Introduction to the movie Gettysburg. Released on the 130th anniversary of the battle, I will have it playing at my home during the 150th anniversary next week. Overlong, and historically suspect, especially as to its Longstreet-could-do-no wrong perspective, it still is a masterpiece. It captures perfectly the desperate nature of the battle that has become the symbol of that fratricidal conflict. The late Shelby Foote once said that to understand this country you needed to understand the Civil War. I concur, and I would also suggest that it is impossible to understand the Civil War without understanding Gettysburg, a battle which marked the end of Lee’s perceived invincibility and gave Lincoln an opportunity to explain to the people why so many men had to die so their nation might live.
Stay tuned to The American Catholic for several posts in the next few days on Gettysburg and the Civil War.