Gods and Generals

Corrected entry: During the Christmas scene in the house Jackson tells the little girl, Jane, that he has never seen his daughter as "she was born just days ago." In fact his daughter was not born until February, and tragically died only a few days after Jackson himself.

William Lanigan

Correction: Julia Laura Jackson was born in November 1862 and survived until adulthood.

Corrected entry: Near the beginning of the movie, after General Lee says his speech and the crowd claps, there's a shot of two people clapping. If you look behind them you will see a boom mic.

Correction: If you look closely, you can see that this so called "boom mic" is actually a chair.

Corrected entry: When Jeb Stuart and Stonewall Jackson meet for the first time, Stuart says: "Lieutenant Colonel Stuart reporting for duty, Sir." However, later in the conversation Jackson calls him 'General Stuart' and his shoulder straps indicate that Stuart is in fact a full Colonel, not a Lieutenant Colonel.

Correction: Jackson always calls Stuart a Colonel.

Corrected entry: When the Union troops are routing at Chancellorsville, Major General Oliver Howard is shown with a sword in his right hand and the reins in his left. The real General Howard only had one arm.

Correction: The only two Union Generals in this scene are General Hooker and General Hancock. General Hancock is the only one shown on horseback.

Corrected entry: In one scene, General Lee and his lieutenants celebrate Christmas of 1862 with a rousing rendition of Silent Night. Unfortunately, the English lyrics, by John Freeman Young, were not yet written. Young penned the lyrics the following year, and it was still some years later before they were known well enough for such a spontaneous sing-along to occur.

Correction: John Freeman Young published a pamphlet of Christmas songs in 1859, titled "Carols for Christmas Tide". The first of the seven songs was his definitive translation of "Stille Nacht". Three years' time seems reasonable to explain the spread of the song to the South.

Corrected entry: When Lucy tells her mother that their house is still standing, her mother hugs her and wishes for the well being of Martha and her children. Lucy responds with, "But oh Mother..." Only the voice that says, "But oh Mother" is definitely not her own and is overdubbed. Matter of fact, it sounds a lot like a man's voice. (On Disc 2). (00:19:40)


Correction: Nonsense. The voice you hear is somewhat deep and dark, but that's just because it's laden with grief. It's definitely Lucy's own voice.

Corrected entry: Col. Chamberlain's hat changes several times throughout the battle. Sometimes it has '20th' in the center of the insignia for the 20th Maine, other times it is just a plain insignia with no '20th'.

Correction: You are incorrect. Col. Chamberlain has a hat with plain insignia throughout the Battle of Fredericksburg. You are confusing him with the other colonel in the 20th Maine, Col. Adelbert Ames. Ames has a hat with '20th' in the center of the insignia and he looks a lot like Chamberlain, so the confusion is easily explained.

Corrected entry: There is a scene in which Confederate soldiers are discussing the many nicknames of Stonewall Jackson. One of the soldiers lists "Old Hickory" as one of Thomas Jackson's nicknames. Old Hickory was Andrew Jackson, the US President. I'm not aware of Old Hickory being the nickname of both Thomas Jackson and of Andrew Jackson.

Correction: Actually, look it up on the web; 'Old Hickory' WAS a nickname of Stonewall Jackson, when he was a professor at Virginia Military Institute.

Corrected entry: When the 20th Maine is ordered to charge at Fredericksburg, the men are at "shoulder arms." In the next shot, without an order being given, the men are at "right-shoulder shift." (00:05:42)

Correction: The reason for this is that when they charge they're marching at the double quick and as in the drill manuals of that period (Hardee's, Casey's, etc.) when marching at the double quick you're immediately supposed to got to right shoulder shift.

Corrected entry: When J.E.B. Stuart meets Jackson at Jackson's field tent, Jackson addresses Stuart as "Lt. Col. Stuart." But Stuart is wearing shoulder boards with eagles, i.e., full Colonel.

Correction: A Lieutenant-Colonel is usually addressed as Colonel by his colleagues. The same can be used for First and Second Lieutenants and Major Generals. They are simply referred to as Lieutenant or General.

Corrected entry: After the battle of Manassas, Gen. Jackson and Captain Smith stand beside a cannon discussing the general's equanimity on the battlefield. In the background behind the captain, you can see one of the dead men wiggle his boot. (00:52:30)

Correction: He's not dead - he's wounded.

Corrected entry: About halfway through the movie, there is a scene with a soldier telling his buddies how to divide up his stuff in the event of his death. This soldier is later killed by an artillery burst during the battle of Chancellorsville. This same soldier later appears in 'Gettysburg' as one of three captured Rebel soldiers who talk with Tom Chamberlain. He must have recovered.

Correction: That character is all together different from the character in Gettysburg.

Corrected entry: Through most of the movie, General Lee is seen wearing an officer's frock coat with an erect collar and the rank insignia of Colonel (3 stars) on the outside of the collar. In every picture I've ever seen of Lee, he is wearing a frock opened on top with the collar laying flat and the Colonel stars on the inside of the collar. Toward the end Lee is finally seen wearing this coat.

Correction: Could he not have had both styles, and only favored being photographed in the one? It's not like there were many candid photos in that day and age, so he would have had time to get changed into his flat-collar coat whenever he saw the tripod going up.


Gods and Generals mistake picture

Revealing mistake: In the Fredericksburg battle scene, just after the Union officer orders the men to fall back, there is a 1 or 2 second close-up shot of a Confederate soldier taking a hit and falling back. As he does, a modern wristwatch is visible on his left wrist under the sleeve of his coat. (01:49:49)

More mistakes in Gods and Generals

General Robert E. Lee: He's lost his left arm. I've lost my right.

More quotes from Gods and Generals

Trivia: General Robert E. Lee was shown throughout the movie as wearing the three star insignia of a Colonel, rather than the three stars surrounded by a wreath as was the proper insignia for all Confederate generals. General Lee actually wore this throughout most if not all of the war, and this is accurate.

More trivia for Gods and Generals

Question: It takes more than skilled generals and troops to win - without food, and supplies, skill is just an empty threat. Why didn't the south realise this during the time the movie takes place?

Answer: Pride, honor, and respect were some of the characteristics of a Southerner's perspective during the Civil War, and did not change through the war. At this point of the war, however, the Confederates knew they were now on the defensive, no longer fighting for either slavery or states' rights, but the survival of their land, farms, and homes against foreign invaders (Union troops) who were using "scorched earth" tactics to break the South's will and ability to fight. That alone, kept them fighting even though victory was not going to happen for them.

What are scorched earth tactics?

Destruction of farms, crops, livestock. Also destroy every town that the Union troops arrive at.

More questions & answers from Gods and Generals

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