Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Lincoln and Lee at Antietam The Cost of Freedom|
Actors: Ronald F. Maxwell, Dennis E. Frye, Mike Brown (XVIII), Ed Mantell, Cindy Brinkerhof
Genres: Special Interests, Television, Educational, Documentary
It's September 17, 1862 and President Abraham Lincoln needs a victory in order to issue the Emancipation Proclamation and end slavery in the South. But Robert E. Lee has other plans - invade the North. When Lee's stra... more »
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The Antietam reason:
Todd E. Newman | Valparaiso, IN | 02/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Lincoln and Lee at Antietam covers the entire struggle of the Antietam Campaign. The political concept about why Lincoln needed a Union victory and Lee's need to take the war north were covered as well as the battle. With various interviews featuring historians such as James McPherson, this documentary is very well done. The battle coverage is brief and not entirely descriptive although it includes reenactment scenes from the 125th, 135th and 140th Antietam Reenactments. A majority of the footage and photography is excellent as it shows the beauty of the Maryland landscape around Antietam. Some of the film really points out General McClellan's "slow-to-react" method of dealing with Lee's invasion and how he missed a multiple of opportunities to really whip Lee during this campaign.
Being a reenactor, covering a battle in detail in under two hours is nearly impossible. Naturally I would like to see more. I did enjoy the political views shown on both sides be it Union or Confederate. It showcased the importance of how crucial this conflict was to each party. It presented the facts about what could be gained and lost for both armies and governments that I liked.
For a veteran reenactor or student of the battle of Antietam, a majority of this presentation is fairly basic and might be too standard although McPherson's explanation about why Antietam was politically important for Lincoln is something most people could learn about in this great presentation."
Not Quite Realistic
Bradley F. Smith | Miami Beach, FL | 07/06/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a documentary, not a drama. But the many scenes of reenactments of Antietam by local Civil War buffs drags this down a bit. They don't look realistic. If men were being shot at, they wouldn't look so casual or silly as do the amateurs seen throughout this film. Still, you get a decent recounting of the Civil War's bloodiest battle. The real thing was most surely vastly worse than what you see here."
Good Basic History; Not for Veteran Civil War History Affici
Larkin C. Eakin | Houston,TX | 08/07/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Simply stated this is an acceptable documentary review of the Battle that gave Federal Troops what the Union "spun" as a victory by the North, ending a line of spectacular defeats that it had suffered while Lincoln labored to build an Army and looked for a General that would fight and pursue defeated CSA troops, unlike Gen. George McClellan,. McClellan, who was content to entrench and drill the much larger Army of the Potomac, which was 2-3 times larger than the Confederate Army at Antietam . The experienced Civil War historian will find this tape to be very basic, although it does recount the carnage accurately and the fact that the Army of the Potomac won--if, indeed they did-- at a horrific cost that might be seen as a loss today.
The Lincoln vs Lee approach is not really a story or a subtext to the Battle of Antietam, nor is it a proper subtext for a documentary. At this point Lincoln was trying to hold Maryland and Louisiana in the Union and praying (literally) for a General that could crush the Confederacy as quickly as possible. The real contrast was between one of Lee's uncharacteristic tactical mistakes and McClellan's characteristic indecision in engaging the enemy. This DVD is not a waste of money, but start with Ken Burns "Civil War" if you truly want to understand Antietam in context. Burn's masterpiece is still the best-written and most sweeping documentary on the Civil War ( or on any subject) ever made.
The Burns five-disc set is available from Amazon at a substantial reduction from its $150 issue price. Good sets (get the re-mastered version--much sharper and 16:9 aspect for HD Televisions) go for half that if you shop carefully and really care about this pivotal battle."