Monday, January 21, 2008

When did the American Civil War end? Disney Does Not Know

I watched the Disney movie National Treasure: Book of Secrets the other day. It was a good (but not great) film I enjoyed watching. However, it had a major historical inaccuracy that was not in any way needed to advance the plot which I found annoying.

President Abraham Lincoln was murdered by southern separatists on April 15th, 1865. Although the war was all but over, fighting continued for several more months. For example, CSA General Johnson did not surrender his troops to General Sherman until June 23rd.

The movie opens with the assassination of President Lincoln by Booth. It shows Ford's Theater, the murder, and aftermath including Booth's infamous quote, "Sic Semper Tyraniss!" as he killed the very unpopular (in the south anyway) Lincoln.

What bothers me is that National Treasure: Book of Secrets opens with the caption, "Five days after the end of the Civil War." This is not correct. The final end date is debated by historians but the war was continuing when Lincoln died even if it was in the last days. Why did the movie makes this false assertion? Why not just note, "In the finals days of the Civil War?"

Yes, it is just a movie. Liberties with history are expected and even OK sometimes. But this error seems pointless. Maybe there really isn't a lost city of gold under Mt. Rushmore either? (Sorry, I don't mean to spoil the movie for anyone.)


Ed said...

Regarding the end of the civil war, what were the titles or references to the announcers of the cease fire and if there was continued fighting after the end of the battle, what were the soldiers refered to or called, because of the lack of being convinced or lack of inforamation?

Anonymous said...

In the movie when does the civil war end?