Woman (narrating): My family lived in a magic time, believing that all we wanted or could ever want was ours for the asking.
Then one spring day in 1861, our world exploded, and my life would change forever.
America was torn in a great civil war, and my family faced fighting among ourselves.
And while men, who had once lived as neighbors, sought to tear each other apart, my sisters and I and our whole nation would struggle to find a new meaning of family.
One of our brothers led a regiment of Virginia cavalry into the war's most savage places.
His name was John.
Dismount! Shelter the horses!
He was a born leader.
His best friend from West Point, and husband of our sister Lorelei, led a cavalry from Pennsylvania.
His name was Robert...
The fenced road is the key point!
Advance to it! We will screen you!
He was strong and brave, like John.
That fence is the key!
Man: Major's down!
Lieutenant, what do we do?
Brothers! The Yankees by the fence!
That is a regiment of firemen from New York, Brave men, but they have never tasted steel!
Robert! The whole army's breaking!
Man: Fall back!
They're going to kill us all.
Rally, men! Rally!
Sergeant, this way!
Man: Attention! Company march! _
You nearly beat us.
I let your team win.
You let us win?
I heard Colonel Kane say you were going to graduate as the highest ranking cadet since Robert E. Lee.
So it would be shameful if my team whipped you.
Yeah. Listen, Robert, there's something I've been meaning to talk to you about.
You're married to my sister, which means my family is yours, too.
So is Point of Honor and its slaves.
You know how I feel about slavery.
I hate it, too.
All the great Virginians detested it: Washington, Jefferson, Madison, even.
America's original sin.
Yes, your great Virginians were all noble in thought, but they all owned slaves, just like you.
All this talk of secession fills me with rage.
That's what I've been meaning to talk to you about.
See, there's just...
The rebels from South Carolina have fired on Fort Sumter.
Come on. We can't keep our guests waiting.
It's okay to miss him, Lorelei.
To get married and have a week together before your husband goes back to West Point.
It's not natural.
Robert's unnatural. He's a Yankee.
He's my husband.
You know what they said last night at the tavern?
You did not go to the tavern.
Down at the tavern, somebody said Yankees are just like hemorrhoids... if they come down and go back up, they're no problem, but if they come down and stay, they're a pain in the ass.
Come on. Laugh.
Sister Lorelei has a husband, and Sister Kate has said no to ten proposals, and poor me, I can't keep a boyfriend.
You have plenty of boyfriends, just none you want for more than a night.
If God didn't want me to sample men, why did He provide them in such variety?
Miss Kate, I need a word with you.
Not now, Abby.
Dad, you look so handsome.
All the women will swoon, even the ones you haven't slept with yet.
My heart's not in this, Kate.
You'll be fine, Daddy.
Abby, the door.
Here we go.
Here he is.
♪ [piano, violin] ♪
Good to see you, Carlton.
How are you?
Monsieur Bontaincourt, comment ça Va?
La peinture est merveilleux.
J'aime l'utilisation de la couleur.
Miss Kate, I really need to...
Would you please fetch M. Bontaincourt a glass of wine?
Rouge. S'il vous plaît.
Red. Thank you.
I was hoping that you and I might take a private walk later.
To do what?
Discuss the future.
Miss Rhodes, has your father agreed to my price on that river land?
Mr. Craddock, I will certainly get you an answer.
Charlie Storey, are you smoking tobacco in my house?
Not if it offends you, Estella, though this is tobacco from your plantation.
I'll let it pass... this time.
Daddy has been somewhat reticent to respond.
Reticent? Why is he reticent?
Now, you approached me, and I gave you my number.
If I don't have an answer by today, I'll find other buyers.
I can only imagine he finds the price too high.
Oh, he mentioned something about the land being on a flood plain.
I think he would agree to no more than 7.
Thank you, sir.
When I received the mail, there was news.
News? What news?
Did she say?
She said beaucoup blah blah.
I'll ask her. Don't worry.
I love all my children, but you most remind me of your mother.
When I first met Robert, I couldn't believe how powerfully I loved him.
And I realized he's just like you.
Play me that tune that your mother liked so well.
Out of the way, boy.
♪ [Chopin's "Nocturn 9 No. 2"] ♪
The South Carolinians have fired on Fort Sumter in open war.
We're gonna whip their tails!
