You Are The Author, Episode II: Gods and Generals (1996)

Union_Buff

Major
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Oct 14, 2009
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New Zealand
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Hello again all :smile:

I would like to present to you the second installment of You Are The Author - this time focusing on "Gods and Generals". Once more, I am interested to hear what my fellow members of CivilWarTalk would do if they had written the sequel to Gettysburg.

~ James (Union_Buff)
 

rbortega

Private
Joined
May 4, 2013
I would keep the same narrative structure used in the novel (the early years of the Civil War in the Eastern Theatre from the perspective of Lee, Jackson, Chamberlain, and Hancock) and made some small changes here and there. Among the changes I would have made are having George McClellan as a more prominent supporting character and presenting more historically accurate depictions of some events depicted in the narrative (Lee turning down command of the Union Army, the Irish Brigade at Antietam and Fredericksburg).
 

Andersonh1

Brigadier General
Moderator
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Jan 12, 2016
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South Carolina
I haven't read the book, but the comment about Lee turning down the command leads me to ask, does he have the beard and white hair during that scene in the book? Because it always bothers me when the movie opens with Lee looking older than he should, and not clean-shaven (apart from the mustache), as he was at that time.
 

51st Georgia

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May 31, 2011
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Miami FL
I haven't read the book, but the comment about Lee turning down the command leads me to ask, does he have the beard and white hair during that scene in the book? Because it always bothers me when the movie opens with Lee looking older than he should, and not clean-shaven (apart from the mustache), as he was at that time.
what bothered me about that movie is not just the beard, but the fact that Robert Duvall was in his mid 70s, much older than Lee. I turned to my buddy who went with me and said "That's not Granny Lee, but Great Granny Lee!"
 

Pat Answer

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Oct 8, 2013
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“...somewhere between NY and PA”
With all the respect due to Jeff Shaara, a published author, from an office proofreader, I don’t like the format of his books. Too sprawling, too much the feel of stitched-together anecdotes rather than a compelling story arc. That is where - in my worth-two-cents opinion of course - The Killer Angels remains superior to any of the rest (and The Last Full Measure somewhat better than Gods and Generals in this regard).
So to be fair I don’t have any suggestions for a rewrite because my whole approach would be different: I would focus on a few key characters and a single ‘event’ like the Seven Days, say, or Fredericksburg or Chancellorsville as was done for Gettysburg.
 

rbortega

Private
Joined
May 4, 2013
With all the respect due to Jeff Shaara, a published author, from an office proofreader, I don’t like the format of his books. Too sprawling, too much the feel of stitched-together anecdotes rather than a compelling story arc. That is where - in my worth-two-cents opinion of course - The Killer Angels remains superior to any of the rest (and The Last Full Measure somewhat better than Gods and Generals in this regard).
So to be fair I don’t have any suggestions for a rewrite because my whole approach would be different: I would focus on a few key characters and a single ‘event’ like the Seven Days, say, or Fredericksburg or Chancellorsville as was done for Gettysburg.
I would agree with this. That is one reason why I thought Shaara's later Civil War novels covering battles in Western theatre were an improvement over Gods and Generals and The Last Full Measure.
 
Joined
Aug 9, 2011
Location
Lockhart, Texas
It's been a long time since I've read G & G and The Last Full Measure, but I remember being singularly impressed with The Last Full Measure. I suppose I should re-read it now that I've tried my own hand at writing Civil War novels. I have to say that Shaara's novel about the US Mexican War--Gone For Soldiers, I think is the title, is his very best effort.
 

Cavalier

First Sergeant
Joined
Jul 20, 2019
If I was writing a sequel to Gettysburg, for my book I would pick one Southern and one Northern officer of similar professional army backgrounds, one cavalry and one infantry, and rotated the stories around them. Their victories and defeats, their virtues and their vices. I would include lots of tactical details.

I had considered for my Confederate character, maybe Fitzhugh Lee, and for my Union hero, maybe Alexander B. Hays. Because sometimes lessor known guys are more interesting.

Would any one read it? Probably not.

Of course I have never written a book, so what the h--- do I know.

John
 
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