Gods And Generals Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the Gods And Generals script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the prequel to the civil war movie Gettysburg.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of Gods And Generals. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and I'll be eternally tweaking it, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. You won't hurt my feelings. Honest.

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Gods And Generals Script



Welcome, Colonel Lee.

Welcome to my home.



Make yourself comfortable

there, colonel.



Allow me to get to the point, sir.



I have been authorized by

President Lincoln himself...



...with the full blessing

of the War Department...



...to offer you full command of the Army

with the rank of major general.



This Army being raised to quell this

rebellion and to preserve the Union.



I assume this Army is to be used

to invade those areas...



...to eliminate the rebellion by force.



Yes, sir, the Federal government

has been challenged by these rebels...



...who have been most effective

in changing...



...the sentiments

of state legislatures...



...challenging our Constitution and

challenging our central government.



The attack on Fort Sumter

cannot be ignored.



General, my home is right there

across the Potomac.



Why, you can see Arlington House

from your front door.



My family is spread all

over this part of Virginia.



If you invade the South, your enemy

territory will be right across that river.



Well, sir, there is no great outcry

for secession in Virginia.



It's not a foregone conclusion that

Virginia or Tennessee or Arkansas...



...or Kentucky will join the rebellion.



My friend, may I humbly submit that

you're mistaken about Virginia.



As you know, the legislature is

convening in Richmond this very day...



...to discuss the very

issue of secession.



Now, perhaps you know their mind

better than they themselves.



And I regret to say the president's

hasty calling up of       volunteers...



...to subdue the rebellion

in the cotton states...



...has done nothing to ameliorate

the crisis. It has only deepened it.



I trust you're not being

too hasty yourself, colonel.



This is a great opportunity

for you to serve your country.



My country, Mr. Blair?



I never thought I'd see the day

the president of the United States...



...would raise an army

to invade his own country.



No, Mr. Blair, I cannot lead it.

I will not lead it. No.



I'm sorry to hear you say that, sir.



I fear you're making

a most dreadful mistake.



Sir, please convey my deep sense of

honor and gratitude to the president...



...but I must decline his offer.



Please tell him.



Please be clear. I have

never taken my duties lightly...



...but I have no greater duty

than to my home, to Virginia.



Thank you, sir.



Gentlemen, if you are going

to succeed at this institution...



...you have one common goal:

To learn your lessons.



If you are placing

your energies elsewhere...



...you will not succeed either with me

or in your careers as military officers.



I had hoped you'd see that with a

proper grasp of the artillery principles...



...I've laid before you today,

you would learn to apply...



...these principles with great

effectiveness in your field experiences.



But since you seem unable

to grasp these principles...



...I'm forced to conclude I must repeat

this lesson tomorrow, word for word.



Word for word.



Major, listen to them. The leaders

of our intellectual future...



...screaming for the destruction

of our nation!



Sir, President Lincoln is raising

the troops.



I will not stay in a place where my

students dishonor their country's flag.



Major, I'm leaving

for Pennsylvania tomorrow.



War is the sum of all evils.



But if I know myself,

all I am and all I have...



...is at the service of my

home, my country.



Your country, Thomas?



Your country, my country. It's all one.



All one, Thomas. All one.



So that in the midst of the searching

of souls and the gnashing of teeth...



...the delegates of this convention...



...harried by the actions of a belligerent

usurper and the radicals of his party...



...have stumbled into secession.



Now God knows, I and many

in this room have resisted it.



But how could there be union

with a section of the country...



...that wants to impose

its will through coercion?



Now that Virginia confronts the armed

might of the United States...



...we Virginians have determined

that not one spot of her sacred soil...



...be polluted by the foot of an invader.



Now, in the memory of that great

Virginian, George Washington...



...who was first in the hearts

of his countrymen and calling also...



...upon the memory of his own gallant

father, General Light-Horse Harry Lee...



...this convention now calls upon

Robert Edward Lee to take command...



...of the armed forces of

the Citizen Army of Virginia.



Mr. President, gentlemen

of the convention...



...I'm profoundly impressed by the

solemnity of the occasion...



...for which I must say

I was not prepared.



I accept the position assigned me

by your partiality.



I would have much preferred had

your choice fallen on an abler man.



But trusting to Almighty God,

an approving conscience...



...and the aid of my fellow citizens...



...I devote myself to the service

of my native state...



...in whose behalf alone will I

ever again draw my sword.



We must not fear the final result of this

war, but many a loved one will fall...



...and many a heart throb

with anguish...



...before we can breathe the exhilarating

atmosphere of freedom...



...and feel the sweet assurance

of safety and peace once more.



There's nothing in this life more dear

to me than my children...



...except perhaps the memory

of your wonderful father.



When you go to Richmond,

and wherever this war takes you...



...you must not fear for us.

We will be with you wherever you go.



Surely goodness and mercy have

followed me all the days of my life.



Now be on your way,

and God be with you.



Y'all be coming on back, you hear?



We'll be back, Martha.



I won't forget to write you, sister.



I know there are a thousand brothers

leaving a thousand homes...



...and I know we're not

the only ones, Mother.



But I've never felt sadder in my life.



Good morning, major.

This just arrived for you.



Cadet Norris, return to the Institute.

My compliments to Colonel Smith.



I will be at his office

within the half-hour.






"You are ordered to report with the

corps of cadets to camp instruction...



...to begin training and organization

of the Provisional Army...



...for the defense of the

Commonwealth of Virginia."



My esposita.



Come, before I leave, we must sit...



...read together, the verse.






Yes, here. Corinthians...

Second Corinthians, chapter five.



I have been thinking about this verse.



"For we know that if our earthly house

of this Tabernacle were dissolved...



...we have a building of God.



A house not made with hands,

eternal in the heavens."



Oh, Almighty God...



...grant that if it be thy will...



...thou wilt still avert the threatening

danger and bring us peace.



Keep her whom I love in

thy protected care.



And bring us all at last to

the joy of thy eternal kingdom.



"The Lord is my life. My salvation.

Whom shall I fear?



The Lord is the strength in my life.

Of whom shall I be afraid?



When the wicked, even mine

enemies and my foes...



...came upon me to eat up my flesh,

they stumbled and fell.



Though unhost should encamp against

me, my heart shall not fear.



The wall should rise up against me.



In this will I be comforted."



Secession is inexcusable. Southerners

and Northerners can still work together.



Slavery will eventually die

of natural causes.



But the breakup of the Union

will inaugurate wars...



...of a hundred generations in America...



...only to repeat the bloody

history of Europe.



As a Christian man,

my first allegiance is to God.



Then to my state, the state of Virginia.



Every state has a primal claim

to the fealty of her citizens...



...and they justly control

their allegiance.



If Virginia adheres

to the United States, I adhere.



Her determination must control mine.

This is my understanding of patriotism.



And though I love the Union,

I love Virginia more.



Private Jenkins,

because of the high regard...



...with which I hold your father,

you are free to do as you please.



You may return to his new home

in Pennsylvania.



It is your decision.

But, if you decide to stay with us...



...you may never again leave. If you do,

you'll be treated as a deserter.



Colonel Jackson, sir. Father.



I am a soldier in the  th Virginia.



And in the  th Virginia I will stay.



And if needs be, die.



- Then I will take my leave.

- No, sir.



It is I who will leave the two of you to

have some time together on your own.



You may have this room as

long as you require it.



Thank you.



Farewell, colonel.



May we meet again in happier times.



And if not in this troubled world

may we meet in...



In heaven.



- Parade, rest!

- We're ready.



Men of the valley.



Citizen soldiers.



I am here at the order of General Robert

E. Lee, commanding all Virginia forces.



On April    of this year

of our Lord,     ...



...Simon Cameron, the secretary of war

of the United States...



...sent a telegram to our governor to

raise three regiments of infantry...



...to be sent to assist in suppressing

the Southern Confederacy.



Governor Letcher's answer is well

known to you, but perhaps not his words.



His wire to Washington stated:



"You have chosen to inaugurate civil war.



Having done so, we will meet you

in a spirit as determined...



...as the Lincoln administration

has exhibited toward the South."



Two days later the Virginia legislature

were voting for secession.



Just as we would not send any of our

soldiers to march in other states...



...and tyrannize other people...



...so will we never allow the armies

of others to march into our states...



...and tyrannize our people.



Like many of you, indeed most of you,

I've always been a Union man.



It is not with joy or with a light heart

that many have welcomed secession.



Had our neighbors to the North practiced

a less bellicose form of persuasion...



...this day might not have come.

But that day has been thrust upon us...



...like it was thrust upon our ancestors.



The Lincoln administration required

us to raise three regiments.



