Saturday, October 04, 2008

Battle Cry Freedom

So as part of this Lincoln documentary we've been working on, we've been spending more time than we ever imagined possible dealing with Civil War re-enactors (distinct from "presenters," who only play Abe or Mary). Most of these folk have - we're struggling for a kind way to put his - an admirably earnest dedication to their craft. Another way of putting this is that they have a Daniel Day Lewis-like determination to stay in character, which can be quite annoying if you're trying to talk to them about - oh, to take just one example, television - which wasn't invented until the late 1930s. That a grown man would agree to talk to a tv producer about a shoot and then spend the whole phone call (!) pretending not to have heard of "this magic fire-box you speak of," I mean...we're just not getting paid enough, y'know?

So we were somewhat amused to read this account in our local paper, of a local re-enactor who unintentionally found himself knee-deep in "the shit":

“The rebels were dug in and we had taken their earthworks,” he said. “We had just gotten down to the trench and raised our kepis. We finished saying ‘Hurrah! Hurrah!’ when I was hit with a .44-cal ball.”

That's right. Muthafucka got shot...while shouting "hurrah, hurrah!" How dedicated is that? And yet, our Yankee hearts were full of shame (which is as the Good Lord intended, but that's for another post) when we read the next line...

The marble-size projectile, evidently fired from the Confederate ranks, struck him in the back and passed though his shoulder, forcing a truce while a helicopter was flown to the battlefield to take him to a hospital.

Italics ours, which we made by hitting Ctrl+I on the magic fire-box. Is it too much to ask, really, that he should have let the wound become infected and gangrenous, and then had his left arm amputated with a rusty hacksaw?

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