Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A TOS Review: Warriors of Honor

We really love our history here. We almost love it more than Peanut Butter and Chocolate. Together.

That's love.

This summer we got to take a trip to not one, but two Civil War Battlefields. Wilson's Creek National Battlefield and Pea Ridge National Military Park. Wilson's Creek is in our neck of the woods and Pea Ridge is just a few hours into Arkansas.

Looking out over the hills and hollers of the Ozarks it's hard to imagine the kind of carnage that took place. Brothers, cousins, friends, neighbors. Locked together in a unimaginable conflict that I hope we never see again.

Josiah loved both of our trips. Since then he has had an increased interest in learning more about the Civil War. When we had a chance to review a documentary from New Liberty Videos, I knew that Warriors of Honor would be just the one we needed to see.

New Liberty Videos has a host of Christian DVDs. Warriors of Honor is a documentary that focuses on two major players of the Civil War, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

The documentary is intended for a general audience is approximately 80 minutes with 3 bonus segments as well.

Warriors of Honor is $19.95. 

We are quite the documentary geeks at our house. It has to be from my early days of Public Television. When I was a little girl we only got two television stations. NBC and PBS.

Tragic, I know. I don't know how I survived. It must have scarred me for life because we rather particular about what Josiah watches on television. In fact, he is assigned a documentary to watch weekly.

You can see that this review was right up our alley.

As I mentioned before, this documentary centers around Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. It centers around their deep Christian faith.

 I grew up in the Ozarks where opinions have always been a bit mixed about the Civil War. My personal opinions and 'raising' has always sympathized with the North. Slavery is abhorrent to me. It has been hard for me to reconcile those who claim to be Christians yet fight for the rights to own slaves.

The video just a good job of setting the stage of the differences in the Northern and Southern cultures before the war began.

I will say that my opinion of the men, Robert E. Lee in particular, is quite different after viewing this documentary. I believe the war pained him a great deal. The film includes portions of letters both men wrote to their families, pastors and fellow officers.

The film told their stories through historical photographs, video and pictures of historical sites and video of  Civil War re-enactors. I would caution parents of young children to be aware that some of the pictures are disturbing. They are not gory or graphic necessarily, but includes real life photos of dead soldiers on the battlefield. Josiah is almost 13 and we have watched many history documentaries. We talked about what we were seeing and it gave us opportunity for discussion. 

Those who are fascinated by military strategy will undoubtedly find much to enjoy. The film details many of the battles both men were involved in. I also found the personal nature of the letters to and from their wives very touching. It almost makes me sad for what is being left for our children and their children. Brief quips on social media networks or texts can't really express the true nature of one's character or life. 

I am not giving anything away by telling you my shock at finding out that Stonewall Jackson was only 39 when he died. He was younger than I am. I knew that he had died during the course of the war...I just imagined him to be much older. It makes me also think of all those young and old men alike who died and left families behind. So sad. 

The film doesn't end with the close of the Civil War. It shares with us the 'rest of the story.' Robert E. Lee was admired by Northern and Southern officers alike. He went on to make a mark in his life away from war. I liked that the film shared this with us. I like having things tied up and the end of Warriors of Honor was satisfying, yet poignant.  

Josiah enjoyed watching the film. He was able to ask more questions. "Why would Sherman behave so badly?" It gave us opportunity to talk about character. 

I need to also mention that the film is excellently made. The narration is superb. In fact, the actors voices reading the letters were terrific as well. 

This film would be an excellent addition to any family's DVD library. 

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