This resource list is provided to help you
in your walk with God, to encourage you in your marriage and family life,
to enhance your study of Civil War history, or even to obtain your own
Civil War equipment! We do not claim it is exhaustive or complete. If you
have any comments on the resources listed below, or suggestions to add to
this list, please contact us.
This is the most important category of
resources. Unlike other forms of media, books engage the mind actively and
can be digested over time rather than consumed in rapid quantities.
Besides your Bible, these books are inspiring and/or great historical resources.
Life & Letters of Gen. Robert Edward Lee,
Dr. J.W. Jones, Sprinkle Publications,
www.trinitybookservice.org. Dr. Jones served for four years
under Lee in the Civil War as a private and chaplain. He later served as a
chaplain at Washington College while Lee was president of the school. Dr.
Jones does a thorough job of presenting Lee's life and accomplishments in
detail, all supported with Lee's personal letters. You've really got to want
to learn about Lee to read through this one, though. It is very detailed.
Call of Duty: The Sterling Nobility of
Robert E. Lee, J. Stephen Wilkins, et al, Cumberland House,
is more like a modern, condensed version of "Life & Letters" and is an
excellent resource for children and young adults too.
Soul of the Lion - A Biography of General
Joshua L. Chamberlain, Willard M. Wallace, Stan Clark Military Books,
great biography and overview of Chamberlain's family, his upbringing,
Civil War experiences, and distinguished career and family life after the
"Bayonet! Forward" My Civil War
Reminiscences, Joshua L. Chamberlain, Stan Clark Military Books,
book is a compilation of speeches given by Chamberlain relating to his
participation in the Civil War. Chamberlain uses "big" or "flowery" words
and embellished phrases by today's standards but his words are powerful.
He transports you back to the action and his own thoughts as though you
were actually him. Very good reading.
John Brown Gordon: Soldier,
Southerner, American, Ralph Lowell Eckert, Louisiana State
A wonderful biography of one of the Confederacy's greatest soldiers,
generals, and Christians. Gordon rose from captain to command the II Corps
in Lee's Army of Northern Virginia and became one of Lee's most intimate
confidants. The drama of Gordon's service parallels that of Chamberlain
and his post-war accomplishments were even greater (except, of course, his
role in the Georgia KKK). The book doesn't dwell on Gordon's military
experience but provides a nice balance with the rest of his life. The
author presents a fair view, balancing Gordon's considerable achievements
with his obvious faults and blunders. You get an accurate picture of the
man, his life and times.
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These are various teaching tapes that
have inspired us along the way.
If I Had It To Live Over Again, Tony
If there is one message that I would call "motivational" for living a full
life in Christ, this is it. You will never be the same after hearing this
The Last Great Idea, Tony Campolo,
A commencement address that turns out to be a challenge to any believer to
focus on the things that count in life. Excellent.
My Son Give Me Thine Heart, S.M. Davis,
If you don't have the heart, you've lost the soul. Very practical teaching
about an overlooked topic. Available through
Freedom from the Destruction of Anger,
Most dads have a problem in this area (even if you don't recognize it --
like I didn't). This tape will help you face the issue, understand it's
implications for your life and family, and deal with it constructively.
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We are often asked about good programs or
movies about Civil War history. As with any historical recreation, there
are bound to be biases and errors so don't assume they are 100% factual.
But, these are about as good as we can expect from Hollywood.
Gettysburg, Ronald Maxwell, Turner
Pictures - This movie is the film to see to appreciate Civil War
combat on a grand scale. I give it pretty good marks for historical
accuracy though it does contain some inaccuracies. Also, it presents only one
side of some hotly debated topics (Did Ewell err in not "taking that hill"
or was Lee's order too vague and discretionary? Was it Longstreet's or Lee's
stubbornness that led to the disaster of Pickett's charge on July 3rd? Was
Longstreet virtuous in resisting Lee's battle plans or insubordinate? Did
Longstreet's lack of enthusiasm result in poor execution on July 3rd?). These points do not
have clear answers in historical fact but the movie is decidedly
pro-Longstreet. Warning, Gettysburg regrettably
contains about 15 swear words in 4.33 hours of film, mostly "d
m n," but otherwise it's squeaky clean.
The Civil War, Ken Burns, PBS Home
Video - This 9 part series, originally aired in 1990,
is a landmark production. It combines original photographs, some modern
imagery, and a fabulous script to tell the story of the Civil War from
beginning to end. It transports you back to the 1860's and lets you
experience the drama and emotion of those times. Like all historical
works, it has its share of problems and errors but overall is
Civil War Combat, Greystone
Communications, The History Channel - There are 3 sets of 4, 50-minute
episodes each devoted to key Civil War battles (Set I - The Wheatfield at
Gettysburg, The Bloody Lane at Antietam, The Hornets' Nest at Shiloh, The
Tragedy at Cold Harbor; Set II - The Battle of First Manassas, The Battle
of Fredericksburg, The Battle of Chancellorville, and Little Round Top at
Gettysburg; Set III - Culp's Hill at Gettysburg, The Battle of
Chickamauga, The Crater at Petersburg, and the Battle of Franklin). Each program includes
commentary from prominent historians, scenes of the actual battlefields,
and action-packed reenactments. Very good history and great battle
reenactments, sometimes a little too realistic.
