So that in the midst of the searching of souls and the gnashing of teeth... ...the delegates of this convention... ...harried by the actions of a belligerent usurper and the radicals of his party... ...have stumbled into secession.
Now God knows, I and many in this room have resisted it. But how could there be union with a section of the country... ...that wants to impose its will through coercion?
Now that Virginia confronts the armed might of the United States... ...we Virginians have determined that not one spot of her sacred soil... ...be polluted by the foot of an invader.
Now, in the memory of that great Virginian, George Washington... ...who was first in the hearts of his countrymen and calling also... ...upon the memory of his own gallant father, General Light-Horse Harry Lee... ...this convention now calls upon Robert Edward Lee to take command... ...of the armed forces of the Citizen Army of Virginia.
Mr. President, gentlemen of the convention... ...I'm profoundly impressed by the solemnity of the occasion... ...for which I must say I was not prepared.
I accept the position assigned me by your partiality.
I would have much preferred had your choice fallen on an abler man.
But trusting to Almighty God, an approving conscience... ...and the aid of my fellow citizens... ...I devote myself to the service of my native state... ...in whose behalf alone will I ever again draw my sword..
I am here at the order of General Robert E. Lee, commanding all Virginia forces.
On April of this year of our Lord, ... ...Simon Cameron, the secretary of war of the United States... ...sent a telegram to our governor to raise three regiments of infantry... ...to be sent to assist in suppressing the Southern Confederacy.
Governor Letcher's answer is well known to you, but perhaps not his words.
His wire to Washington stated: "You have chosen to inaugurate civil war. Having done so, we will meet you in a spirit as determined... ...as the Lincoln administration has exhibited toward the South."
Two days later the Virginia legislature were voting for secession.
Just as we would not send any of our soldiers to march in other states... ...and tyrannize other people...
...so will we never allow the armies of others to march into our states... ...and tyrannize our people.
Like many of you, indeed most of you, I've always been a Union man.
It is not with joy or with a light heart that many have welcomed secession.
Had our neighbors to the North practiced a less bellicose form of persuasion... ...this day might not have come.
But that day has been thrust upon us... ...like it was thrust upon our ancestors.
The Lincoln administration required us to raise three regiments.
I actually liked the movie so I have some favorite parts.
1. The scene where the 20th Maine are sleeping out in the field and protecting themselves from gunfire with dead bodies. And Tom Chamberlain scares his brother Col. Chamberlain and they start laughing hysterically.
2. I also liked the part where the armies see the Northern Lights. Lee says in the book that it is a sign from God.
3. The very beginning of the movie is great. The neat way they showed all the different flags and the song playing in the background is so beautiful.
I like the First Bull Run battle scenes....and of course the death of Stonewall scene. It's a good movie that could have been a great one if more care had been taken to stick to the book it was based on. I think many were put off by the antiquated manner of speaking used in many scenes. The main problem with G&G is the lack of a central event to wrap the drama around ala Gettysburg etc. There's just no way to keep things focused when you're portraying a 4 year war in a less than 4 hour movie....should have been a mini series of at least 10 hrs length, adhering strictly to Shaara's Novel, with an entirely different (and younger)cast. I have a problem with some of the actors aged and bloated appearances in a movie where their characters are supposed to be younger than they were in Gettysburg. All that being said I have enjoyed G&G at least 20 times over the years and I still think the opening sequence is a beautiful piece of film making.