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Sen. Byrd to play Confederate general in movie
Charleston Daily Mail ^ | December 19, 2002 | Chris Stirewalt

Posted on 12/20/2002 6:35:25 PM PST by jern

Senator happy with small role
in ‘Gods and Generals'


Chris Stirewalt <cstire@dailymail.com>
Daily Mail Staff


Thursday December 19, 2002; 10:30 AM

He doesn't get the girl and he doesn't even have any lines, but Sen. Robert

Byrd still is looking forward to his big screen debut.

Byrd said he is eagerly awaiting the Feb. 21 premiere of the Civil War

movie "Gods and Generals," which will include his cameo as Confederate Gen.

Paul J. Semmes.

"My role is small, admittedly, and probably won't earn me an Academy Award,"

Byrd, D-W.Va., said. "But it was exciting to participate in a project that is

helping to promote our nation's history."

The movie, which details the events and battles leading up to Gettysburg, is

set to open nationwide with a full fusillade of publicity from Warner Bros. A

special screening is planned in Martinsburg, in the center of the history-laden

area where the movie was largely filmed.

Several key scenes were shot in Harpers Ferry.

Director Ron Maxwell included Byrd; and fellow Sens. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, and

George Allen, R-Va. and media mogul Ted Turner, who financed the $51 million

production, in small parts.

Byrd's role as a field commander is an essential one to history buffs.

Gen. Semmes, a Georgia plantation owner and banker, was in command of key

brigades in the battles leading up to the war's turning point at Gettysburg.

Semmes was mortally wounded there.

Semmes died of his wounds in Martinsburg several days after the battle at age

48. He saw action at Yorktown, Williamsburg, Seven Pines, Savage's Station,

Malvern Hill, Crampton's Gap, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg and Salem Church.

Byrd, 84, spent an entire day on location in Fredericksburg, Va., in November

2001 at the recreated headquarters of Gen. Robert E. Lee. He worked with Robert

Duvall, who plays Lee in the movie, and other central characters.

The setting is a camp where Lee, West Virginia's Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson and

other Confederate leaders are discussing strategy for the upcoming battle. Byrd

stands at one end of a group of 19 officers clustered around a long, folding

table.

"I have talked with Ron Maxwell several times since the filming and am very

excited about the final product," Byrd said. "This film allowed me the

opportunity to help bring American history to life, to spring it from the pages

of history books into the flickering images of the movie screen."

After his experience on the set, Byrd was moved to make a speech on the Senate

floor about his experience in the movie and how the current war against

extremist Muslim terrorists parallels the challenges faced by America during

the Civil War.

Byrd said that he has long felt that understanding our history was a key to

dealing with new challenges.

"I have talked countless times about George Washington, James Madison, John

Adams, the Founding Fathers, the Constitutional Framers, Nathan Hale, Abraham

Lincoln, and other true American heroes," Byrd said. "I try to encourage young

people to learn about these great figures of our country's past. I urge

students to read, to visit historical sites, and to soak up as much knowledge

as they can."

Writer Chris Stirewalt can be reached at 348-4824.



Search here for related stories.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: West Virginia
KEYWORDS: granddragon; klan; racist; robertbyrd

1 posted on 12/20/2002 6:35:26 PM PST by jern
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To: jern
Wow...Do you hear that?...nothing...nada...the sound of silence.
2 posted on 12/20/2002 6:48:50 PM PST by MigrantOkie
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To: jern
I realize that Byrd has excellent credentials for portraying a Confederate general, but how in the hell can an 84 year old man portray a 48 year old man?
3 posted on 12/20/2002 6:57:35 PM PST by yooper
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To: yooper
Pretty, pretty, pretty . . .

Seriously, 48 year olds then were the equivalent of 84 year olds now. Look it up. The average life span was something like 45.

4 posted on 12/20/2002 7:01:58 PM PST by Vigilanteman
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To: jern
"My role is small, admittedly, and probably won't earn me an Academy Award," Byrd, D-W.Va., said.

It won't earn you any condemnation either, you doddering old f*rt.

5 posted on 12/20/2002 7:03:12 PM PST by Paul Atreides
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To: MigrantOkie
And I'm sure the silence will continue to be deafening. Imagine Lott, Frisk, Hastert or any Republican playing a Confederate Officer in a movie AND saying it was fun!

Byrd should be called upon to explain the joy he felt at being part of the "rascist slave-owning South".
6 posted on 12/20/2002 7:03:34 PM PST by Kay Ludlow
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To: Kay Ludlow
The Dims have their house slaves trained well.
7 posted on 12/20/2002 7:06:28 PM PST by Paul Atreides
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To: MigrantOkie
Yes, the sound of silence. Will the republicans say a word? No way. Democratic racism always gets a pass, but some stupid comment from Lott is to be paid in blood.

Republicans were played like fiddles concerning Lott. And they're about to receive a wonderful thank you from the liberals in the form of more racist smear tactics.

8 posted on 12/20/2002 7:17:24 PM PST by Reactionary
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To: jern
How will we know it's really Bobbie Byrd under that sheet in the movie?
9 posted on 12/20/2002 7:19:25 PM PST by Doctor Raoul
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To: jern
Won't have to worry about make up and wardrobe since he will be wearing a hood and white sheet most of the time.