Glory, Freddie Fields, TriStar
Pictures - The touching story of the 54th Massachusetts, the first black
regiment in the Union Army, and its white commanding officer, Col. Robert Gould
Shaw. The movie contains decent battle scenes at the beginning and end,
but is more focused on the making of men and leaders. It's an emotional
story with a very dramatic ending. Warning, contains some pretty
salty language, bad attitudes, and rough behavior -- enough for me to say it is borderline
at best, especially for children. But, I present it
here for your consideration and judgment.
Gods and Generals, Ronald Maxwell, Turner
Pictures - I like Ron Maxwell (see Gettysburg review above) but I
must sadly confess this movie was a disappointment. First, however, let me
accentuate the positive. Yes, it is a decidedly Christian film and
portrays Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson and his faith in a positive light
(Stephen Lang turned in an inspiriting performance and did an outstanding
job). If that's all there was to the movie then it would be fine. But this
movie tried to capture over 2 years of intense American history in a few
short hours -- a tall order for anyone to fill -- and it failed! The story
was tough to follow and basically consisted of little snippets of
interesting characters and scenes strung together. Most viewers that I
know with little knowledge of the Civil War missed many of the very subtle
connections. Furthermore, the combat scenes were AWFUL. The use of
computer-generated images (soldiers in the background, city scenes, cannon
explosions, dead on the ground) continually spoiled the effects. It may
work in Star Wars but not for the Civil War. By comparison,
Gettysburg was filmed with real people doing real stunts and using
real explosives. It is possible to watch Gettysburg and actually
believe you are watching the real Civil War because the realism is that good.
Not so in Gods and Generals. I watched this at the theatre and
hoped the DVD would include more of the story, but it doesn't, so I didn't
waste my money. You shouldn't either.
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Music really isn't our focus but we are
often asked about the theme music played in the Civil War Dads video. Here it is.
Gettysburg Original Motion Picture
Soundtrack, BMG/Milan Records,
www.amazon.com. We use
the first track (plainly called, Main Title) in the introduction
and closing of the Civil War Dads video. But this CD also contains very
beautiful music used throughout the movie Gettysburg. Good stuff!
The Civil War Original Soundtrack
is the music that accompanies the Ken Burns series as seen on PBS,
including the hauntingly beautiful Ashokan Farewell and an
abbreviated reading of the Sullivan Ballou letter accompanied by the same
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www.LibertyFinancialPlanning.com - Web site for Steve Braun's
financial planning business. Looking for a fellow believer to provide
godly counsel with your finances? Contact Steve.
- Web site where you can order materials by Steve Braun or learn more about
his other family and financial workshops.
www.USCCGettysburg.org - Organization
that brings to life the greatest untold stories of the American Civil War.
Stories of courage, duty and selfless devotion to a cause greater than the
blue or the gray. These heroes served on the battlefields without rifle or
bayonet, but with bibles, bandages and the love of Christ. The present day
United States Christian Commission is dedicated to telling the stories of
those who served their country and Lord, offering a message of peace to
the heart of a soldier.
www.17thmicoe.org - Web site home for the 17th Michigan, Company E
reenactors, Steve's reenacting unit. The real 17th of Civil War fame was
given the name "Stonewall Regiment" (not to be confused with the
Confederate "Stonewall Brigade" of Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson fame) for its
inaugural action at the Battle of South Mountain just days before Antietam. We
aren't quite as brave as the original 17th but I'm sure we have a lot more
fun, despite the wool uniforms and marching around in the heat and
humidity of a Michigan summer!
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Civil War Equipment
We get an occasional inquiry about Civil
War military and civilian gear. Believe it or not, there is quite a market
for Civil War reproductions and there are many suppliers, some more
authentic than others. As reenactors, we have come across some that have
proven to be reliable sources for authentic reproductions and/or
exceptional quality and value.
Cedar Creek Supply Depot, Morristown, TN,
www.cedarcreeksupplydepot.com - Excellent source for all leather goods
(belt, scabbard, cap box, cartridge box and strap), shoes (aka, Brogans),
and haversack. Also, good source for trousers.
Dirty Billy's Hats, Gettysburg, PA,
Excellent source for all hats (military and civilian).
C & D Jarnagin Company, Corinth, MS,
- Great source for sack coat (4-button), frock coat (9-button), and
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