Tell them we have done so.






Attention, company!



- Good morning, sir.

- Reverend Pendleton.



- How goes it with the artillery today?

- You're just in time for a christening.



The men have decided

to name the howitzers:



Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.



I'm sure your men will spread the gospel

wherever they encounter the enemy.



Has my son proven a worthy adjutant?



I'm certain Captain Pendleton will prove

himself deserving of the family name.



Thrust! Develop! Die!



Captain White.



How fare the scholars

of Washington College?



Are they making their transition

from books to bullets?



A few more days of drill, and my boys

will surpass the cadets of VMI.



Drill, Professor White, drill and drill.

Remember Alexander in Anatolia.



Caesar in Gaul. Napoleon in Iberia.



We march by day,

and read Xenophon by night.



- We will be your Greek phalanx.

- Then you must begin with the bayonet.



The bayonet must be for a Virginian

what the sarissa was for a Macedonian.



If the Yankees dare set foot in Virginia,

we must show them the bayonet.



Train with the bayonet

and we shall keep our freedom.



Yes, sir.



Blue, gray, green, even red uniforms.

How we to know who the enemy is?



You dang fool, you just shoot

at the man that's shooting at you!



I thought we was gonna be trained.



I could of done this walking

on my own back in Staunton.



I never seen you walk in your life when

you didn't have to. Nor me, neither.



What man in his senses

would cross his street...



...when he could just be

sitting on his front porch?



I done more walking this week than in

my life and my daddy's life put together.



Who'll give us fresh shoes when these

are but tatters and old bits of laces?



You'll excuse me, gentlemen.



Lieutenant Colonel Stuart

reporting for duty.



Colonel Stuart.



- That's an impeccable hat, sir.

- Thank you, sir.



- Colonel Stuart. You use tobacco?

- No, sir. Not in any form.



Neither do I. I find I like it too much.



Sit down.



I understand from your record that

you are West Point, class of '  .



Served since in the cavalry,

Ft. Clark, Texas.



Operations against Apache,

Comanche. You are a native Virginian.



Fought with Longstreet and Ewell, sir.



Nasty business. Merciless climate.



Glad to be home, sir.



The Apache were defending their

homes, as we will be defending ours.



If we fight as well as the Apache,

I pity the Yankee invader.



Colonel Stuart, if I had my way we

would show no quarter to the enemy.



No more than the redskins showed your

troopers. The black flag, sir.



If the North triumphs, it is not alone

the destruction of our property.



It is the prelude to anarchy, infidelity...



...the loss of free

and responsible government.



It is the triumph of commerce.

The banks, factories.



We should meet the invader on

the verge of just defense...



...and raise the black flag. No quarter to

the violators of our homes and firesides.



Our political leadership is too timid to

face the reality of this coming war.



They should look to the Bible.

It is full of such wars.



Only the black flag will bring the North

to its senses and rapidly end the war.



Well, colonel.



One way or the other, the South

will give them a warm reception.



You'll be in charge of the cavalry

in the Harper's Ferry district.



Your experience and your zeal

will be invaluable.



Thank you, sir.



And, colonel...



...know that I will tell my men always

to gallop toward the enemy...



...but trot away.






The ratification vote for secession is in.



Reporting from all the counties of

Virginia, the vote is  -to-  in favor.



And I'm proud to report that the vote

in the Shenandoah Valley...



...is      in favor,    against!



In my own Rockbridge County, only one

person voted against leaving the Union.



It must have been the village idiot!



Soldiers! Commanding

General Johnston's orders:



"General Beauregard is being attacked

at Manassas Junction...



...by overwhelming forces."



We have been ordered to cross

the Blue Ridge to his assistance.



Every moment now is precious...



...and the general hopes his soldiers

will step out and keep closed ranks.



Well, this march is a forced march

to save our country.



You must get some rest, sir.



I'll rest easier when Pendleton and

the artillery make it up this mountain.



They'll make better time tomorrow, sir.

It'll all be downhill.



You'll trust me to wait for the guns, sir?



Dr. McGuire.



You're an excellent practitioner,

and I believe I will take your prescription.



No fires, no tents.

Just like I always dreamed it'd be.



You suppose the Virginia legislature was

gonna buy you your own personal tent?



That's fine for now.



You'll be humming a different tune when

it's raining, you're all covered in frost...



...or you need me to dig you

out of a snowdrift.



So damn dark the bats

run into each other.



Old Hickory's just getting us

fit for the fighting.



Old Hickory, Old Jack, Old Blue Light.



How many names you got

for the old man, anyway?



Them VMI boys come up

with the choice one.



They calls him "Tom Fool" when

he's looking the other way.



I'll be a fool if I listened

to you all livelong night.



Old Tom Fool. That name ought to

stick to him like a tick on a mule.



That's it! Step lively! Two at a time!



As quick as you can.

No dilly, no dally.



One foot forward, then the other.

Nothing pretty, nothing fancy.



Into the train. Do it lovely,

do it ugly, all the same to me.



- Colonel Jackson.

- Colonel Trimble.



- I understand you're a train man.

- Baltimore and Ohio.



Spent most of my life building lines,

and the past six months tearing them up.



No use in leaving them in fine

fettle with a meddling Yankee.



If you'll excuse me, sir.



Got to move these men where they'll

do the most damage to the enemy.



Now that's the finest dressed man

in the whole Confederate Army.



In you go! Up and over!



Through the brush and in the clover.



Crowd on in. Move it over.



Dear Lord:



This is your day.



And you have admonished us

to keep it holy.



If it is your will that we fight this day...



...then your will be done.



I ask your protection over Anna...



...your faithful servant, my loving wife.



I ask you to shine your face down

upon her, Lord, on her   th birthday...



...and fill her heart with the conviction

of how much she is loved and missed...



...by her husband.



Dear Lord:



You have called me to this place,

in this hour...



...far from my home

and my loved ones...



...but I know it is your will

that leads me here.



If it is your will that we fight today,

I am ready, Lord. Thy will be done.



It is your sword I will wield into battle.



Your banner I will raise against those

who would desecrate our land.



And if it is my time

to be with you, Lord...



...then I come to you

with all the joy in my heart.






That's General Bee's brigade!



Inform General Bee the

  st Virginians are on the field.



Ask him, can he hold long enough

for me to deploy my men?



Yes, sir! I'll ask him!



They may not hold, gentlemen.

We must assume they cannot.



- Mr. Smith.

- Sir?



Instruct Imboden and Stanard to position

their batteries in the center of the crest.



I want the  th and the   th

regiments stationed as support.



I want the  th Regiment posted

to their right...



...the  nd and   rd to the left.




Counter battery fire!



Eight hundred yards!



- Shell! Five-second fuse!

- Fire!



Counter battery fire.     yards.



Shell, five inch. Five-second fuse.






General! Our line on Matthew's Hill

has broken. They are beating us back.



Then we must give them the bayonet!



  st Brigade, move up to a position just

below the crest of the hill. And stay low!



Rally, men! Rally!






There is Jackson,

standing like a stone wall.



Let us determine to die here today

and we will conquer.



Rally behind the Virginians!



Fix bayonets.



- Fix bayonets!

- Fix!



Fill in there...!



Instruct the men to lay down!

Hug the ground!



- Lie down, men!

- Privates! First rank, lie down!



Second rank, kneel!



They are coming, boys.



Wait till they get close before you shoot.



Hold your fire!






Hold your fire!















Fire! Reload!



- Rise up!

- Quickly, boys!



Rise up!



Quickly, men! Quickly!















Reload! Reload, men!



Come on, boys!

Quick and we can whip them!



- Easy. We have no orders to advance!

- Get back in the ranks!



Steady, men. Steady!



Damn it.






It's Cummings' boys.



- What are they doing?

- Easy, Mr. Pendleton. Easy.



Good to have your dander up,

but discipline wins the day.



About-face! About-face, men!

Aim! Fire!



For God's sakes, forward!



General, sir, the day is going against us.



If you think so, sir, you had better

not say anything about it.



Rise up, rise up!



Rise up, Virginia!



Stand up, you men!

Stand up, you free men!



We're gonna charge them.



We're gonna drive them to Washington!

Stand up, Virginia!



  st Brigade...



...reserve your fire...



...till they come within    yards...



...then fire!



And give them the bayonet!



And when you charge...



...yell like Furies!



- Ready! Aim!

- Aim!



- Fire!

- Fire!



Charge bayonets!






Press on! Press on!



I surrender! I surrender!






How is it you can keep so serene...



...and stay so utterly insensible...



...with a storm of shells and bullets

raining about your head?



Captain Smith...



...my religious belief teaches me

to feel as safe in battle as in bed.



