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“Gods and Generals” commemorates Civil War

Thousands of young men from the north and south converged on the fields of Manassas 150 years ago to see who would be the victor on July 21, 1861. The battle, known as the first major land battle of the 1861-1865 Civil War, or the First Battle of Manassas, resulted in a Confederate win. The war lasted longer than expected; more than 620,000 casualties occurred before Lee finally surrendered to Grant on April 9, 1865.
Now 150 years later, thousands more people will swarm Manassas to commemorate that first battle and take part in a moment in history that will live long in our nation’s chronicles. The long weekend of July 21-24 is full of events in and around Manassas to commemorate the sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) of the American Civil War. The weekend is expected to draw thousands of dignitaries, government officials, celebrities, historians and visitors.
One special event is the premier showing of the 2003 movie “Gods and Generals,” written and directed by Ronald F. Maxwell of Rappahannock County. This film will be shown July 22 and 23 at the Hylton Performing Arts Center on the Manassas campus of George Mason University. The film is hosted by the Journey Through Hallowed Ground (JTHG), a nonprofit organization designed to highlight the history in the four-state, 180-mile long, 75-mile wide corridor stretching from Gettysburg to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello near Charlottesville. Moviegoers will witness the extended director’s cut, which runs close to five hours, of this historical Civil War film featuring Robert Duvall, Jeff Daniels, Stephen Lang and more than 7,500 reenactors. Tickets can be purchased through JTHG’s website.
Read the full story in an upcoming issue of the Observer newspapers.

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