Gods and Generals CD1
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 75,000 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."
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 4th Virginia.
And in the 4th 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.
May we meet again in happier times.
And if not in this troubled world may we meet in...
- Parade, rest! - We're ready.
Men of the valley.
I am here at the order of General Robert E. Lee, commanding all Virginia forces.
On April 15 of this year of our Lord, 1861...
...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.
- 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!
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.
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.
- 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.
I understand from your record that you are West Point, class of '54.
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.
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.
...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 4-to-1 in favor.
And I'm proud to report that the vote in the Shenandoah Valley...
...is 3130 in favor, 10 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?
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.
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 30th birthday...
...and fill her heart with the conviction of how much she is loved and missed...
...by her husband.
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 1 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 4th and the 27th regiments stationed as support.
I want the 5th Regiment posted to their right...
...the 2nd and 33rd to the left. Understood?
Counter battery fire!
Eight hundred yards!
- Shell! Five-second fuse! - Fire!
Counter battery fire. 800 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!
1 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!
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!
- Rise up! - Quickly, boys!
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!
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!
1 st Brigade...
...reserve your fire...
...till they come within 50 yards...
And give them the bayonet!
And when you charge...
...yell like Furies!
- Ready! Aim! - Aim!
- Fire! - Fire!
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?
...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. 111 dead.
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...
...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."
...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.
...I know you. When you do a thing, you do it à 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 15. 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.
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 1 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 4:00 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.
What is it, Tom?
Everything in this life seems so fragile.
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 20th Maine Regiment of Volunteers...
...this is your commanding officer, Colonel Adelbert Ames.
You do not cheer an officer.
You salute him.
20th 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.
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.
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...
We've been watching you, sir, that we have.
You've learned fast. Becoming a pleasure to serve under you.
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.
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 1 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 1 st Brigade.
In the Army of the Potomac, you were the 1 st Brigade.
In the 2nd Corps of this Army, you are the 1 st Brigade.
You are the 1 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 1 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 Fredericksburg...
...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?
...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.
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.
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...
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!
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.
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.
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.
...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."
We who are about to die salute you.
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!
20th Maine to the front.
Battalion! Shoulder arms!
Come on, boys! Show them the cold steel! Irish brigade, move out!
Irish brigade, at the double-quick...
Front and center!
Double column, boys! Form up!
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!
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!
Lie down here!
Lie down and load!
Lie down and load!
Load and fire!
Blaze away, lads! Do it, boys!
Keep firing, men! Keep firing!
Fall back, lads!
Every man for himself!
Fall back, men!
- Caldwell's brigade, forward! Now! - Yes, sir!
At the double-quick! March!
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