God has fixed the time for my death,

I do not concern myself with that...



...but to be always ready,

whenever it may overtake me.



That is the way all men should live.



Then all men would be equally brave.



Preliminary reports for the brigade, sir.




Three hundred seventy-three

wounded or missing.



And if I may ask, sir, how's your hand?



Just a spent bullet. No more than

a scratch really, Mr. Pendleton.



I'm pleased with the part performed

by the brigade during the action.



Through the blessing of God...



...they met the thus far victorious enemy

and turned the fortunes of the day.



Good evening, gentlemen.



Tomorrow's a new day.



- Evening, general.

- Evening, sir.



Oh, Mr. Pendleton?



Thank you for the report.



I will never forget these men.



We must never forget them.



The universe itself is subject

to rules, to law.



The super-abounding life lavished

on this world of ours...



...is proof...



...that the play of infinite freedom...



...is here to help work out

the will of infinite law.



The nature

of the universe demonstrates...



...that freedom can only exist...



...as part of law.



Pardon me, Professor Chamberlain...



...but how does the study of philosophy

intersect with real life?



If freedom can only exist

as a part of law...



...how can we continue to tolerate slavery

protected by law?



Lawrence, I know.






I've noticed the way you've been looking

into the children's room each night.






Why blue uniforms? It should be red.



- Like the English, the color of blood.

- Are you angry with me?



Lawrence, my darling Lawrence.



Do you remember when you were

thinking of being a missionary?



And you wrote me saying

that you wished your little wife...



...was willing for you to take

whatever course you thought best...



...and was ready to help you

in it with all her heart?



"Little wife."

How could I ever have called you that?



Your spirit is vaster than oceans.



Then you wrote back.



And I have never forgotten what you said.



You said, "Well, dear, she is willing...



...and she feels that you know better

about the matter than she does."



But now...



...I never think I know better than you.



I couldn't bear for you to feel that you

must forever remain at a stand...



...just because you're married.



I always want to help you on

in your excelsior striving.



But I had a dream about you, Lawrence.

Last night.



While you were away,

offering your services to the governor.



I saw you in my dream.

There were boys in blue marching past.



Some of the boys that we know.



And there you were...



...riding ahead of them

on a great, white horse.



Fanny, my love, I felt I had to go.



I offered the governor my services,

wherever he wanted to place me.



I thought he'd probably order me

to an officer.



Speeches, administration.






...I know you. When you do a thing,

you do it  I'outrance.



So? He gave you

a commission, didn't he?



They need serving officers.



Five new regiments are being formed now.



Maine has already sent   .

How could I refuse?



Poor Lawrence, damn you,

you'll be good at it too.



You'll be good at soldiering just like

you're good at everything else. So go.



Go do your duty to your country's flag...



...go on and get your medals for bravery,

go and get yourself killed.



That poem of Lovelace.



That beautiful, horrible, damnable,

lovely, sad poem.



I think that you recited it in my dream.



Lovelace. "Off to the English Civil War"?



I would not dare presume to quote it now.



Tell me not, sweet, I am unkind



That from the nunnery

Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind



To warlike arms I fly.



True, a new mistress now I serve



The first foe in the field



And with a sterner faith embrace

The sword, a horse, a shield.



Yet this inconstancy is such



As thou too shalt adore.



I could not love thee, dear, so much



Loved I not honor more.



You will be wounded.



You will be changed by the horrors of it.



But you will come home.



I believe that, my love.

You will come home.



Come in.



You must be Mr. Lewis.



There's some that calls me Uncle Jim.



Some calls me Big Jim.

Some folks just calls me Jim.



I don't suppose you've heard

any of the names I get called?



I heard Stonewall once.



That name properly belongs to the

  st Virginia Brigade, not to me.



- They were the ones who earned it.

- Some folks says otherwise.



Folks say men can't fight without

nobody up front to lead them on.



- I'm told you're a first-rate cook.

- Yes, sir.



They wasn't lying, told you that.

Whatever you likes to eat, I can cook it.



Pan-fry, griddle, boil, bake. Roasted.



And I understand you're

from Lexington.



You come highly recommended

to me, Jim.



Lexington is my home, general.

Same as yours.



If I could do my share

in defending my home...



...I'd be doing the same as you.



I heard it was Napoleon hisself said:



"An army can't march

but on its stomach."






If you love your country...



...fear the Lord...



...and have no trouble getting up at

 :   in the morning, the job is yours.



Yous got yourself a deal, general.






My darling esposita.



Welcome to Winchester.






- Come in out of the cold.

- Why, thank you.



I have been thinking, Thomas...



...that it may have been a blessing

the Battle of Manassas...



...was fought on my birthday.



Why is that?



In our old age, you will never forget it.



I will forget my own

before I ever forget yours.



Oh, Anna.






What is it, Tom?






Everything in this life seems so fragile.



So temporary.



When we are separated, I fear...



...I will never see you again.



I fear we may never have a child.



I fear I may lose you

if we dare to have a child.



I know I should trust in the Lord...



...but then I see the face

of my dear mama...



...of my first wife, dead and cold.



With our dead daughter.



Dead before she could draw

her first breath in this world.



And I am afraid.



And I am afraid to feel happiness.



Afraid to hope for it again.



I am afraid of God's judgment.



We serve a loving God, Thomas.



We are in each other's arms.



We are together,

and we are happy together.



And is our love not proof of his?



We must not fear, Thomas.



We will survive this war.



And we will have a child.



So help us, God.



This is a hell of a regiment.



Men of the   th Maine Regiment

of Volunteers...



...this is your commanding officer,

Colonel Adelbert Ames.



Quiet! Quiet!



You do not cheer an officer.



You salute him.



  th Maine, I commend you

for the enthusiasm...



...that has made you volunteer

for service in Lincoln's Army.



I can see that many of you

are strong and fit.



We Maine men know that

life in the woods of Maine...



...toughens the muscles

and stretches the sinews.



I've no doubt many of you

have become good shots by hunting deer.



But tough muscles and skillful shooting

are not enough to make a soldier.



That requires discipline.



Major Gilmore tells me you are in the habit

of holding discussions with your officers.



That will cease from now.



An officer's orders are to be obeyed

instantly and without question.



This regiment must learn

to move as one man.



Otherwise we will all be killed.



Sergeant Tom Chamberlain

reporting for duty, sir.



Tom, what on earth...?

What are you doing?



I signed up, Lawrence, I'm in this

regiment. I'm coming with you.



Did Father approve?

How will he run the farm?



Once he heard you were colonel,

he couldn't say no.



Besides, you know him,

he'll be all right. They both will.



I'm giving them one less thing to cuss at.



Mama said so many prayers for the both

of us, we got nothing to worry about.



Well, I guess I have one more

responsibility. I have to look after you.






Lawrence, Mama told me

to watch after you.



Line of battle consists of two lines

of men, one behind the other...



...so that while one line fires,

the other reloads.



Behind them is a line of file closers.

Lieutenants and sergeants.



But two lines make a regiment

unwieldy on the move...



...so we need to switch

to column of fours.



We need to be able to change from

column of fours to line of battle...



...and back again quickly.



It is not difficult to move from line

of battle into column of fours.



It is harder to move from

column of fours into line of battle...



...and if we're called to make that move,

it will be when we're under fire.



You understand how important it is that

these moves are learned so thoroughly...



...that the men can perform them

in their sleep.









Company, front!



Order arms!



Well done, colonel. That's a beginning.



But that move must be practiced

and practiced and practiced.



Another month and we'll be ready.



But we leave for Washington tomorrow.



Shoulder arms!



Company, forward march!



Morning to you, sir.

Colonel Ames sent me to get you.



- Said you might be needing a drop of this.

- Thank you...



Kilrain, sir. Sergeant Kilrain.

Glad to be of service.



You know, colonel...



...the boys...



We've been watching you, sir,

that we have.



You've learned fast.

Becoming a pleasure to serve under you.



Yes, well...



Are you a veteran, sergeant?



Aye, sir. I suppose you could say that.



Did me duty in the regular Army

for a while.



Did the great long walk

with General Scott...



...down south of the Rio Grande.



Some men you fought with are on

the other side. Almost all of their generals.



Oh, it gets worse than generals, colonel.



Some of the lads that I left Ireland with

are on the other side as well. Imagine that.



We left together to escape a tyranny...



...and end up shooting at one another

in the land of the free.



I, too, have friends

on the other side, sergeant.



And enemies.



Yes, sir.



No shortage of enemies, that's for sure.









Throughout the broad extent

of the country...



...through which you have marched...



...by your respect for the rights

and property of others...



...you have always shown you are soldiers,

not only to defend...