♪ [violin plays "Dixie"] ♪
We can't let this divide us.
It already has.
For the first time ever, the southerners are on that side and we're on this one.
The deep south has no chance without Virginia and North Carolina on their side.
John is the key.
What he does, the other Virginians will follow.
Gentlemen, Fort Sumter has been attacked by forces of armed rebellion.
Now seven states claim that they have the right to secede from our great Union.
Secession is not only unconstitutional, it is treason.
It is now time for us to stand and fight.
Colonel, permission to speak.
I say damn the United States of America, and God bless the great and sovereign state of South Carolina.
Get on board, Rhodes.
It's going to be a hell of a ride.
Colonel, permission to speak.
Granted, Cadet Rhodes.
I respect the right of my brothers in the cadet corps to make their own decisions, but as a Southerner myself, I apologize for any remarks made against the United States of the men who defend it with honor.
I... I don't believe there's a man here who believes me to be a coward.
We are all warriors, and we have all seen this day coming.
A week ago, I wrote a letter to my sisters in Virginia.
I'd like to read a copy of that letter to you all now.
"With full understanding of the profound consequences of my actions, I hereby renounce the institution of slavery and direct my family that all our slaves be immediately and eternally set free."
Rhodes! Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!
But as a Virginian...
I hereby resign my commission in the Army of the United States, and will return to defend my home against any aggression brought against it.
God bless Virginia.
God bless the United States.
God bless every one of you.
Gentlemen, we have prepared for war, and now war is here.
And we will crush the traitors who oppose us.
Kate, what's the matter?
Is it John?
He's all right.
But I must speak with Daddy.
Please tell our guests we must cut short our celebrations.
Kate, we can't just...
Tell them, Lorelei!
Go on! Get!
Man: Come here. Come here, son.
I reckon you all heard the news about that fight down in South Carolina.
Yes, sir. We heard.
On the road outside the Swann Plantation, two runaways are hanging from trees.
You want to be like them?
Listen to the Yankees.
Thanks for coming.
Thanks for coming.
Man: Yes, indeed.
Miss Kate, so sorry to trouble you, but Mr. Cutler say he going to sell my sister to the Swann Plantation.
Mr. Cutler is the overseer.
He does not own this plantation.
But your information is correct. Phoebe has been sold.
You can't sell me. You can't...
I'm so sorry.
She could have you whipped.
What is wrong with you?
I'm just so scared.
The Swanns hang slaves for looking at them wrong.
That is just a story they tell to scare people.
I will keep trying, but you keep your mouth shut.
[knock on door]
Did you make the deal with Craddock?
He took 7.
I'd have paid 15.
Daddy, I just got a letter from John.
He wants us... to free the slaves.
Daddy, this will destroy our family.
Our neighbors will count us traitors...
Damn the neighbors. We live by our own will.
But, Daddy, without the slaves, we will lose Point of Honor and everything else we know.
You listen to John.
It's his decision.
Why is it his decision?
'Cause I said it is.
John, that was the bravest speech I ever heard and the dumbest.
Help me understand this.
How can you renounce slavery and then join the side fighting to defend it?
I'm not fighting to defend slavery.
When I get home, I will raise a regiment in a single day, and most of the men who volunteer won't own slaves.
But they hope some day they will.
Read what's in the Confederate Constitution.
This war is all about slavery.
Don't pretend that it isn't.
They write in ink. We write in blood.
Now, you and I agree on this.
Slavery is a stench in the nostrils of God, and that is exactly why I made my decision.
John, this is lunacy.
War is lunacy, and yet everyone is clamoring for it.
Tell Lorelei I love her.
Come tell her yourself.
If you come in peace, it will be your home, too.
If you come in war, then you and I will fight.
Kate, are you possessed?
To throw our guests out of a perfectly good party.
It's the letter.
Something in that letter from John.
Our brother has ordered us to free our slaves.
It would destroy everything, even for the slaves themselves.
It will give them freedom. And freedom is everything.
First you marry a Yankee, and then you start talking like one?
Perhaps I've learned to listen.
Then listen to this.
John can't free the slaves.
They belong to Daddy.
Daddy insists we do as John says.
Why would Daddy do that?
I don't know what.
Man: Hyah! Come on!
Gentlemen... suddenly you are required to transition from cadets in the classroom to officers on the battlefield.
