As they did in the cold rain of April 1865, opposing armies in blue and gray stand shoulder to shoulder on the rolling farmland of Sayler’s Creek, Virginia. With a shout, guns are raised; a deafening crack; and smoke from the black powder hangs over the battlefield. Lisa Arden and I captured the action while filming our documentary:

The Battle of Little Sayler’s Creek – to be included in a Memorial Day Marathon May 28th 2012 2:30PM (ET)
DISH Network (Channel 197) and DIRECTV (Channel 267).

Each year thousands of “Living Historians” will gather again to replay this battle.

Sayler’s Creek was one of the last battles of the American Civil War, culminating in General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox three days later on April 6, 1865 — the largest surrender without terms in American military history. We arrived at Sayler’s Creek with our five cameras and crew unsure what our reception would be like — we only had three days to capture the action. Soon we would be running through the woods, the famous Creek and out into the open battlefield. The cavalry charged and musket fire echoed through the woods, while the armies of the North & South would confront each other at the creek.Union at The Creek
I wasn’t sure how things would play out since there would be no rehearsal –we were just going to cover this battle live as if we were a news crew covering a battle in the Vietnam War. From the start I knew that we weren’t going to come at this reenactment with a set bias. No. Dressed in civilian garb of the period, we would just ask a similar set of questions of soldiers on both sides and present their alternate points of view. I also knew at this point that there would be no narrator on our film, just the voices of the soldiers on camera and over the action as they told their version of history.
We soon won their trust and were relieved to know the re-enactors were eager to tell their stories in interviews that were conducted in, and out of character. Often a Confederate would contradict a Union soldier on the reason for the war, or the significance of slavery. Our attitude was not to judge the soldiers on either side, but to hear them tell the story of this battle from their individual points of view.

The Battle of Little Sayler’s Creek is produced by Lisa Arden and directed, edited & music by David George. A preview and more information can be found at:

  1. davidstansfield says:

    Congratulations! This is wonderful. I’ve spread this all across the social media: FB, Twitter, WordPress. Is Round Table another of your blogs?


    • As of now The Round Table is the name of the blog -the plan is to have it be a place to hold a variety of subjects that I care about where a vigorous discussion can take place. But after only three posts this is still a work in progress – so any suggestions to improve it are welcome.

  2. BRAVO! AWESOME! SO happy for you and Lisa!

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