...but able and willing

both to defend and protect.



You've already won...



...a brilliant reputation throughout

the Army of the whole Confederacy.



And I trust in the future

by your deeds in the field...



...and by the assistance of the same kind

providence who has favored our cause...



...you will win more victories and add

luster to the reputation you now enjoy.



You already gained a proud position...



...in the future history of this...



...our second war of independence.



I shall look with anxiety

to your future movements...



...and I trust whenever I shall hear

of the   st Brigade...



...on the field of battle...



...it will be of still nobler deeds achieved

and higher reputation won.



In the Army of the Shenandoah,

you were the   st Brigade.



In the Army of the Potomac,

you were the   st Brigade.



In the  nd Corps of this Army,

you are the   st Brigade.



You are the   st Brigade

in the affections of your general.



And I hope by your future deeds

and bearing...



...you will be handed down

to posterity...



...as the   st Brigade...



...in this, our second war of independence.






Jackson! Jackson! Jackson! Jackson!



Jackson! Jackson! Jackson!






Excuse us, General Burnside...



...General Hancock has information

you may find useful.



Yes, General Hancock, a pleasure.

Sumner, come.



We have visitors.



Sir, General Hancock reports the river

can be forded the short way upstream.



There'll be no difficulty crossing. With

your permission, we can move right away.



General Hancock, I appreciate your efforts

at reconnaissance...



...but this possibility has been

considered and rejected.



The pontoons will be here any time.



We'll cross with not only the men

but also the wagons and supplies.



It would be foolhardy to send the men

without the wagons, the big guns...



Excuse me, am I correct

in my observation...



...that there's little force opposing us

across the river?



Yes, you're absolutely correct.



For once we seem to have caught

Lee by surprise.



Then, sir, if I may suggest,

isn't it possible Lee is moving this way?



Certainly he's aware of our intentions. If

we could occupy the town with infantry...



...it would make our job much easier

when the bridges do arrive.



Yes, but that's risky. Those men

could be cut off. In this weather?



It snows one day, melts the next.

The river could rise unexpectedly.



It will be best, I assure you, if we wait

until the entire Army can cross together.



General Burnside, if we don't cross

the river soon...



...General Lee will make every effort

to stop us.



He will not let us move

toward Richmond unopposed.



Where are General Jackson's forces now?



Shouldn't we attempt to occupy




...and possibly the Heights beyond now,

while we have it for the taking?



Please allow me, sir...



...to at least send General Hancock's

division across the river.



Surely they can carry

enough supplies with them...



...and the artillery from this side can

protect them against any advance by Lee.



Gentlemen, we will cross this river

when the bridges arrive and not before.



I do not have the luxury of deviating

from the larger plan.



The president approved my strategy,

and I shall stick to it.



Once this Army is across the river,

we will advance on Richmond in force.



We must not allow him...



...the luxury of attacking us as divided and

separated units as he's done in the past.



And I will not make the same mistake

as my predecessors.



So no, General Hancock.



You will stay on this side

until the pontoons are in place...



...and the entire Army crosses together.



An irresistible, impregnable force.



Did you know George Washington

spent his boyhood not far from here?



And across that river, he's supposed

to have thrown that silver dollar...



...and cut down that cherry tree.



That may be so, Mr. Taylor, but it has

an even greater significance for me.



It's where I met my wife.



That's something these Yankees

do not understand, will never understand.



You see these rivers and valleys

and streams...



...and fields, even towns?



They're just markings on a map to those

people in the war office in Washington.



But to us, my goodness, they're

birthplaces and burial grounds.



They're battlefields

where our ancestors fought...



...places where you and I learned

to walk, to talk and to pray.



Places where we made friendships

and, oh, yes, fell in love.



And they're the incarnation

of all our memories, Mr. Taylor...



...and all that we are.



All that we are.



- What place is this?

- Chancellor's Crossing.



We're another two hours or so

from Fredericksburg.



We'll rest here for a short time.



Yes, sir. I'll see what

the good folks can provide.



The general be fixing to eat

something warm?



No, no, Jim.



We gotta ride on straight

through to General Lee.



Don't want to get all warmed up

just to feel the cold all over again.



You never seem to mind the cold much.



I minds it. I just don't shows it.



Now, Little Sorrel, I know

this corn look poorly...



...but it sure beats no corn at all.



You heard from your family lately?



Ain't heared much for some time.



Yankee mail used to move

quicker than Secesh mail.



Lord, from where you sit

you can see the great distance...



...that separates our Southern men

from their wives and children.



We pray that you watch over our families.



Lord, I ask you to watch over

Jim Lewis' family...



...over his friends, his loved ones,

wherever they may be.



Lord, I know you sees

into the hearts of all men...



...just like you sees into the heart

of old Jim Lewis.



And, Lord, I know there's

no lying or deceitfulness...



...can hide from you.



You find the truth...



...in the bottom of the deepest pit

of darkness.



There be no hiding from your truth

and your ever-watchful eye.






How is it, Lord?



Can you explain something

to this old Virginia man?



How is it a good Christian man...



...like some folks I know...



...can tolerate their black brothers

in bondage?



How is it, Lord, they don't just...



...break them chains?



How is it, Lord?



My heart is open and aching.



And I wants to know.



Lord, speak to us.



Speak to your children.



Speak to Jim Lewis and Thomas Jackson,

your humble and obedient servants.



Speak to all of us.



Our hearts are open.



Lord, you show us the way,

we will follow.









- Jim?

- Yeah.



What is the status of your family?



About half is free, half slave.



That's counting all the cousins and such.



You must know that there are

some officers in this Army...



...who are of the opinion that...



...we should be enlisting Negroes

as a condition for freedom.



General Lee is among them.



That's what they says around the camp.



Your people will be free,

one way or another.



The question is,

if the Southern government will have...



...the good sense to do it first and soon.



And in so doing seal a bond

of enduring friendship between us.



That's what they says, general.



God's plan is a great mystery.



It will be revealed to us.



That's all the fodder you get tonight.



We's going to a country where there's

nothing more for an animal to eat...



...than there is what's in the palm

of my hand.



General Lee, fine day, sir.



We got batteries all along that hill,

covering our front to the river.



Strong anchor on the north.



Tomorrow, guns will be positioned

in those trees to the south.



We'll be able to cover the entire

open ground, all of it.



General, they gonna come at us here?



Colonel Alexander...



...Federal troops amassed across that river

are watching us prepare for them.



If I were General Burnside,

I wouldn't attack here.



I'd move back upstream,

come across from above us.



Burnside is not a man

with the luxury of flexibility.



He's being pushed from behind

by loud voices in Washington...



...by newspapers

who demand quick action.



But we're here,

and so he will attack us here.



We got batteries pointing from all angles.



They cross that canal,

that'll slow them down.



We shall hit them from all sides.



No, sir, a chicken couldn't live

on that field.



General Hood, I've often wondered

how it is that...



...Texas men,

the most independent-minded...



...in this Army of irascibles...



...have agreed to serve under

a Kentuckian.



I have often wondered the same.



General Gregg, have you settled your

differences with General Jackson?



No, General Hill, I have not.



Have you?



No, sir.



Tell me, general...



...do you expect to live

until the end of this war?



I do not know...



...but I'm inclined to think I will.



I expect I will be wounded.



And you, general?



I do not expect to live to see

the end of this war.



Nor can I say that without victory

I would desire to do so.



- Get up.

- Get up.






Yes, Mr. Pendleton, you may enter.



Forgive me, general.

There's a letter for you.



Courier was running a little slow today,

but I thought you'd want to see it.



Yes, thank you.



Good night, sir.



My own dear father:



As my mother's letter

has been cut short by my arrival...



...I think it but justice

that I should continue it.



I know that you are rejoiced

to hear of my coming.



And I hope that God has sent me

to radiate your pathway through life.



I am a very tiny little thing.



I weigh only eight and a half pounds...



...and Aunt Harriet says I am

the express image of my darling papa.



My mother is very comfortable

this morning.



Your loving daughter.



Thank you, Lord.



Thank you.



Thank you, thank you.



They've occupied all the buildings

along the riverfront.



We will be lining up those pontoon

bridges through a hail of lead.



Once across, the Rebs are sure

to make us pay for every block.



Beyond the town is the canal

which cuts across this open field...



...a field we'll have to cross to reach

their entrenchments on Marye's Heights...



...another difficult obstacle

in the face of artillery fire.



Down to our left we could burst through...



...turn Jackson's lines, push him back,

trap Longstreet on top of the hill...



...surround him.



It's possible.



Turn Jackson's lines?



No, general, we'll meet them head on.



And it will be a bloody mess.



We'll march up to that hill there...



