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Atlas2112
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« Reply #30 on: August 08, 2008, 12:29:53 AM »

I think it's safe to say that the confederates draft initiative would have spurred union members to round up some "volunteers". illegally of course. So i guess it's safe to say that there could have been a majority of people who were unwilling.

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« Reply #31 on: August 08, 2008, 12:39:22 AM »

Well, a draft does encourage people to enlist ahead of conscription for better terms, but we're still left with the question of how quickly you can get warm bodies from the courthouse out to the front lines. And things were much less centralized then; you joined a regiment and you went where that regiment was.

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« Reply #32 on: August 08, 2008, 02:21:09 AM »

After the battle what would have happened to all the bodies left lying around. Would they not have been taken by the surviving troops and buried (sad hill). And what happened with the battle, did they just all go back to their main camps and who won..

ICE..an Englishman who knows nothing about the Civil War

There were also a lot of dead at the Betterville Prison Camp in the GBU - in one scene, you can see prisoners pushing a wagon filled with corpses. It's a little in the background, but you can clearly make out limbs hanging over the side etc.

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« Reply #33 on: August 08, 2008, 06:42:10 AM »

There was no conscription in the US at that time because there was no need for it. Most of the volunteers, after the first batch of "90 days" men who went home after Bull Run, signed on for two to three year terms of enlistment. Assuming the movie took place in July 1862, most of the volunteers were still, and there had only been a few large-scale battles up to that point (Bull Run, Wilson's Creek, Seven Days', Shiloh - you could add a few more if you want to quibble with the definition of "major"). All that, and the Union had a huge population, 22 million to the South's 9 million - Shelby Foote wrote that the Union was fighting war with one tied behind its back, and it still won. So, again, a volunteer army was just fine for that moment in time. Only in 1863, after many more large battles with huge casualties (Second Bull Run, Antietam, Perryville, Fredericksburg, Stones' River) and enlistment terms expiring was a draft really needed.

I don't believe widespread conscription was introduced in the Union until March 1863, though a few states passed laws before that (I believe Pennsylvania was one).

In the later years of the war, the majority of Union soldiers will still mostly volunteers, but many were recruited in less than scrupulous methods. Bounties for enlistment, for instance, and mass recruitment of blacks (who certainly wanted to fight) and immigrants (many of whom didn't even know what the war was about). The scene in Gangs of New York where the Irishmen are conscripted almost as soon as they got off the dock, while a bit exaggerated, is not too far off the mark - although German immigrants made up a substantially larger number of troops.

The Confederacy had a much smaller resource of manpower, so they instituted conscription much sooner than the Yanks did. However, I think by the point in time the scene would have taken place, most of their men still would have been volunteers. The war was fairly popular on both sides until it started to drag on and on.

However, applying such logic to GBU, a film clearly set in an allegorical fantasy version of the Civil War, is a bit of a stretch (Blondie and Tuco couldn't have used dynamite either). And even then, volunteer soldiers are more than capable of becoming demoralized.

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« Reply #34 on: August 08, 2008, 12:42:26 PM »

they weren't using dynamite they were using powder sticks.

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« Reply #35 on: August 08, 2008, 12:50:17 PM »


However, applying such logic to GBU, a film clearly set in an allegorical fantasy version of the Civil War, is a bit of a stretch (Blondie and Tuco couldn't have used dynamite either). And even then, volunteer soldiers are more than capable of becoming demoralized.
Thanks, Groggy, for the background. We do sorta have to know if the soldiers fighting are volunteers or conscripts, though, in order to fully appreciate SL's "message"--such as it is. Those guys fighting have a choice, as do Blondie and Tuco. Leone clearly condones Blondie and Tuco's practice of consistently opting out of the system.

Thanks, CJ. What's the difference between dynamite and powder sticks, again?

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« Reply #36 on: August 08, 2008, 06:20:59 PM »

they weren't using dynamite they were using powder sticks.

Fine. They couldn't have been using those Gatling guns at the battle then. And Blondie's gun was an 1866 Henry. Cheesy

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« Reply #37 on: August 09, 2008, 04:53:21 AM »

Blondie's gun was an 1860 Henry, and Gatling took out his patent in 1862.  The Gatling is a stretch, but a few private comanies raised by monied individuals had them before the official US Army did. Afro

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« Reply #38 on: August 09, 2008, 05:13:24 AM »

No Gatling guns saw service until the Petersburg Campaign of 1864. Some machine guns were around before then, but not Gatlings. If your private companies had them, they must not have seen combat.

Here's a good article on the subject:
http://www.civilwarhome.com/gatlinggun.htm

Here's an interesting IMDB "goof" for you:

Quote
Incorrectly regarded as goofs: Blondie's rifle is a Winchester, which was not available when the movie is meant to take place, but the production took the pains to remove the wood fore stock to disguise it as a Henry which were available

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« Reply #39 on: August 09, 2008, 08:50:46 AM »

That goof was my correction, because it originally said that they used a Winchester which was anacchronistic but I said that  they disguised the it by removing the stock, and masking the side loading gate in the shots. There is an encyclodedia of Civil War armaments that gave the independent company information on Gatling guns. Its not as if we are making things up out of whole cloth it was highly  improbable but plausible.

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« Reply #40 on: August 09, 2008, 12:26:14 PM »

This is kind of like the whole "How did Blondie and Tuco know about Grant and Lee--in 1862" question. We are entering the realm of poetic license; nothing more than a patina of authenticity is required.

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« Reply #41 on: August 09, 2008, 04:40:49 PM »

My point is that since GBU uses anachronistic weapons and technology (whether or not Joe will admit it), we shouldn't expect it to be true to the facts in the strictest sense, or make sense in terms of reality. It is a fiction with allegorical and symbolic meaning more than it is a factual representation of the American Civil War/1860's New Mexico.

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« Reply #42 on: August 09, 2008, 05:00:58 PM »

I think the allegorical elements come to the fore only in the second half of the movie, maybe after the departure from Betterville. There is a surreal quality to the Ft. Smith sequence--if that is Ft. Smith--that suggest that historical reality is being left behind, and as I've already stated above, the Battle For Langston Bridge can be taken as a kind of Armageddon. But the historical period is never left behind entirely; SL spent a lot of effort getting his Civil War soldiers and their weapons to appear authentic, so it's worth noting when he is accurate and when he is not. Meaning sometime adheres to purposeful anachronisms.

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« Reply #43 on: August 09, 2008, 05:51:31 PM »

Exactly, and yet CJ seems unwilling to concede any inaccuracies at all. Cheesy The level of trench warfare in the battle scene was also about two years too advanced for the ACW.

I like the phrase purposeful anachronisms. Frayling's quote of Leone in the chapter on DYS is pretty important to keep in mind, too: He didn't incorporate so much historical research and little details for the sake of accuracy, "but to make the fable more believable". It doesn't matter if it is real, but rather that it seems real. Given that we're discussing movies here, that, to me, is the key point of all of this jabberwocky.

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« Reply #44 on: August 09, 2008, 07:07:58 PM »

It is important to distinguish Leone's use of anachronisms from the careless anachronisms of other directors. It's what distinguishes art from kitsch.

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