… or four and a half hours of my life I won’t get back.
The impetus for watching this film was actually inspired by St. Patrick’s Day. There’s a scene during the Battle of Fredericksburg where the Irish Brigade of fame, led by Gen. Thomas Meagher, attacks Marye’s Heights and meet the 24th Georgia Volunteer Infantry, or Georgia’s Irish Brigade. In the film, the Georgians are shocked and appalled both that their fellow Irishmen are fighting for the Union and that they are actively shooting their fellow Irishmen. When the Federals retreat, the Georgians send up a cry to honor their dead and retreating brethren. What a way to celebrate a day most everyone else takes as an excuse to drink excessively. The Irish love their misery, I guess, and my father, being 3rd generation Irish, made sure us kids knew the ways of his people.
Southern Irish: Fighting against a tyrannical government, which only makes sense from the States Rights Cause perspective. Because the British had been ruling Ireland for centuries, was extremely discriminatory against them, and had just allowed millions to die during the Great Famine, a tragedy which the Crown could have prevented.
Northern Irish: fighting against slavery and for a unified state, as generally the Irish were the lowest of the second-class citizenry in the UK, hardly better off than slaves. Also for the Union, and very American, ideals that what status you’re born at doesn’t mean you’ll die there, that you can bootstrap yourself up the societal chain.
I’m one of those people who can’t just cherrypick a clip of a film. I have to watch the whole thing. And I did. I did not actively take notes, so what follows will be general impressions of this rewatch. Also, please note that I saw the movie when it came out in 2003, and this might be the first time I’ve seen it since. On principle, I generally don’t watch it. (The soundtrack, on the other hand, is amazing.)
And so without further ado, Gods and Generals:
Among my goals for December: write a post on the 150th of Gettysburg. I’ve been putting it off for a while but December is coming to a close. And so, it is time that I, the Domer in DC, climb the apex of bloggery.
As you may have been aware, this year, 2013, marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. There have been anniversary notices and articles for a few years now because the 150th anniversary actually spans 2011 to 2015, but could go even earlier than that, if you want to get into Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Bleeding Kansas and cover all the related things. I won’t get into that because I’ve never read Uncle Tom’s Cabin and I’m not in Kansas anymore, Toto. And honestly, all the related things get discussed ad nauseum at history nerd events anyway and I’m not sure I could distill the arguments into something blogworthy.
Event staff: you had one job.