...and we'll eat their artillery fire

all the way across this field.



We'll be able to look

at ourselves and say:



"We're good soldiers.

We did what we were told."



If we're not successful, we can say it was

a good plan, but there were contingencies.



You can go back to your hometown...



...and tell the families of your men

they died doing their duty.



The Rebs have fortified

the high ground up the river.



And anyway, there are strong currents

and obstacles to a crossing there.



Below Fredericksburg the river is too wide.



And our earliest forces are

clear down to Port Royal.



Fredericksburg is now

the only place we can cross.



If Burnside doesn't cross here,

he might as well resign.



That wily gray fox has outmaneuvered

our command again.



And there's going to be hell to pay.



Hurry up! Let's go!



Pick your targets, boys!



And firing!



Them Yankees is coming, sure as Jesus.

They got two pontoons across that river.



We got to get you and them children

out of here.



Stop fussing with me. Get your family

ready. We'll leave together.



Miss Jane, us done talked this over,

and we decided to stay here...



...and look after the house.

No use saying no more.



Martha, I won't leave you to the mercy

of those blue devils.



Miss Jane, you know they ain't gonna be

bothering us colored folks.



If we go with you...



...there won't be any food left

in the pantry when we come back.



And we need to eat, same as you.



- Pastor Lacy, we must run to our lines.

- There's no time.



The streets are raining iron.

To the basement.



Anybody hurt?












Can you get up? Easy! Easy!



Mother? Are you here?



Oh, praise be! It's young John!



- We're down here in the cellar!

- The door is blocked!



I'll go around to the side!



Children, y'all stay right here.

Mama'll be back.



Come out!

There's an ambulance out front.



The enemy is crossing the river. Hurry!



- No! Martha, I won't leave without you.

- I done told you, I'm staying.



Off with you then.



Come on, Martha.



Stay in the basement!



Get the bayonets!



May God be with them.



May he strengthen their hearts

and their arms for the coming struggle.



Give them the victory.



Can I be of service

to you fine Northern gentlemen?



Is this your master's place?



This is my place.






Sorry to have to bother you, ma'am.



Come on, let's go.



Go back inside. Hurry up.



Put a stop to this at once!

Where are the officers?



Drop that, soldier. Now!



Get a message to Couch, to Hancock.



This will not be tolerated!

This is an army, not a rabble!



General Longstreet, show us

where your troops are positioned.



Yes, sir. We're anchored on the north

by Anderson's division...



...up on the bend in the river

and Ransom's division...



...along and below the ridge

of Marye's Heights...



...with Cobb's brigade dug in down

on the road behind that stone wall.



Now, to their right, is General McLaws...



...and further down in the woods

and to the right, Pickett and Hood.



General Hood is my right flank.



He's connected in those heavy trees

over there with General Jackson's left.



Up here on the Heights,

we have the Washington artillery...



...Colonel Alexander's batteries

and support.



It's a strong line, general.



Very well.



General Jackson, would you please extend

the line for us?



General A.P. Hill is on the left,

adjoining General Hood.



Position is supported by General Taliaferro

and General Early.



Now to the right flank and behind

is D.H. Hill.



We've built a road behind our lines

running the entire length.



We can move troops as is necessary.



If the enemy penetrates our lines

at any point...



...the reserves, Taliaferro and Early,

can move rapidly to a new position.



If the enemy attempts to cut our center...



...or if General Pickett is pressed,

we can change positions, sir.



Good, very good.



General Stuart, are you in a strong position

for protecting...



...General Jackson's flank?



Oh, yes, sir.



We're covering the enemy from the river,

as far out as our own lines.



If the Yankees move down river or

threaten to turn General Jackson's line...



...we can block their advance

until the line is moved.



Very well. Gentlemen,

these deployments are sound.



The rest is in God's hands.



- Amen.

- Amen.



In the Roman civil war...



...Julius Caesar knew he had

to march on Rome itself...



...which no legion was permitted to do.



Marcus Lucanus left us a chronicle

of what happened.



How swiftly Caesar had surmounted

the icy Alps...



...and in his mind conceived

immense upheavals, coming war.



When he reached the little Rubicon,

clearly through the murky night...



...appeared a mighty image

of his country in distress...



...grief in her face...



...her white hair streaming

from her tower-crowned head.



With tresses torn and shoulders bare,

she stood before him and sighing, said:



"Where further do you march? Where

do you take my standards, warriors?



If lawfully you come, if as citizens,

this far only is allowed."



Trembling struck his limbs.



And weakness checked his progress,

holding his feet at the river's edge.



At last he speaks.



Oh, thunderer...



...surveying great Rome's walls

from the Tarpeian rock.



Oh, Phrygian, house gods of lulus...



...clan and mysteries of Quirinus

who was carried off to heaven.



Oh, Jupiter of Latium, seated

in lofty Alba and hearths of Vesta.



Oh, Rome, equal to the highest deity,

favor my plans.



Not with impious weapons

do I pursue you.



Here am I, Caesar...



...conqueror of land and sea,

your own soldier everywhere...



...now too if I am permitted.



The man who makes me your enemy,

it is he will be the guilty one.



He broke the barriers of war

and through the swollen river...



...swiftly took his standards.



When Caesar crossed the flood

and reached the opposite bank...



...from Hesperia 's forbidden fields,

he took his stand and said:



"Here, I abandoned peace

and desecrated law.



Fortune, it is you I follow.



Farewell to treaties.

From now on, war is our judge."



Hail Caesar.



We who are about to die salute you.



General Zook!



Move your brigade forward!



Left wing, forward march!



Steady, boys, steady.

You'll soon be forward.



Is that to be

General Meagher's position?



He's enjoying the privilege of an officer.

Protecting the rear.



He's got a lame knee, for pity's sake.



Fair enough.

Someone's got to keep Burnside company.



Quiet in the ranks!



Shoulder arms!






  th Maine to the front.



Battalion! Shoulder arms!



Shoulder arms!



Left face!



High-file right...






Come on, boys! Show them the cold steel!

Irish brigade, move out!



Irish brigade, at the double-quick...



...forward march!



Front and center!



Double column, boys! Form up!






Keep moving!



That's the Irish. What are those boys

doing fighting in blue?



Don't they know we're fighting

for our independence?



Did they learn nothing

at the hands of the English?



They're Reb Irishmen.

They're our brothers.



They've been misled to their fates.



Do your duty!



Steady, men! Steady!



Men, do your duty!



Battalion, halt!












Load them up, boys, load them up!












Load! Load! Load!












Fall back! Fall back, men!



Now move! Move!



Go to hell! Go to hell and damnation!



Move, boys!



Lie down here!



Lie down and load!



Lie down and load!






Load and fire!






Blaze away, lads!

Do it, boys!



Fire, boys.



Keep firing, men! Keep firing!



Fall back!



Fall back, lads!



Every man for himself!



Fall back, men!



- Caldwell's brigade, forward! Now!

- Yes, sir!



At the double-quick! March!



- General Armistead.

- Afternoon, General Pickett.



See that last charge

by Meagher's brigade?



Those fellas deserved a better fate.



Their bravery is worthy of a better cause.



My heart stood still as I watched it.



I would not have believed

that mortal men...



...could march into the face

of such destruction.



General Longstreet...



...those people committing more

fresh divisions at your lines...



...their mounting numbers

may overwhelm our defense.



Sir, if they put every man they have

on the field to approach me...



...give me plenty of ammunition,

I'll kill them all before they reach my line.




we must be prudent, general.



We must never ignore the unknown

or the unpredictable.



Yes, sir. I'll take the necessary measures.




Send orders to Ransom's Tar Heels

to advance his division...



...and to Kershaw to bring up his brigade

to support Cobb at the wall.



Yes, sir!



Forward, men!



Load! Five-second fuse!



She burst! The barrel burst!



- Stretcher!

- General Lee, you all right, sir?



- Sergeant! Call for the surgeon! Quickly!

- Here I go. Help me up, boys.



It's not yet our time, gentlemen.



Not yet our time.



Brigade, halt! Form by battalion!



Pass them forward.

Just load and pass them forward!



  th Maine...






It is not difficult to move from

line of battle into column of fours.



It is much harder to move from

column of fours into line of battle...



...and if we're called to make that move,

it will be when we are under fire.



You understand how important it is that

these moves are learned so thoroughly...



...that the men can perform them

in their sleep.



Seems a terrible long distance up that hill.



It'll be shortened by those in the front.



Begging your pardon, sir.



The only thing that'll be shortened

by those in front is their lives.



God help us now.



- Colonel, take care of the right wing.

- Yes, sir. I'll watch them, sir.



Hail Caesar.



