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 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 in history as the confederate artillery tried to chase the Union artillery from the field.  They did not succeed.  The documentary had an excerpt about the Union cannon used, and the shell and shot, and the devastating effect this had on the Confederate attackers.  The Confederate strength was pretty much used up before they reached the Union lines, from facing the artillery barrage across a field of a over a mile.  Just as General Meade did not follow up with the defeated the retreating Confederate Army, this documentary did not follow up well with telling the aftermath of the battle.

1 comment:

  1. History Channel does not do a very good job of telling the story of #GETTYSBURG I am interested in everyone's opinion, what happened that General Meade did not follow up the victory, and could the war have been ended had he done so?

    Jean Mark Kaufman The armies had marched for nearly two weeks some 125 miles, the 6th corp 30 plus miles on the last day, fought for three days with terrible casualties not including in any statistics the shock and mental utter exhaustion of battle and subsequent traumatic stress. They had done this often enough with limited food and water. In spite of this the AoP did pursue only to find the ANV is solid defensive position. It is enormously easier for exhausted, weak, soldiers to fight from static defensive positions than to conduct an assault. I do wish more historians would try to do what was done and then see if they have further questions. An army that starts such a venture on the Rappahannock is not the same army as existed on July 4. Much of its immediate combat power has been spent.

    Robert Gravallese Meade said it was unrealistic....during that period, these were such horrific affairs, I think it took some time to get the privates mind back into order never mind the officers. North or South victory, they were rarely followed up. Some historians beg to differ - because they were not there. Lastly, Lee had a rear guard, which was very effective. Gettysburg was not an entirely lopsided victory....Im sure Meade wanted to leave the scene without a disaster. Lincoln thought different but the more I know about the war the more I think Lincoln should have left it to the pros.