[End of update.]
Oh my, this is so predictable. The folks at Civil War Memory are all aghast over a new WBTS movie plot - again. (See here and here.) Though the movie (actually it's an Amazon drama pilot) hasn't even been released, they're all against it because the story line involves a West Pointer who frees his slaves and then fights for the Confederacy. Can't have that - doesn't fit the template, you know, "it was all about slavery, etc, etc, etc." Of course, they're arguing it's not historically accurate, yet CWM host Kevin Levin admits:
While Levin's honesty is refreshing, I'm curious as to why one would admit such ignorance and then go on to condemn a movie involving the topic one is ignorant about. Civil War Memory is a strange place indeed.
Like Levin, I'm also not aware of any West Point cadets who renounced slavery and then supported the Confederacy. Although I recall (vaguely) some examples of Southerners freeing and/or denouncing slavery and supporting the Confederacy. There is some evidence that Stonewall Jackson expressed opposition to slavery prior to the war and prior to his enrollment at West Point. Those familiar with James Robertson's biography of Jackson are aware that Robertson believed that Jackson likely opposed slavery, even though he fought for the Confederacy:
Jackson neither apologized for nor spoke in favor of the practice of slavery. He probably opposed the institution. Yet in his mind the Creator had sanctioned slavery, and man had no moral right to challenge its existence.Historian and fellow blogger Robert Moore has told me that he had a great x 3 grandfather who freed his slaves before the war and yet his son served in the Stonewall Brigade. This son was not a conscript and served as a company commander. Point is, opposing slavery and supporting the Confederacy was not, as many of us are aware, unheard of - something Levin and many of his followers seem to struggle with. There were a number of reasons, besides slavery, that some Southerners took up arms against the Union - having your sons beheaded by Union soldiers, for example. Thus the movie's storyline is not all that unrealistic - even though it may not be specifically historically factual. But let's not forget, it's just a film.
You can watch the trailer below. It looks interesting to me. It may be horrible. It may be so-so. It may be great. But I haven't seen it yet. So I'll withhold judgement until I actually view it - something I'd recommend for others as well. And try to remember, it's just a film.
And while thinking about the reaction to this movie, one should compare it to the reaction to another recent Civil War movie - just for giggles.
And an update: Here's an excerpt from an entertainment website that doesn't like the film either but, ironcially, for a different type of inaccuracy:
Point of Honor clearly wants to commit to the real drama of the American Civil War, but it lacks the budget and the attention to detail necessary. Sure, I’m being a fussy snob in calling out their historically inaccurate musical choice, but they also make the mistake of having two characters blatantly discuss how the Civil War was all about slavery. It wasn’t. It was in part about slavery, but slavery was a moral concern for abolitionists. The American Civil War was about how centralized government should be and it’s a dispute that still rages on Capitol Hill. [Emphasis mine.]Oh my, I can almost hear the sound of panties bunching already.