Civil War Dads

 

"Suffer hardship with me as a good soldier of Christ Jesus..." II Timothy 2:3-4

 

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Links & Resources

 

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.

 

Books

Audio Tapes

Video/DVD

Music

Organizations

Civil War Equipment    

 

Books

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.

Spiritual

Historical

  • 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, www.amazon.com. This 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, www.amazon.com. A great biography and overview of Chamberlain's family, his upbringing, Civil War experiences, and distinguished career and family life after the Civil War.

  • "Bayonet! Forward" My Civil War Reminiscences, Joshua L. Chamberlain, Stan Clark Military Books, www.amazon.com. This 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 University Press, www.amazon.com. 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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Audio Tapes

These are various teaching tapes that have inspired us along the way.

  • If I Had It To Live Over Again, Tony Campolo, www.tonycampolo.org. 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 one.

  • The Last Great Idea, Tony Campolo, www.tonycampolo.org. 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, www.drsmdavis.com. If you don't have the heart, you've lost the soul. Very practical teaching about an overlooked topic. Available through www.courtshipconnection.com.

  • Freedom from the Destruction of Anger, S.M. Davis, www.drsmdavis.com. 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. Available through www.courtshipconnection.com.

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Video/DVD

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. www.amazon.com

  • 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 excellent. www.amazon.com

  • 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. www.amazon.com

  • 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. www.amazon.com

  • 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

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!

Other favorites:

  • The Civil War Original Soundtrack Recording, WEA/Atlantic/Nonesuch, www.amazon.com. This 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 tune.

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Organizations

  • 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.

  • www.LibertyFamilyResources.com - Web site where you can order materials by Steve Braun or learn more about his other family and financial workshops.

  • www.AmericanDecency.org - Organization dedicated to rallying Christians to live a life of holiness and resist the worldly assault on our minds and hearts through pornography and sexual imagery.

  • 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, www.dirtybillyshats.com - Excellent source for all hats (military and civilian).

  • C & D Jarnagin Company, Corinth, MS, www.jarnaginco.com - Great source for sack coat (4-button), frock coat (9-button), and trousers.

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