We who are about to die salute you.



  th Maine!



- Forward!

- Forward!



- March!

- March!



By the right of companies,

to the front! March!



Right of companies to the front! March!



Form a line, boys! Form a line!



Form up a line! Form up a line!



Come on, boys!



Dress to the colors!



Come on, boys.



Dress to the colors!



Keep your line, men. Keep your line.

Close that gap!



At the double-quick, men!



Double-quick, boys! Come on, boys!



Keep it tight, boys! Keep it tight!



Turn right, boys! Right!



Turn to the right!



Keep it tight, men! Keep it tight, men!



Come on, boys!



At the double-quick, boys! Come on, boys!



Forward, men. Keep moving!



Battalion, halt!



- Battalion, halt!

- Battalion, halt!



Watch your line!



Dress to the colors!



Ready! Fire!



- Reload, boys! Reload quickly!

- Ready! Aim! Fire!



Keep firing! Keep firing!



Battalion, fight by fire!



Thattaway, boys, fire away!



Pour it into them!



Close the gap, boys!

Pour it into them!



Fill this hole now!



Steady now! Pour it into them!

Dress that line down there!



- Sir?

- What is it?!



Request permission to return

to the rear, sir.



Permission granted. Permission granted.



No, no, Patrick, me boy.

Just reload and shoot.



Pour it into them, boys!



Fill that line in!



Fill this hole now!



Dress to the right!






Pour it into them, boys!

Pour it into them!






- Fall back, men!

- Fall back! Fall back!



Fall back, boys!



- What did you do that for?

- You'll thank me in the morning.



Oh, Mother. Oh, Mother, help me...



It's all right, Casey, I got you. Don't

worry about a thing. I'll get you home.



Quickly, men. Reload quickly!



It is well that war is so terrible...



...for we should grow too fond of it.



Yes, sir?



We're requisitioning your house

for use as a hospital.



Come on inside out the cold.



You there.



You wounded?



Truly sorry, old fella...






- General Hancock, sir.

- Surgeon.



This man is Major Sidney Willard

of the   th Massachusetts.



This way, sir.



Prepare to lift. Lift.



He's been shot twice in the chest, general.

There's nothing I can do.



- Is there whiskey in this house?

- Yes, sir.



Drink this, sir.



"Think not to thyself...



...that thou shall escape in the king's

house more than all the Jews.



For if it thou keepest

thy peace at this time...



...deliverance shall arise

with the Jews from another place.



And who knows whether

thou art come to the kingdom...



...for such a time as this."



That's from the book of Esther.



Esther knew she had to do

more than save herself.



Esther had to save her people too.



I love them people

you done chased from this house.



I's known them most all my life.



The Beales is good people.



Mr. General?



I was born a slave.



And I wants to die free.



Lord knows I wants to die free,

and I wants my children to be free.



Heaven help me.



May God bless you all.



Damn it, Tom,

you scared me half to death.



You?! Lawrence, I thought

you was with the beyond.






I was able to secure the aid

of a good spyglass...



...and could ascertain beyond all doubt

that our house is still standing.



Oh, I pray to God

for Martha and her dear ones.



But, Mother...



...it is a pitiful sight on the fields

below Marye's Heights.



I should feel rancor in my heart

for those invaders...



...but all I feel for them is sorrow.



Dear Lucy...



...when you were

but a child in petticoats...



...I believe the year was     ...



...there was a great famine in Ireland.



Those fields below the Heights

were covered...



...with the finest crop of corn

ever raised in this section.



The greater part of it was sent

as a donation to the starving Irish.



I cannot help thinking...



...but that it helped to feed

the poor victims of the Irish brigade...



...who fell on this very field today.



General Gregg.



General Jackson.



I wish to apologize...



...for the differences we had.



The doctor tells me

you have not long to live.



I ask you to dismiss this matter

from your mind...



...and turn your thoughts to God...



...and the world to which you go.






...you know that I'm not a believer.



Well, then I will believe for the both of us.



How horrible is war.



Horrible, yes...



...but we have been invaded.



Lord, what can we do?



Kill them, sir.



Kill every last man of them.






Oh, what I wouldn't give

for a cup of Rio just now.



  th Maine! Return fire!



- Return fire!

- Return fire!






I hope you don't mind.



I know you're in heaven,

but you got work yet to do down here...



...in this poor pitiless world.



Colonel Chamberlain.



Your orders are to withdraw.

Withdraw to the city.






We are ordered to form a picket line and

cover the Army's retreat across the river.



Colonel Chamberlain, did you hear me?



Yes, sir. We are to retreat, sir.



Captain Spear.



- Form the regiment. We're moving out.

- Yes, sir.









Where y'all been?

Can't find my own house. Gone! Gone!



What y'all done with my house?



Where is it? Can y'all tell me that?



Well, can you? Can you?



"Men of the Army...



...although you were not successful

in the recent battle...



...the attempt was not an error,

nor the failure other than an accident.



No soldiers in the annals of war

fought more bravely.



Condoling with the mourners

for the dead...



...and sympathizing

with the severely wounded...



...I congratulate the Army

that the numbers of casualties...



...have been comparatively so small."

- Compared to what?



The Scots at Culloden?

The English at Bunker Hill?



The French at Waterloo?



"...the thanks of the nation."



Signed: Abraham Lincoln.









At this Christmas season,

when the good fairies are in the air...



...we can hardly wonder

at the sudden miracle...



...that has shown us

the Fredericksburg affair in its true light...



...and given us occasion for national joy

instead of national sorrow.



General Jackson?



Do you know

what these decorations signify?



I was wondering if someone would tell me.



- This is Santa's sled.

- I see.



And this is stuff made of candy.



This is a gingerbread snowflake.



And this is a paper chain of angels.



Did you make this angel?



It's lovely.



- How old are you, Jane?

- I'm   years old.



- How old are you?

- I'm   .



My father is   . He's a soldier like you.



I haven't seen him for more than a year.



I've not met your father, but I'm told

he's a very good man, very brave man.



I'm sure he misses you

as much as I miss my daughter.



When did you last see your daughter?



I've never seen her.



She was born just days ago.



I want to see her more than anything

in this world.



I want to see her as much as

your father wants to see you.



You see that star at the top of the tree?



The star of Bethlehem.



The star that showed the wise men

where they could find the baby Jesus.



Mother says that star will show Daddy

how to find his way back home.



Well, your mother's very wise,

very good person.



Your daddy will come home.



All the daddies will come home.



Oh, my.



Gentlemen, let us lift our glasses

to our Southern women...



...without whose bravery and fortitude...



...without whose love,

without whose endurance and sacrifice...



...not a man among us

can stay the course...



...or defend the cause.



- Hear, hear.

- Hear, hear.



Hear, hear.



Now it's time for a carol.

Everybody must sing.



- Carols are my favorite.

- I can't sing.



Of course you can sing, Mr. Jackson.

You can breathe, can't you?



Just let your breath flow gently over your

vocal chords and nature does the rest.



I'm afraid General Jackson's voice is more

suited to the battlefield than the parlor.



You may take my word on it, Mrs. Corbin.



If it's singing you want,

my adjutant Mr. Pendleton's your man.



We've worked our way

through the hymnal...



...and he always takes up

where I leave off.



Well then, Mr. Pendleton...



...since the general has appointed you




...what shall we sing?



"Silent Night."



Dearest Fanny:



The bugle has just sounded,

 rd Brigade extinguish lights.



It makes me happy to think of you

and my dear little ones at home...



...all nestled together.



I know that it is all well and bright with

her whose sweet face shines in my heart.



Come and let me kiss your dear lips,

precious wife.



Let our hearts worship together

God's love, and wisdom, and mercy.



Yes, all is well, well with us, darling...



...well if we can only meet at last,

as I pray God we may.



Hey, Billy Yank.



- That's a mighty nice song.

- I'm pleased you find it so agreeable.



I'd like it even more if I had some coffee

to wash it down.



- Want some baccy?

- Sure, Johnny.



Have you got a lame horse?



What do you be wanting to trade

for a lame horse?



Would you take General Burnside?



No. I guess I'll keep the horsehide.



Come on, get your baccy.



Mr. Smith, are you aware that the Bible

gives models of official battle reports?



- No, sir.

- Nevertheless, there are such.



Consider the narrative of Joshua's battles

with the Amalekites.



It has clearness and modesty, brevity.



And it traces the victory to the right

source, the blessing of God.



Has it helped you with your reports, sir?



Anybody home?



Afternoon, General Jackson.



What's this?



- New recruits.

- My mama helped me make these.



That's fine.



- Left, right. Left, right.

- Child, that hat is a bit too large for you.









