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Lincoln and Lee at Antietam: The Cost of Freedom

4.1 out of 5 stars 116 customer reviews


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

It's September 17, 1862 and President Abraham Lincoln needs a victory in order to issue the Emancipation Proclamation and end slavery in the South. But Robert E. Lee has other plans - invade the North. When Lee's strategy falls into the hands of the Union Army, the result is the single bloodiest day in American history at the Battle of Antietam in Sharpsburg, Maryland. The Battle of Antietam results in more casualties than the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican War and the Spanish American War combined. In fact, the bloodiest day of World War II, D-Day, amounts to only one quarter of the casualties suffered at Antietam. Narrated by Ronald F. Maxwell, director of the epic Civil War films "Gettysburg" and "Gods & Generals," and written, produced and directed by Robert Child, "Lincoln and Lee at Antietam - The Cost of Freedom" vividly brings to life the story of America's fight for freedom in a battle that changed the course of the Civil War. Through first person accounts, an original music score from Composers Steve Heitzeg and Nicholas Palmer and scarce Antietam commemorative battle footage from the 125th, 135th and 140th Antietam Reenactments, this film tells the tale of the 14-hour epic Battle of Antietam. Historical insight provided by: - James M. McPherson, Princeton University, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom" and "Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam" - Allen C. Guelzo, Gettysburg College, America's only repeat winner of the Lincoln Prize; Nominated by President George W. Bush to the National Council of the Humanities - Dennis E. Frye, National Park Service (NPS) Historian at Harpers Ferry, author of "Antietam Revealed" and the Associate Producer of "Gods and Generals" - Patrick Falci, actor/performing historian portrays General Ambrose Hill at Antietam - Paul V. Chiles, National Parks Service (NPS) Historian at Antietam National Battlefield Park - Features Stanley Wernz, President of the Association of Lincoln Presenters, as Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Black as General Robert E. Lee Special Features: - 25-minute On-Screen Interview with Ronald F. Maxwell - Feature-Length Commentary Track with Writer/Director Robert Child and Narrator Ronald F. Maxwell - Original Music Score from Composers Steve Heitzeg and Nicholas Palmer - Trailers for: "EXPO-Magic of the White City," "Gettysburg and Stories of Valor - CIVIL WAR MINUTES® III," "Johnstown Flood," "Horses of Gettysburg - CIVIL WAR MINUTES® IV," "Winters of War," "Civil War Life - Shot to Pieces," "CIVIL WAR MINUTES® - Confederate"

Amazon.com

The bloodiest battle ever fought on American soil is thoroughly examined in Lincoln & Lee at Antietam: The Cost of Freedom, a worthy addition to anyone's Civil War video collection. Directed and written by Robert Child and narrated by Ronald F. Maxwell (the director of the definitive Civil War epics Gettysburg and Gods and Generals), this straightforward, no-nonsense documentary emphasizes the tactics, strategies, and historical context of the battle at Antietam, in Sharpsburg, Maryland, on September 17, 1862. Further emphasis is placed on the wartime conditions (political agendas, ready status of armies, etc.) that led to President Abraham Lincoln's orders to defeat Gen. Robert E. Lee's exhausted army at Antietam. Lee and other Confederate strategists had hoped to stage a surprise invasion, but Lee's battle plans fell into the hands of the Union army, and Lincoln's victory--which was essential to his issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation to end slavery--turned Antietam into the pivotal battle of the war. Although Child (who also directed Gettysburg: Three Days of Destiny) uses dramatic readings, maps, and photographs (especially the legendary battleground photos of Matthew Brady) in a manner similar to Ken Burns' epic-length documentary The Civil War, the look and presentation of Lincoln & Lee at Antietam is entirely different, with many sequences involving contemporary Antietam reenactments. Many of the Civil War's most colorful and important figures factor into this detailed 90-minute account, which clearly benefits from impeccable in-depth research. A 25-minute interview with Maxwell reveals the filmmaker's massive 15-year commitment to bringing his epics to the screen, and his feature-length commentary with Child lends another layer of detailed information to this authoritative DVD. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Ronald F. Maxwell, Dennis E. Frye, Mike Brown (XVIII), Ed Mantell, Cindy Brinkerhof
  • Directors: Robert Child
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Inecom Entertainment Company
  • DVD Release Date: January 31, 2006
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000CA6D9K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,152 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Lincoln and Lee at Antietam: The Cost of Freedom" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Todd E. Newman on February 8, 2006
Format: DVD
Lincoln and Lee at Antietam covers the entire struggle of the Antietam Campaign. The political concept about why Lincoln needed a Union victory and Lee's need to take the war north were covered as well as the battle. With various interviews featuring historians such as James McPherson, this documentary is very well done. The battle coverage is brief and not entirely descriptive although it includes reenactment scenes from the 125th, 135th and 140th Antietam Reenactments. A majority of the footage and photography is excellent as it shows the beauty of the Maryland landscape around Antietam. Some of the film really points out General McClellan's "slow-to-react" method of dealing with Lee's invasion and how he missed a multiple of opportunities to really whip Lee during this campaign.

