Friday, February 28, 2014

Documentary Review: History Chanel: Gettysburg

I thought it must have been me, but this documentary does not start well.  It begins with giving no context, at the railroad cut, and the viewer really doesn’t know what is going on.  I thought maybe my DVD version was missing something; but I have read other reviews which had the same complaint so I guess not.  The History Channel seemed to use this battle to show lots of bloody and gory scenes, while doing a poor job of telling the story.  They also focused on the battle through town, as the Union troops pulled back to Cemetery Ridge.  The second day they concentrate on Sickles defense on the Union left.  He had pulled too far forward leaving himself vulnerable.  However it does not mention the far left of the Union line, Chamberlain on Little round Top.   That was a disappointment to me.  They did a better job of explaining Picket’s charge the final day of the battle.  The day started with the largest artillery barrage as the confederate artillery tried to chase the Union artillery from the field.  They did not succeed.  The documentary had an excerpt about the cannon used, and the shell and shot, and the devastating effect this had on the Confederate attackers.  The confederate strength was pretty much gone before they reached the Union lines, from facing the artillery barrage across the field of a over a mile.  Just as General Meade did not follow up with defeated the retreating Confederate Army, this documentary did not follow up well with telling the aftermath of the battle.

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