An examination of the Battle of Gettysberg on both the personal and strategic level.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Himself - Narrator (voice)
George Wunderlich ...
Himself - Executive Director, Museum of Civil War Medicine
Peter Carmichael ...
Himself - Director, Civil War Institute (as Dr. Peter Carmichael)
Garry E. Adelman ...
Himself - Historian, Civil War Trust (as Garry Adelman)
Steven Knott ...
Himself - Instructor, U.S. Army War College (as Captain Steven Knott)
Edward L. Ayers ...
Himself - Author, The Crucible of the Civil War (as Dr. Edward Ayers)
Hari Jones ...
Himself - Curator, African American Civil War Museum
James M. McPherson ...
Himself - Author, Battle Cry of Freedom (as James McPherson)
...
Himself - 19th Century Weaponry Expert
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Cal de Beer ...
Doctor Wilson
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An examination of the Battle of Gettysberg on both the personal and strategic level.

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30 May 2011 (USA)  »

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Referenced in Killing Lincoln: Behind the Scenes (2013) See more »

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Come for the inaccurate uniforms, stay for the inaccurate everything else
9 March 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This "documentary"'s only positive quality might be as a comedy. But then, it's hard to laugh when you can barely stand the shaky cameras, the overtly jarring editing and supreme close-ups that would make even Stanley Kubrick cry out "enough!"

Bad cinematography aside, there's the acting. Apparently all men from the 1860's were jittery, ugly, and maniacal. Yes, War is Hell, and it makes demons out of normal people, but the people in this program are caricatures. This may have something to do with the fact that they hired a cast of Europeans, who do not speak a lick. They only grunt, yell, carry on, and generally make fools of themselves.

It's puzzling why the producers cast their gaze to Europe for reenactors. Apparently they didn't get the memo that the last Civil War movie was a dud, and that American Civil War reenactors are just dying to help someone get it right. For FREE. Movie producers have a ready-made cast of extras, who only want the privilege of portraying Civil War soldiers ACCURATELY.

And this documentary is horrendously inaccurate, not only in the minutiae of what the soldiers were wearing or what they looked like (Monty Python's rule about high-ranking people not having crap smeared all over them does not seem to apply here), but also in more important ways. Such as how cannons operate, or when the Federals reinforced the Round Tops, or who was making the decisions about the Federal left flank.

There is growing research about "negative knowledge." This is the idea that what some people say can actually DETRACT from the sum of knowledge in the world. This program fits that theory. It can only misinform, and one would do well to ignore this unqualified disaster.


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