Being a reenactor, covering a battle in detail in under two hours is nearly impossible. Naturally I would like to see more. I did enjoy the political views shown on both sides be it Union or Confederate. It showcased the importance of how crucial this conflict was to each party. It presented the facts about what could be gained and lost for both armies and governments that I liked.

For a veteran reenactor or student of the battle of Antietam, a majority of this presentation is fairly basic and might be too standard although McPherson's explanation about why Antietam was politically important for Lincoln is something most people could learn about in this great presentation.
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This is an excellent documentary, which does a very good job in summarizing the complex political and military situation surrounding the battle, as well as details of the maneuvers. It also makes a strong attempt to deal thoroughly with the horror of the massive toll of death and ghastly maiming. NOTHING can adequately convey that, but if the viewer opens up to empathy with the casualties and survivors, the impact can become unbearable, not for the squeamish. Ultimately, one must give up trying to understand some of the command failures, notably by McClellan, and be astonished by the incredible, undeniable valor of the thousands on both sides who faced the storm of lead and kept advancing. I have walked this ground as well as Gettysburg, and was amazed that so much carnage happened on this fairly small battlefield, which is now a calm and lovely Valley along side a charming small Maryland town..
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This is very solid history. McPherson is one of the best authorities on the Civil War. The others are also very good. Some of the narration is accompanying only photos, but a good deal of it takes advantage of a massive re-enactment with men wearing the right uniforms and a lot of equipment that's from the period. So it was entertaining, too.
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This book is primarily a compilation of several people's perspectives on the battle of Antietam and the subsequent issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation. The author combines commentary from participants and later historians who speak about their own experiences and perspectives of the battle and Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. There were a number of anecdotes and observations I previously had not read and found intriguing. However, for a reader looking either for a narrative of the battle or a new perspective on these historic events, this is not the book for you. The book does not really provide a useful description of the flow of events in the battle, so the reader needs to be familiar with these events to really see the interest and significance of the commentary provided. If you are interested in learning of the thoughts of participants and observers on the battle and proclamation, this is an easy and useful read. If you are looking for a more substantial history of the battle and surrounding events, this book will leave you unsatisfied.
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If you like documentaries on the Civil War this is amazing. There are many facts on the battle of Antietam. It is hard to believe about 63,000 men died in a period of 12 hours more than any other battle during the Civil War.
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Hopefully, we never see another Civil War in the USA. To think that 23,000 lives were lost in just one day of fighting is unfathomable.

This film includes re-enactments, original photos, maps and narration about Antiedam and how it was fought. Seeing the re-enactments, helps to bring this war into reality. The film has an ending that will give you a better understanding as to how many lives were lost. (without giving away how) The ending really, really touched me. I'm very fortunate that my ancestors returned from the Civil War.

Anyone who loves US History should take the time to watch this film.
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I took a wonderful 4-day tour of Gettysburg last fall for the 150th Anniversary, but spent a half-day at Antietam. Watching this film brought that day back to life for me and filled in a lot of blanks, inevitable on a big-group tour. Very glad I found this film.
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Not a Ken Burns level documentary, but did provide some interesting facts that came out during the interviews with historians. It did have a powerful emotional ending - which I would rate at 5 stars, but it took a while to get there and the footage showing the re-enactments was pretty boring.
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