I believe that suits a young girl

better than an old soldier.



Mama's baking some biscuits.



You know, I was thinking of walking over

to the big house for a nice hot cup of tea.



And I would very much like the company

of one beautiful little lady.



Yes, General Jackson,

a hot cup of chamomile.



Mr. Smith, you may continue

writing the reports.



Consult first and second Samuel...



...and first and second Kings.



They will be of help to you.



Shall we go?



Do you prefer butter biscuits

or sugar cookies?



Oh, my. I know your mother's biscuits

are first rate.



We owe you Texas boys a debt

of gratitude for putting on these shows.



Colonel Patton, any man who can't handle

a guitar or a fiddle...



...ain't fit to carry a musket.



Attention, battalions.






- Sergeant, keep these men here for now.

- Yes, sir.






The men have rounded up three deserters.



Establish the courts-martial.



Have them arraigned.

See they're given a fair hearing.



Yes, sir.






Well, I thought that you should know, sir.



They all belong to the Stonewall brigade.



Do your duty, soldier.



Yes, sir.



Mr. Pendleton, if they are innocent,

these men will go free.



But if they are found guilty of desertion...



...the courts-martial condemns them

to death. It must be so.



Yes, sir.



Of course, sir.



I'm not done yet.






If the Republicans lose their little war,

they are voted out in the next election...



...and they return to their homes

in New York or Massachusetts or Illinois...



...fat with their war profits.



If we lose, we lose our country.



We lose our independence.



We lose it all.



Our soldiers are brave.



They have endured hardships none of them

could ever have imagined.



Desertion is not a solitary crime.



It's a crime against the tens of thousands

of veterans...



...who are huddled together

in the harsh cold of this winter.



Against all those who have sacrificed.



Against all those who have fallen.



Against all the women and the children

we have left alone to fend for themselves.



I regard the crime of desertion as a sin

against the Army of the Lord.



Duty is ours.



The consequences are God's.



I am a soldier in the  th Virginia.



And in the  th Virginia I will stay.



And if needs be, die.



The courts-martial of the Army

of Northern Virginia...



...has found you guilty of desertion

and sentences you to death...



...by firing squad.



Lieutenant, do your duty.



Detail, ready!









Recover, arm!



Morning, Lawrence.



- Any mail?

- No.



But I did manage to get my hands

on a New York Tribune.



- What are they saying about us now?

- Well, not much about us.



I mean, that is, this Army here

in Stoneman's Switch.



Sure are kicking up a fuss about

Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation.



Says here that enlistments are down

and desertions are up.



- Any grumbling among the men?

- Well, not in our regiment.



A few wonder out loud why they should

be risking their lives for the darkies.



Well, Tom, you know my position.



I signed up to preserve the Union.

The president did the right thing.



What's the use of uniting the country

by force and leaving slavery in place?



It sure riled up those Johnny Rebs.



They'll think Lincoln incited the slaves

to rise against them.



Why shouldn't they?



Freeing the slaves wasn't a war aim

when this began, but war changes things.



- It sorts things out.

- Well, I don't know, Lawrence.



Not everybody feels the way we do

about the darkies.



Especially when it comes to fighting

and dying.






Do me a favor.



Don't call me Lawrence

and don't call Negroes "darkies."



That's a patronizing expression

from which we must free ourselves.



Come outside. I want to...

I want to show you something.



All these thousands of men.



Many of them not much more than boys.



Each one of them some mother's son.



Some sister's brother.

Some daughter's father.



Each one of them a whole person, loved

and cherished in some home far away.



Many of them will never return.



An army is power.



Its entire purpose is to coerce others.



Now, this kind of power cannot be used

carelessly or recklessly.



This kind of power can do great harm.



We have seen more suffering

than any man should ever see...



...and if there is going to be an end to it,

it must be an end that justifies the cost.



Now, somewhere out there

is the Confederate Army.



They claim they are fighting

for their independence, for their freedom.



Now, I cannot question their integrity.



I believe they are wrong,

but I cannot question it.



But I do question a system

that defends its own freedom...



...while it denies it to others.

To an entire race of men.



I will admit it, Tom, war is a scourge.

But so is slavery.



It is the systematic coercion

of one group of men over another.



It has been around since

the book of Genesis.



It exists in every corner of the world.



But that's no excuse for us

to tolerate it here...



...when we find it right before

our very eyes, in our own country.



As God is my witness, there is no one

I hold in my heart dearer than you.



But if your life or mine is part of the price

to end this curse and free the Negro...



...then let God's will be done.



Oh, my, general,

we do appreciate the gift.



Where do you get all these lemons?



It's a kind providence that provides kindly.



Miss Corbin, the Yankees have not

succeeded in cutting our rail lines...



...to the South.



Here is to the sultry, balmy, South.



And, Miss Corbin,

here's to your engagement.



May Sandie Pendleton prove to be

as fine a husband as he is a soldier.



Hear, hear.



That's good, it's not too sweet.



May I have some more?






Mrs. Corbin.



Thank you for your many kindnesses.



Our cause and our country

are in your debt.



I only regret, general,

that we could not do more.



You'll come visit us again

when this cruel war is over?



I should like to say goodbye to your

daughter. I shall miss her very much.



Certainly, general.

She's not feeling very well today.



All of the children have come down

with the fever. Please, come in.



Well, now.



What's this?



How can I play with my friend

if she insists on staying in bed?






Will you place this angel on your tree

next Christmas?



Mrs. Corbin, I must return to my men.



My physician, Doctor McGuire,

will attend to her.



- I will send him directly.

- Bless you, general.



Fresh meat. What a change.



Yeah. A live steer around these parts

is as rare as a peacock in a poultry pen.



It was scarlet fever.



The children are all right. They'll be fine.




I'm so sorry, sir.



The little girl, Jane.



She did not survive. She died, sir.



What is it?



He's never cried before.



Not for all the blood and all the death,

not for his young students from VMI...



...not for his friends...



...not for anyone.



Not so, Sandie.



I think he is crying for them all.



She's too pretty to look like me.



Nonsense, Thomas.



She is very like you.



She rises early and she loves to be held

in my arms.



I have never seen you look

so well, Thomas.



You are handsomer than ever.



General Jackson, sir? General Jackson, sir?



An officer come to see you, sir.

An officer from General Lee, sir.



I'll be right there.



General, from what we've observed,

Hooker has moved five corps...



...maybe       men.



They're digging in around

Chancellor's mansion.



Sedgwick has another      

spread out along the Stafford Heights...



...on the north bank of the Rappahannock

in front of General Early at Fredericksburg.



Now, there's possibly       more

back along the river north of here...



...that we've not yet located.



We're not in a position of strength here.



We owe a great deal to the unexplainable,

the mystery of General Hooker...



...who's allowed us to maneuver freely...



...between two parts of an army

that's more than twice our strength.



We do not yet understand his plan.



He may still plan a move

toward Gordonsville...



...move around below us,

cut us off from Richmond.



And there's still Sedgwick on the river.



Now Sedgwick shows no signs of moving,

but that could change.



They're anchored against the river...



...and their lines continue

down below Chancellorsville...



...then curves along here.



We've observed their lines curving out

in these open clearings...



...then extending on out to the west.



Then what, general?

Do you know where their right flank is?



- No. Not yet.

- We must know. We must know.



If he marches in that direction,

he could threaten our flank...



...or be going toward Gordonsville

before we can react.



General Lee, sir.



- May I approach?

- Sure.



Out here, in the west,

along this turnpike, here...



...their right flank's in the air.

It's the one place they're not digging in.



They're not expecting any pressure there.



- Who's on their flank?

-    th Corps. Oliver Howard.



Were there any roads farther down

below the turnpike?



Yes, sir. Indeed there are, good roads.



That's Catherine's Furnace here

and there's a road here.



- There's a road over this way.

- Then, we must hit them there.



Then attack the flank.

They will have nowhere to go.



They'll have to go back across the river

or we will destroy them.



We're too close to their lines.

They'll observe our movements.



There must be another road farther down.



Now, is there someone we know?



Someone we can trust

who knows the area?



Captain Pendleton.

Find Reverend Lacy for me.



I'm here, sir.



This is my chaplain,

the Reverend Tucker Lacy.



He has family in this area.



General Lee.



Reverend, it would be very helpful

if you could find us a safe route...



...around the enemy.

- Well, sir, there, I know a family.



The Wellfords. I suggest a visit to them.

We may find ourselves a guide.



Please go at once, Mr. Lacy.



Find someone who might show us

how we might proceed.



Yes, sir.



Then it has been decided, general.

This mission will be yours.



I would not have it any other way.



Boys, my days are numbered.



