Analysis of Gettysburg (1993) by Maddie Shiflett 

The 1993 film, Gettysburg, directed by Ron Maxwell, tells the story of the Battle of Gettysburg through the eyes of various key commanders. It is based on the 1974 novel, The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara. Since then, it has gained a lot of recognition from historians and Civil War buffs alike. Civil War historians, such as Ken Burns and Shelby Foote, were called in to help during the making of this film, with the aim to create a realistic portrayal of the events that took place. Reenactors flocked to the battlefield in Pennsylvania to take part in this endeavor. The movie stands, not only as a great tool for understanding the battle, but also as a source of the time in which it was made. The movie gets few things wrong in terms of minor historical details. The major issues with this film relates to the interpretation of the battle that was chosen by filmmakers.


“The air seemed to be alive with lead. The lines at times were so near each other that the hostile gun barrels almost touched.” -Private Theodore Gerrish, 20th Maine [1]


Movie Trailer


[1] Richard Wheeler, Witness to Gettysburg, 1st ed. (New York: Harper & Row, 1987), 195-196.