Sui

10 posted on 12/20/2002 7:35:14 PM PST by suijuris
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To: jern
"Senator Byrd, I said cut! Would you please stop beating that black actor now. And put that noose back in the prop trailer, it's not in this scene."
11 posted on 12/20/2002 7:37:17 PM PST by SandfleaCSC
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To: Vigilanteman
"The average life span was something like 45."

Just putting out a question here, but isn't the "45" factoring in the deaths from war also, making the ALS much lower than normal expectancy?

My paternal GGG Grandfathers both served CSA and both lived to 74 and 81, so on average, they defied the ALS of 45 by almost double.

Just a question....

12 posted on 12/20/2002 7:43:28 PM PST by azhenfud
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To: jern
Ridiculous.

Most generals in that war were relatively young men.

So many were West Point grads, and the Point was still a relatively young institution at that time.
13 posted on 12/20/2002 7:59:56 PM PST by xzins
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To: SandfleaCSC
Senator Byrd, I said cut! Would you please stop beating that black actor now. And put that noose back in the prop trailer, it's not in this scene."

lol
14 posted on 12/20/2002 8:01:35 PM PST by TLBSHOW
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To: jern
I hear he's also starring in the remake of Birth of a Nation.
15 posted on 12/20/2002 8:12:08 PM PST by Savage Beast
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To: jern
I have a question? I have, like everone 2 senators, and they get relected every 6 years. Do your senators vote in their own election? Mine don't. Mine are Robert C. Byrd And John D. Rockefeller. They both in Virginia.
16 posted on 12/20/2002 8:25:03 PM PST by folklore
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To: azhenfud
Well, compared to the general population combat deaths don't really make much of an impact. What drags down the 'average' life span back in those days was the horrendous mortality in childhood from infectious diseases and the one in twelve mortality of having babies. If you lived up to the age of forty or so and for a kid got past the scything of infectious disease, the mortality of child bearing and the moderate size mortality of accidental death [it is astonishing how many people died falling off of horses] you stood an excellent chance of making it into your sixties and up. It is my impression that heart disease and cancer were not as important a cause of death than as they are now.
17 posted on 12/20/2002 8:27:48 PM PST by drjoe
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To: folklore
I left out (vote) in Virginia.
18 posted on 12/20/2002 8:27:58 PM PST by folklore
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To: jern
Actually, Byrd originally had a small speaking part where he complained about "white n*****s" but Ted Turner quietly cut it from the film.
19 posted on 12/20/2002 8:56:07 PM PST by speedy
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To: speedy
Just where are the white Nwords from anyway?


20 posted on 12/20/2002 9:11:55 PM PST by gorebegone
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To: jern
Sheesh. You'd think he would be worried about being typecast...
21 posted on 12/20/2002 9:25:47 PM PST by lorrainer
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To: gorebegone
"Ba'um rail on top this time, Massa."
22 posted on 12/20/2002 9:36:10 PM PST by onedoug
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To: gorebegone
Just where are the white Nwords from anyway?

Actually, a great many of them come from areas not shown on your map. They're easy to spot, I'm sure you've seen them on TV the last 2 weeks as they endlessly engaged in the despicable and bigoted act of labeling and defaming entire groups of people and sections of the country. Their 'modern bigotry' is what always gives them away. I'm sure glad there's not any on FR.

23 posted on 12/20/2002 10:20:38 PM PST by thatdewd
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To: azhenfud
Regarding life spans - I read several places that life spans in previous times weren't necessarily shorter but they factored in mothers dying young, high infant mortality, etc. Even in the middle ages if someone lived through childhood, they have a good shot at living til 70 or more.
24 posted on 12/20/2002 10:54:18 PM PST by First Amendment
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To: drjoe
"Well, compared to the general population combat deaths don't really make much of an impact."

Pardon? Maybe not in today's combat. However, 600,000+ deaths of men aged 17-39 over a four year span covering a territory having roughly one third today's population is hardly insignificant and would surely affect the ALS numbers. I don't see how war deaths on and off the battlefields couldn't be a prime influencing factor....

25 posted on 12/20/2002 11:07:49 PM PST by azhenfud
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To: pram
I know my GGG grandfather who served the CSA and the CSN - his father died at 82, and his grandfather at 79.

Anyway, the only way I can picture Byrd playing anything at his age is for him to play the part of a senile old man in a "rolling chair" trying hard to recall his past....
26 posted on 12/20/2002 11:20:29 PM PST by azhenfud
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To: jern
As long as he's helping the DemonRats keep 'em on the Plantation (aka voting Democrat), then he'll catch no flak.
27 posted on 12/21/2002 7:03:16 AM PST by Choozer
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To: yooper
I realize that Byrd has excellent credentials for portraying a Confederate general, but how in the hell can an 84 year old man portray a 48 year old man?

Easy. He'll walk backwards. :-)

28 posted on 12/21/2002 7:06:32 AM PST by COBOL2Java
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