My time has come.



You can laugh, but my time has come.



I got a   -dollar gold piece I carried

through the war and a silver watch...



...my daddy sent to me

through the lines.



Take them off of me when I'm dead.



Give them to my captain to give to my

daddy when he gets back home.



Here's my clothes and my blanket.

Anybody who wishes can have them.



My rations I do not wish at all. My gun

and cartridge box I expect to die with.



- Mr. Smith.

- Sir.



Your instructions to the ranks: There is

to be no noise, I want no talking.



Stragglers will be bayoneted,

let the men know.



No muskets are to be loaded until we

deploy for battle. Secrecy, Mr. Smith.



Everything depends upon

the element of surprise.



Sir, I'll convey the orders. No stragglers.



- Reverend.

- May we bow our heads.



Dear Lord, heavenly Father,

you who know all things.



We face again a mighty

foe, a vast host.



An enemy more than twice our number.



But you have taught us

to fear not, to trust in you.



When the Philistines came before them,

the people of Israel feared Goliath.



Their Army was in terror.



No one had the courage to stand

against the mighty warrior.



Then you brought forth David,

a mere boy.



And Saul armed David with his armor...



...and he put a helmet

of brass upon his head.



Also he armed him with a coat of mail.



And David girded his sword upon

his armor and he assayed to go.



General Rodes, deploy your men on

either side of the turnpike, brigade front.



How soon will

General Colston's men be up?



We're right behind, general.



General Lee...



...I hope as soon as

practicable to attack...



...I trust that an ever kind providence

will bless us with great success.



Take this to General Lee.



Well, General Rodes...



...it appears the Virginia Military

Institute will be heard from today.



Deploy your brigade.



There is another blow, it's a road that

runs well below the Federal lines.



The Wellford boy explained it to me.

He knows the route.



He will march with us to where

this road rejoins the turnpike...



...then we turn to the east

and attack their right flank.



It is a greater distance, perhaps    or

   miles, but the boys can do it.



They have never let us down.



We've divided the Army before.



We must retain the advantage of

surprise, we must outflank the flankers.



We must beat them at their own game.



Take your entire corps,

General Jackson, and destroy the enemy.



God be with you.



Two hours of daylight left.

Are you ready, General Rodes?



You may move forward.



- Fall back!

- They're coming! Get your muskets!



- Shoulder to shoulder! Let's go, let's go!

- Fall back!



Aim fire!



Pull back and save yourself!



Form a line! Aim!






Fall back!



Fall back!



Fire! Fall back!



Into the trees, men! Fall back!



Press on!



Form a line! Form a line!



Form a line!



- Run! Run!

- Charge!



Press on!



Hold up right here! Aim! Fire!



Push on!



Push on!



Hell, that's hot. I knew

you'd be all right, you dang fool.



Oh, God.






- Stop running!

- Move into line!



Stay together!



My God! Give them the bayonet!



- Stop running!

- Stop running!



Stop running, soldier!



Stop running! Rally with me, men!



- Rally with me!

- Stop! Rally around the general!



Give me a line to the left!

Form a line to the left!



We have stopped, sir. Can't see.

The lines are tangled.



We're mixed in with Rodes' men.

It's confusion, sir.



We need Hill to come up.

Hill's men can move on by us.



Tell General Colston

he must re-form his men.



Now I will strongly urge General Hill

to push forward hard.



We must not stop. Let General Colston

know they will run if we press them.



Yes, sir.



General Hill, you must keep the men

moving. We must keep the pressure up.



We have broken their flank. We can

crush them now if we can cut them off.



We must not give them time

to get organized.



General, take your division forward.



Press on north, move toward the river,

toward the United States ford.



- We must not let them escape.

- It's late in the day, general.



- We don't know the ground.

- Boswell!



You will ride with General Hill.



You will find a way

through the woods to the northeast.



You will find the rear

of the enemy's position.



Yes, sir.



We will cut them off, general!



They're digging in. Must be Federal.



Sound carries at night,

they could be a ways off.



General, sir, we are beyond our lines.

This is no place for you, sir.



You're right.



It cannot go the way I'd hoped.



It will have to be tomorrow.



Gentlemen, let us return to the road.



Stop firing! You're firing

at your own men!



Hold it!



Hold your fire!

These are your own men here!



It's a lie! Pour into them, boys!



Cease fire! Cease fire!



General Hill, they're our men!



What have they done?



Who is this?



Oh, God, general! Are you hurt badly?



I'm afraid I am, in my shoulder.



And here.



- Get a litter. We need a litter. Move!

- Yes, sir.



- We must leave here, general.

- Here, take this. It'll help, sir.



I will try to keep this from

the knowledge of the troops.



Thank you, general.



The Yankees have set up a battery not a

hundred yards. We must get away!



Ready? Lift! Careful now.



Move out. Ready, lift.









General. Lie quiet, or you

will most certainly be killed.



Let's go. Lift!



Move! Ready? Lift!



Doctor, good to see you.



I am hurt badly.



I fear I am dying.



Sir, I want you to drink this.



It's whiskey and morphine.



Your right hand is minor.

The ball lodged under the skin.



It's these other wounds.



I need to examine your arm.



And I'll administer chloroform

to make it painless.



If I should find that the condition

warrants amputation...



...may I proceed at once?



I have complete faith

in you, Dr. McGuire.



Just do to me whatever

you think necessary.



Breathe deeply, general.



What an infinite blessing.






Doesn't seem right that General Jackson

isn't here to see this.



No, major. It does not seem right at all.

But it is the will of God.



He's lost his left arm. I've lost my right.






How you feeling, sir?



Do not concern yourself about me.



But tell me, how are we faring?



General, the enemy's gone

across the river.



We secured the high ground

around Chancellorsville.



General Stuart did well by you, sir.



And the Stonewall brigade...



...right in the middle of it, sir.

"Remember Jackson," they shouted.



I heard that all day.



They were fighting for Stonewall.



Well, isn't that just like them.

They are a noble set of men.



That name, Stonewall, belongs

to the brigade, not to me.



I have the ball.



Dr. McGuire allowed me to keep the

musket ball he took from your hand.



It was a round, smooth bore.

It had to be one of ours.



I heard. They thought I was asleep.



It could not be helped.

There's no blame in war.



We must all forgive.



I had to remove your husband's

left arm, patch his right hand.



He's healing well, I'm very pleased.

But there is a new problem.



I do believe he is developing pneumonia.



- May I see him, doctor?

- Well, certainly, certainly. He's weak.



I've given him some medicine

to help him sleep.



He's in some pain and the medication

makes him drift away. He's in and out.



General, I have a treat for you.

Something you may have been missing.



Another medicine?



Very well, doctor.



No, it's not mine, actually.



But it may do you some good.



Oh, so sweet. Too much sugar.



Always the problem with

my esposita's lemonade.



I'm so glad to see you looking so bright.



No, no. You must be cheerful.



Let's not have a long face.



You know I like cheerfulness

and brightness in a sickroom.






My esposita.



I know you would gladly

give your life for me...



...but I am perfectly resigned.

Do not be sad.



I hope I may yet recover.



Pray for me.



But in your prayers, never forget to

use the petition, "Thy will be done."



I'm so glad you're here.

Your lemonade is delicious.



- It's not too sweet.

- Too much sugar.



I never told you that.



Is that my sweet darling angel?



My Julia.



Is it certain, doctor?



Does he know?



I have not told him.



Then I will.



He must know.



He must be prepared.



My darling...



...today is Sunday.



Do you know that the doctor says

you must very soon be in heaven?



Do you not feel willing to acquiesce...



...in God's allotment

if he wills you to go today?



I prefer it.



I prefer it.






...by the time this day closes...



...you will be with the blessed

Savior in his glory.



I will be an infinite gainer

to be translated.



General Lee.



What is the news, Reverend?



General Lee, I must report

that his case appears hopeless.



His wounds are healing,

but he's dying of pneumonia.



Surely General Jackson must recover.



God will not take him from us, not now

that we need him so very much.



Will you see him, sir?



No, sir, I won't. No, sir.



When you return, I trust

you'll find him better.



And when the occasion offers, tell him

that I prayed for him last night...



...as I never prayed,

I believe, for myself.



Please tell him.



Please tell him.






Push up that column.



Move up that column.



Pendleton, take charge of that line.

Where's Smith?



Tell him. Push up that column.



Move the batteries to the center

of the crest. There's no time to waste.



General Stuart, no quarter to the

violators of our homes and hearths.



General Lee, we must take

the war to the enemy.



You are the   st Brigade.



Advance, my brave boys.



Press on.



Press on.



Let us cross over the river...



...and rest under the shade of the trees.




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