Richard Jordan: Brig. Gen. Lewis A. Armistead
Col. Arthur Freemantle : I'm told you're descended from an illustrious military family.
Brigadier General Lewis A. Armistead : [scoffs] Who told you that? Kemper?
Col. Arthur Freemantle : He tells me it was your uncle who defended Fort McHenry during the War of 1812, and that he was therefore the guardian of the original "Star-Spangled Banner." I must say, I do appreciate the irony of it all.
Brigadier General Lewis A. Armistead : Colonel Freemantle... it does not begin or end with my uncle... or myself. We're all sons of Virginia here.
[he motions with his eyes; Freemantle follows his gaze]
Brigadier General Lewis A. Armistead : That major out there, commanding the cannon... that's James Dearing. First in his class at West Point, before Virgina seceded. And the boy over there with the color guard...
[he nods in the boy's direction]
Brigadier General Lewis A. Armistead : ... that's Private Robert Tyler Jones. His grandfather was President of the United States. The colonel behind me... that's Colonel William Aylett. Now, his great-grandfather was the Virginian, Patrick Henry. It was Patrick Henry who said to your King George III, "Give me liberty, or give me death." There are boys here from Norfolk... Portsmouth... small hamlets along the James River. From Charlottesville and Fredericksburg... and the Shenondoah Valley. Mostly, they're all veteran soldiers now; the cowards and shirkers are long gone. Every man here knows his duty. They would make this charge, even without an officer to lead them. They know the gravity of the situation, and the mettle of their foe. They know that this day's work will be desperate and deadly. They know, that for many of them, this will be their last charge. But not one of them needs to be told what is expected of him. They're all willing to make the supreme sacrifice... to achieve victory, here... the crowning victory... and the end of this war. We are all here, Colonel. You may tell them, when you return to your country... that all Virginia was here on this day.
Lieutenant Thomas D. Chamberlain : [Gen Armistead has just been mortally wounded, and is surrounded by Union soldiers] Sir? Sir!
Brigadier General Lewis A. Armistead : Will you help me up please?
Lieutenant Thomas D. Chamberlain : Sir, could you tell me what your name is, who you are?
Brigadier General Lewis A. Armistead : I would like to speak to General Hancock. Do you know where General Hancock may be found?
Lieutenant Thomas D. Chamberlain : I'm sorry, Sir. The General is down. He's been hit.
Brigadier General Lewis A. Armistead : NO! Not both of us! Not all of us! Please God!
Lieutenant Thomas D. Chamberlain : Sir, sir we're having a surgeon come as quickly as we can!
Brigadier General Lewis A. Armistead : Can you hear me, son?
Lieutenant Thomas D. Chamberlain : Yes, sir. I can hear you.
Brigadier General Lewis A. Armistead : Will you tell General Hancock, that General Armistead sends his regrets. Will you tell him how very sorry I am.
Lieutenant Thomas D. Chamberlain : [takes off his hat] I will tell him, sir. I will tell him.
Brigadier General Lewis A. Armistead : The last time I saw Winn he played that song. That very song. Back in California, we were all together for the last time. Before we broke up. Spring of '61. Almyra Hancock. You remember Almyra, Hancock's wife? Beautiful woman. Most perfect woman I ever saw. They were a beautiful couple. Beautiful. Garnett was with me that night. A lot of fellows from the old outfit. People standing around singing in the blue uniform. We were leaving the next day. Some going north, some going south. Splitting up. A soldier's farewell. "Goodbye." "Good luck." "I'll see you in hell." Do you remember that? Towards the end of the evening, we all sat around the piano. And Myra played that song there, that was the one she played. Maybe for years, maybe forever, I'll never forget that. You know how it was, Pete. Winn was like a brother to me. Remember? Towards the end of the evening, things got a little rough. We both began to... well, there were a lot of tears. I went over to Hancock. I took him by the shoulder. I said, "Winn, so help me, if I ever raise my hand against you, may God strike me dead." Ain't seen him since. He was at Malverne Hill, White Oak Swamp, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg. One of these days, I will see him, I'm afraid. Across that small, deadly space. I thought about sitting this one out. But I can't do that. That wouldn't be right either. I guess not. Thank you, Peter. I had to talk about that.
[before the final charge]
Brigadier General Lewis A. Armistead : How's the leg, Dick?
