his son.
Charlie Anderson: And you're the man with schedules to keep.
[Sam has ordered his men to go home]
Lt. Sam: I had no right to tell him that, but these men can't go through another fight. We knew before we went into the last one we couldn't win.
Charlie Anderson: Then why'd you do it, Sam?
Lt. Sam: Easier than runnin', I gues.
Carter: You can have your chance tonight, if you want to take it.
Boy Anderson: Chance for what?
Carter: To run. They don't waste men on prisoner duty and they're usually the worst of the lot. They plan on herdin' us onto that sternwheeler and some of us don't fancy no sightseein' tour up North. When they open that gate tonight, you stay as close to me as a flea on a hound dog. Somethin' else. Once we get goin', you're on your own. I gotta forget you ain't nothin' but a lap baby.
Lt. Johnson: Mr. Anderson, if you can sit in the middle of this war and not get touched, I congratulate you.
Mrs. Ann Anderson: Here's something else you must remember: husbands like to be alone once in awhile.
Jennie Anderson: Why?
Mrs. Ann Anderson: You never know why, but I can always tell when James wants to be alone. A mood comes over him. I can always see it in his eyes before it gets there. I don't know where the mood comes from or why, but that's when I leave him alone. It seems sometimes things get so fickle in a man that he comes to feel that everything is closing in on him - and that's when he wants to be left alone. You understand, don't you?
Jennie Anderson: No!
Charlie Anderson: That fella, Tinkham - he's the only man I know that started at the bottom and went down in the world. He'd steal horses for nothing and now he gets paid for it.
Charlie Anderson: It's no easy job, Sam, to take care of a woman.
Lt. Sam: No, sir.
Charlie Anderson: They expect things they never ask for. And when they don't get them, they ask you why. Sometimes they don't ask... and just go ahead and punish you for not doing something you didn't know you were supposed to do in the first place.
Jacob Anderson: They come closer every day, Pa.
Charlie Anderson: They on our land?
Jacob Anderson: No, sir.
Charlie Anderson: Then it doesn't concern us... does it?
[Boy Anderson is wearing a confederate cap]
Charlie Anderson: Where'd you get the hat, boy?
Boy Anderson: Down by the creek, sir.
Charlie Anderson: Some fella down there handing out hats?
Charlie Anderson: What about you, James? You ever think you might like to own a slave?
James Anderson: Well, I guess I never thought about it, Pa.
Charlie Anderson: Well, think about it! Think about it! If you had money would you go out and buy a slave?
James Anderson: No sir, I wouldn't.
Charlie Anderson: Why not?
James Anderson: Well, if I can't do my own work with my own hands it'd never get done.
[at the site of Charlie's wife's grave]
Jennie Anderson: You still miss her, don't you?
Charlie Anderson: Jennie, you don't know how I feel. Even after all these years, 16 years gone, 16 years. And even so, I somehow feel that she's not really dead but just resting. And it's as though I'm expecting her to get up and walk home with me.
Pastor Bjoerling: There are no doubt some present, Charlie Anderson, who wonder why you and yours are never on time for the Lord's services.
Charlie Anderson: Have I kept the Lord waiting, Pastor Bjoerling?
Pastor Bjoerling: You have not.
Boy Anderson: What'd I do?
Charlie Anderson: It's what you haven't done, boy. A man who eats with his hat on is going nowhere in a hurry. Now, your mother wanted you all raised as good Christians, and I may not be able to do that thorny job as well as she could, but I can do something about your manners.
Lt. Sam: I'd be eternally grateful if you'd permit me to call upon you this evening.
Jennie Anderson: Eternally is a long time, Sam.
Lt. Sam: Not when one carries a memory of you, Miss Jennie.
Pastor Bjoerling: Charlie Anderson, I wonder if you'd be good enough to tell me why you even bother coming to services. Meaning no disrespect, of course.
Charlie Anderson: It was my wife's last request, Pastor Bjoerling. Meaning no disrespect, of course.
Charlie Anderson: I'm glad you're here, Johnson. I've been meaning to have a word with your people about those cannons of yours. The chickens have stopped laying, the cows have dried up. Who do I send the bill to?
Charlie Anderson: [to the engineer, explaining the decision to burn the prison bound train] You run a sad kind of a train, mister. You take people away when they don't want to go and won't bring them back when they're ready.
Charlie Anderson: [a young Confederate picket has just shot one of Anderson's sons] Dead. Dead! How old are you? How old?
Young Picket on Road: Sixteen.
Charlie Anderson: [In a rage, but restraining himself] Six - Sixteen. I'm not gonna' kill you. I want you to live! I want you to live to be an old man. And I want you to have many... many, many children. And I want you to feel about your children then... the way I feel about mine now! And someday, when a man comes along and kills one of 'em, I want you to remember! I want you to remember.
Charlie Anderson: These are my sons. They don't belong to the state. When they were babies, I never saw the state coming around with a spare teat. We never asked anything of the state and never expected anything.
Lt. Sam: I don't know what to say. I mean... Well, I know what to say, I just don't know how.
Jennie Anderson: It must be all very complicated, then.
Lt. Sam: No, it's, uh, just all memorized. Everything I wanted to say I've said a dozen times before I got here. I said it to my horse and it sounded good. I said it again to the trees ans it sounded better. I said it to the moon and it sounded perfect.
Jennie Anderson: The moon can't hear you, Sam. He smiles and smiles, but he never hears. I do.
Capt. Richards: Is that a Confederate cow or a Union cow?
Lt. Johnson: That must be a Union cow, sir.
Capt. Richards: Union cow's tasty?
Lt. Johnson: Quite tasty, sir.
Capt. Richards: Then take her prisoner...
Jennie Anderson: It's late Gabriel won't Mr. Abernathy be looking for you?
Gabriel: He gone Missy, gone to Richmond left the Field boss in charge.
Jennie Anderson: Well won't he be wondering where you are?
Gabriel: Old Jethro don't care nothing about me! When my Momma died he even took our cabin. I don't have to go back do I Missy? Man said I'm free! Don't that mean I don't got to go back?
Jennie Anderson: Well if the man said your free Gabriel I guess that means you can go any where in the world you want to go!
Gabriel: You mean I just walk on down that rode and keep on walking?
Jennie Anderson: You can run if you like Gabriel!
Gabriel: Goodbye Missy.