From this moment forward, every decision you make will forever affect your lives.
To this point, we have studied classical military doctrine.
Now you will experience the realities of war, starting with the very... deliberate decision making of President Lincoln and his commanders.
But eventually even he will recognize the need to be decisive.
And when that happens... we will lay waste to their towns... their farms... their homes themselves.
This, gentlemen... will be a satisfying war.
Sir, if the goal is to be decisive, strategically, Virginia is the most important state in this conflict.
What if there was a way to cut the main rail line leading up into Richmond?
It's "Mayor" when we're in public.
Mayor, I need my money for the Phoebe sale.
I pay on delivery.
That was not our deal.
You want to buy slaves for less than they're worth, I get my cut up front.
Listen here, buddy bro, I heard something today that makes me think that there might not be a sale.
I will see about that.
Whiskey? Here, sir.
So the Yankees and King Lincoln say that they won't let us go.
But I hope they prove to be as stupid as I know them to be.
Let them come down here, and let them learn what Southern steel is all about!
If you've finished pontificating, could you pour me another?
I heard a rumor today.
A Blanchard boy over by Madison Heights goes to West Point with your brother John.
Blanchard told his mama that your brother gave a big speech up there that he aims to free your slaves.
Is that true?
Who'd be dumb enough to believe that?
Anybody who would free their slaves right now is either a fool or a traitor.
Nobody calls a Rhodes either of those names and lives.
Am I understood?
We're going for a walk!
Now, maybe war means freedom.
I couldn't even say it before.
I'm almost afraid to say it now.
Don't. 'Cause it ain't here.
But maybe we should go, all of us, tonight.
Slip into the woods, hide days, travel north by the stars.
We got little ones and old ones.
We can't just leave them, and we can't travel fast with them.
And Cutler and the others, they will follow us on horses and hang us, or worse.
Come with me.
Now, you see that gap between Sharp Top and Round Top?
Now, right there would be the way to a place called Rainbow.
Now, people there help slaves.
That's what they say.
There's a mob of men coming up the road with guns and knives.
Get the children and the old folks out into the trees.
Come on, y'all. Get the kids.
All right, we need to know what we're facing.
Lorelei, I need you to go through these.
Those are Daddy's ledgers.
But he and John made them our problem.
I don't want to do this.
This isn't our responsibility.
Just go through them and see what they say.
There's a mob coming up the hill.
Good mornin', Mayor.
It'll take a while to feed y'all, but give us a while and we'll have tea and cakes for everybody.
We didn't come here to socialize.
Then what did you come for?
We hear you're gonna free your slaves.
We demand to know your sympathies.
You demand? Of a Rhodes?
Hush up, silly girl.
He called me a silly girl.
Boo, hoo, hoo.
Get away from my porch, or I'll blow your goddamn head off.
Lorelei: Estella, put that down.
I will, after I've shot off his face.
Put that down, Estella.
So tell us, are you gonna free your slaves?
Now, Mayor Swann, if you put down your guns, we can talk...
As I understand it, Mr. Swann, the state of Virginia claims that slave holders have the right to make their own choices about slavery.
So we will make our choice.
Your family is choosing to sympathize with our enemies!
I'll shoot the mayor first.
You run for more shells. They're in the cabinet.
You won't have time to reload.
Yeah, I will. I'll shoot him in the pecker.
That'll freeze the others.
If Virginia is invaded, you will be fighting behind us.
Shoot all three of 'em at the same time.
In the rioting, no one can see we done it.
The threat is not what we do with our slaves.
The threat is the Union Army assembling across the Potomac ready to burn Virginia to the ground.
Will you allow that?
Then all men willing to fight go home, say goodbye to your families, ready your horses and your weapons.
We ride in the morning.
Do you have any idea of the danger you have brought upon us?
I have thought of little else.
Then that is worse.
You know, and yet you've done it anyway.
Our slaves, they are people.
They are us.
Freeing the slaves will mean the end of Point of Honor, John.
It won't, it won't. You will manage.
Kate, you are the strongest and smartest person I know.
Most of you were born here.
As all of us were.
We had no choice in that matter.
My mother, most of my ancestors and most of yours are buried on this ground.
Now, I've always expected to die here at Point of Honor.
That is my choice.
But where you have lived and died has not been your choice until today.
I, all of us, hereby renounce the institution of slavery.
