Gettysburg is a historical film that portrays the Battle of Gettysburg in a very dramatic manner. The Battle of Gettysburg was considered one of the most important battles during the Civil War because it marked the turning point of the Civil War, as well as the end of the war. Also, after the battle, Lincoln made his infamous “Gettysburg Address” to honor the dead, and talk about the purpose of war. Although this movie portrayed the battle accurately, many aspects of the film were exaggerated and changed in order to make it more appealing to audiences.
When Tom Chamberlain is talking to the captured Confederates, one of them says he is from Tennessee, a member of Archer's Brigade of Heth's division. He continues to say that he was captured in the railroad cut west of Gettysburg. The Confederates in the railroad cut were actually from Mississippi, a part of Davis’s brigade. Those from Tennessee would have been fighting half a mile away.
Before the July 2 fighting, Lee meets some Confederate generals outside and greets them by saying "good morning." One of the generals who was there was Heth. Heth was actually knocked unconscious during the fighting on July 1. He would not have been at a meeting of generals on the morning of July 2 because he was still unconscious at the time. However, in this scene, his head was wrapped, which makes a reference to the wounds he encountered the day before.
The remnants of the 2nd Maine were not sent to the 20th Maine prior to the battle of Gettysburg. This actually occurred much earlier than depicted in the movie. It actually occurred in May of 1863. Cushing's Battery in the Federal lines during Picket's Charge is portrayed using 12-pound Napoleons, when actually the battery had 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. The two guns look very different. The final historical inaccuracy that I noted was when General Kemper is talking to Colonel Freemantle. He tells him that Longstreet lost all three of his children to scarlet fever. He also says that the youngest child was ten years old. But Longstreet actually had four children, three of whom died. The youngest was only one year old. His oldest son, Garland, was thirteen years old at the time but survived the illness. They died in January 1862.
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