The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


The general of Gods and Generals

It was 1978 when director Ron Maxwell (left), still new to feature film directing, read Michael Shaara's Civil War book . It opened the chapter on a more than 25-year obsession with the Civil War that has led him to direct two epic movies, with a third being planned.


The first of Maxwell's trilogy, Gettysburg, released in 1993, was hailed as "the greatest Civil War movie I have ever seen, and I have seen them all," by James I. Robertson, a Stonewall Jackson biographer.

Gods and Generals opened in February in theaters nationwide. The prequel to Gettysburg includes several actors reprising their roles. Robert Duvall joins the ensemble as Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Although most Civil War buffs will be aware of the film's story, the director believes many people will be surprised to find out that there were African American Confederate soldiers. (For more information on Maxwell and his movie, see www.ronmaxwell.com.)

"I had no idea that so much of my life would be committed to bringing these stories to life," said Maxwell, a member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, New York City. "But here I am, still in the middle of it."

The rest of this article is only available to subscribers.

text size:

this page: email | print

February issue


Embracing diversity