All our slaves are immediately and eternally set free.
You are all free.
What... what did he say?
He says we're free.
Free to do what? Free to do what?
Sir, where do we go now?
You may all stay here as long as you wish.
We will pay you wages.
What you do now, that is up to you.
Taken without permission from https://tvshowtranscripts.ourboard.org/
♪ Amazing grace ♪
♪ How sweet the sound... ♪
[no audible dialog]
May be bitter.
I've never made it myself before today.
I could use something stiffer.
These books are a total mess.
I don't think Daddy's made a proper entry ever.
Regardless, we have some savings, right?
Daddy is a soldier, not a farmer.
The last year's drought and our debts...
If we don't sell this year's crop, we'll have to sell some land.
No, we will never do that.
Never is now.
And the war is, too.
It will be over by harvest time.
What makes you think the war is going to be short?
The southern army is made up of men who grew up riding and hunting and living on the land.
Against a bunch of factory workers shipped down from the textile plants.
We'll slaughter them by the wagonload.
Men like Robert?
Robert is a trained soldier.
The pride of West Point.
He won't let you become a widow.
Lynchburg, pleasant enough looking piss hole of a town.
Soon to become famous, or infamous, depending on how history writes it.
How do we proceed, sir?
We'll camp here for the night, wait for the pickets to report.
I'll tell the men.
Your theory, it's flawed.
Of why you volunteered this idea, coming to your wife's town.
Your hope is that by doing this, the war will be over in an instant.
Our country will be happily reunited.
Am I right?
My hope is that the war will be short.
Delusions destroy us, Mr. Sumner.
The differences between our two sides will not be settled by one raid.
We are two nations stuck together within one set of borders that we do not fit.
Then why did you agree to ride down here?
If I am responsible for the first bold and imaginative victory in this war, Lincoln and his cronies have no choice but to give me my own army, one of the main armies, and then I will conduct this war in the only way possible to win it.
Which is what, sir?
To beat the mutiny out of every man, woman, and child in the south.
We were established as one nation under God.
He is at our back.
This is our nation.
We will restore her.
Garland: I love dawn.
Especially after drinking all night.
And there's one thing about horses I can never figure out.
Ben: Yeah, what's that?
Garland: The best speed to ride at when you're hung over.
Walking's so herky-jerky.
Too slow when you want to get home.
Yeah, well, trotting's worse.
All that up and down in the saddle. Whoo!
Gallop gets you home.
My stomach gets...
Your stomach gets... You see a deer?
What you see?
What you see?
Four Union soldiers.
Oh, can't be.
All right, well, if we double back, they're gonna see us.
How are we gonna get around them?
Come on, let's go!
Come on, now!
Let's get 'em!
Communication with soldiers is never reliable.
You cannot count on John or Garland.
Running Point of Honor will be up to my daughters.
Daddy, what are you talking about?
Thank God my daughters are who they are.
You're not planning on joining.
I'm not joining anything.
I'm forming my own regiment.
Where is my pocket pistol?
You hear what I said?
Someone's taken my pocket pistol.
I needed it.
That's my girl.
I'll need my rifles, too.
I'm glad I taught all of you how to use them.
Why do we have to be so eager to fight?
Is that all we know how to do?
No, but it's what we do best.
This is all politics.
We don't know if these men mean us harm.
Yankee armies come to Virginia.
Do you imagine they mean us no harm?
Robert could never...
Pull a trigger, lead a charge?
Lorelei, your heart is torn, I understand that.
You say whatever you want to me, but don't you ever let our father know that you chose anything but this family.
Do you know Daddy's planning to form his own regiment?
With the war coming, you really think he'd just sit at home?
Yes. Yes, I did.
Is that... Is that Garland?
Garland: Virgil! Elijah!
Saddle some fresh horses. Hurry.
Yes, sir, Mr. Garland.
There are Yankees on the McCauseland Ridge.
Yankees on the ridge. Is that possible?
Are you still drunk?
Okay, tell me exactly what you saw.
Four soldiers, probably pickets, on horseback, up in the woods just north of Blackwater Creek bridge.
I don't give a damn if y'all don't believe me.
I'll fight 'em by myself if I have to.
You're gonna need more ammunition.
You take the Maynard.
I'll take the twin bore.
Have we all gone crazy here?
Lorelei, did you grow up in some other family?