Brig. Gen. Richard B. Garnett : Oh, it's alright. Can't walk. I'm going to have to ride.
Brigadier General Lewis A. Armistead : Dick, you can't do that! You'll be the perfect target.
Brig. Gen. Richard B. Garnett : When we go up that hill and we break that line; there'll be a clear path to Washington and maybe today, this day, will be the last day. I've got to ride up there. Well, Lo; I'll see you at the top.
Brigadier General Lewis A. Armistead : All science trembles at the searing logic of your fiery intellect.
James L. Kemper : [Kemper, Pickett, Garnett, and Col. Freemantle are sitting around a table playing cards, while Kemper expounds on the Confederate cause] You see, Colonel, uh... the government derives its power from the consent of the people. Every government, everywhere. Well, let me make this very plain to you, sir: we do not consent, and we will *never* consent. And what you've got to do is -
[he stands up and looks straight at Freemantle]
James L. Kemper : - you've got to go back over there to your Parliament, and you've gotta make it very plain to *them*. You've gotta tell them that what we're fighting for here is the - is the freedom from what we consider to be the rule of a foreign power! I mean, that's all we want. That's what this war is all about.
Brig. Gen. Richard B. Garnett : Jim -
[he tries to pull Kemper back into his chair]
James L. Kemper : [brushes Garnett off] No, no, no, no. Now-now, we-we established this country in the first place with very strong state governments just for that very reason. I mean, uh... let me put it to you this way: my home is in Virginia. The government of my home *is* home. Virginia would not allow itself to be ruled by... by some, uh, king over there in London. And it's not about to let itself be ruled by some president in Washington! Virginia, by God, sir, is gonna be run by *Virginians*!
Brigadier General Lewis A. Armistead : [Armistead and Longstreet are walking by and overhear this] Oh, my. "The Cause."
Major General George E. Pickett : [looks at his cards] Actually, Jimmy, I got a pair of kings.
James L. Kemper : [keeps plowing on] And it's all for the Yankees, the damn, money-grubbin' Yankees. I mean, those damn fools, they don't get the message! Always the darkies, nothin' but the darkies.
Major General George E. Pickett : You know, Jim... ahem. Sit down.
[he abruptly pulls Kemper back into his seat]
Major General George E. Pickett : I think that my idea, my, uh... my analogy of a gentlemen's club is-is fair enough. It's clear enough.
[he turns to Freemantle]
Major General George E. Pickett : Colonel, think on it, now. Now you suppose that we all join a club, a gentlemen's club. And then, well, after a time, several of the members began to, uh... began to *intrude* themselves into our private lives, our home lives. Began tellin' us what we could do, what we couldn't do. Well, then, wouldn't any one of us have the right to resign? I mean, just...
[he snaps his fingers]
Major General George E. Pickett : ... resign. Well, that's what we did. That's what *I* did, and now these people are tellin' us that we don't have that right to resign.
James L. Kemper : Well...
[he starts chuckling]
James L. Kemper : I gotta hand it to you, George. You certainly do have a talent for trivializin' the momentous and complicatin' the obvious. You ever considered runnin' for Congress?
Brig. Gen. Richard B. Garnett : Oooh.
Major General George E. Pickett : [laughs] It's a thought.
[Armistead and Pickett are discussing the charge]
Brigadier General Lewis A. Armistead : What about Garnett?
Major General George E. Pickett : What about him?
Brigadier General Lewis A. Armistead : His leg's hurt, he's going to have to ride up that hill.
Major General George E. Pickett : Damnation!
Brigadier General Lewis A. Armistead : George, order him not to go.
Major General George E. Pickett : General Armistead! How can I do that?
Brigadier General Lewis A. Armistead : Virginians! Virginians! For your land - for your homes - for your sweethearts - for your wives - for Virginia! Forward... march!
Brigadier General Lewis A. Armistead : [Armistead sees a young soldier cowering behind a fence on the Emmitsburg Road during Pickett's Charge and stoops down next to him] Come on, boy, come on! What'll you think of yourself tomorrow?
[he stands back up]
Brigadier General Lewis A. Armistead : Virginians! Virginians!
[he takes off his hat and impales it on his sword, then holds it aloft]
Brigadier General Lewis A. Armistead : With me! Who will come with me?
[he charges ahead, his brigade hot on his heels]