This lovingly made film covers the war career of Stonewall Jackson in a reverential manner that is not really fashionable these days. Its subject is the usual bundle of seeming contradictions that constitute folks from the past. The themes of service and religion mixing with a very aggressive attitude to the Yankee invaders, and slavery hanging around the edges. Into this Rebel world comes a sub-theme of the union officer (Chamberlain) who we meet at Little Round Top at Gettysburg. Chamberlain is in some ways Jackson's Union opposite, also a teacher, also religious but also an amateur soldier where Jackson is a professional to the tip of his very large beard. Both tend to prose fit to bust, at times the script reads like those 19th century novels where the story telling deserves the description "dense". But I am not persuaded that this is inaccurate.
Between conversations we Yahoos can enjoy some extensive battle scenes in which rather portly re-enactors give one a very good idea of what it was like. The film does regard military service and sacrifice as honourable things, and in this it is faithful to the period. The battles are not the usual League of Evil Marksmen affairs, here both sides take casualties as they duke it out face-to-face and shoulder-to-shoulder. First Bull Run, Fredericskburg, Chancellorsville are all well observed though Fredericksburg gives one a feeling of World War One as the units rush towards the Confederate fortifications.
While I thought much it did was worthy I must confess to resorting to the fast forward when another Yack Attack threatened. The Christmas scene being particularly nauseating, but that probably says more about modern tastes than the subject of the film.