Byrne, how did you...
Ben Howland ran into us along the road, told us what was going on.
I thought I should lend a hand.
Do you think it's true there are Yankees out there?
Nice day for a ride.
And I think it'd be a good thing if there was a cooler head along.
I thank you for that.
Kate, we never had a moment for our private walk.
Oh, I... I don't think you're gonna want to ask me anymore.
What, is somebody...
Uh, John freed the slaves, so I understand if it makes it impossible for us to be married.
Well, who said...
No, but you know that my answer would have been yes, but then I realized that... then I realized that your family owns 300 slaves, so that makes it impossible.
Neither heaven or hell can stop me.
I will marry you.
Virgil, I'm riding High Fly!
No, Daddy, I don't think it's a good idea.
Out of my way, Kate.
No, please, I don't think you should go.
I really don't care what you think.
If he wants to go, he should.
Will you stay out of this?
Oh, why? I don't have a say?
Oh, suddenly for the first time, you've decided to involve yourself in...
We are all going.
You've made me the happiest man in Virginia.
All of Virginia?
Nowhere else matters.
Now, Godspeed you.
You sure you want to marry into this crazy family?
♪ Oh, sisters, let's go down ♪
♪ Let's go down ♪
♪ Let's go down ♪
♪ Oh, sisters, let's go down ♪
♪ Down in the valley to pray ♪
♪ As I went down in the valley to pray ♪
♪ Studyin' about the good old way ♪
♪ And who shall wear the star and crown ♪
♪ Good Lord ♪
♪ Show me the way ♪
Get down out of there, boy.
This here's Palidore.
He's gonna be our new shoemaker.
Hany, find him a place to sleep in one of the cabins.
Phoebe, you got five minutes to get your things.
These men are taking you to your new home.
No, I ain't goin'.
You can't. We was freed.
You... you heard Mr. John say it.
You was there.
Like hell, you ain't.
This deal was made last week.
Signed and delivered, I got a contract.
I ain't goin'!
Like hell, you ain't.
Somebody help me!
Who wants to help you?
Who wants to help poor Phoebe?
Let's see who wants to help you.
Somebody call Miss Kate.
What are you looking at?
Shackle her to that buckboard.
No. No. Phoebe! Phoebe! No, no, no, no!
She's my sister.
She's my sister.
Look at me!
They want you to do this.
We attack Cutler, the town will slaughter all of us.
Look at me.
We're dangerous now.
So just wait.
These riders, they saw you in your Union vestments?
I'm not entirely sure, sir.
What does that men, you're not entirely sure?
Either they did or they didn't.
When they rode by, they were, um, hanging from the side of their horses. Sir.
But since we couldn't see them, I don't... I don't see how they could've seen...
Remember what I said about delusions?
Stand up, boy.
You were derelict.
They didn't see you?
Why do you think they did what they did?
You were spotted. You lost them.
And now they'll be riding for help.
This entire operation was predicated on stealth.
Have the men break camp. Double time.
We're not waiting 'til morning.
We're going to take out the tracks now.
Let's go, Mr. Sumner.
Break camp. Double time.
Four sets of fresh tracks.
Right as my leg, son.
Let's not get bunched up.
Garland, you, Daddy and Ben flank off to the left.
Never mind this is my scoutin' party, Mr. West Point.
Scouting is the right word.
We do not engage.
Any contact at all, we ride back here, we rally before we engage.
Whatever you say.
Good God, can we quit talkin', and start trackin' these bastards?
To your weapons, quickly.
Oh, hell. Daddy!
Turn and face the enemy.
Stand! Private, stand...
I will shoot you myself if you do not face the enemy.
Form a single battle line!
Back to the rally point!
Do not fire unless I give the order!
Soldier: Sir, I can't find the pin.
Private, calm down. Hand me your weapon.
Half cock. Give me your cartridge.
Kane: Hand me your cartridge. You're gonna place the cartridge into the chamber.
Don't shoot. Take him prisoner.
Close the breech. Give me a cap.
Place the cap. Full cock.
Why did you not fire?
Sir, that man is my wife's father.
It's too late for us.
We are now 12 men. We cannot be trapped.
Lieutenant Sumner, get the men on their horses.
On their horses, now!
To your horses!
Robert. Robert. Robert?
Robert. Robert? Robert!
What have you done?