TV Review: 'Stone Soldiers' is a monument to Gettysburg

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History buffs -- especially Civil War aficionados -- will likely best appreciate WQED's "Stone Soldiers: Saving the Gettysburg Monuments," a new 30-minute documentary that premieres at 8 tonight and at the same time will be streamed online at www.WQED.org.

Gettysburg National Military Park
The monument to the 114th Volunteer Pennsylvania Infantry at Gettysburg National Military Park fell victim to vandalism last year.
Click photo for larger image.

'Stone Soldiers: Saving the Gettysburg Monuments'

When: 8 tonight on WQED-TV, WQED.org.

The special, which was produced by the staff of the station's "On Q," begins with a look at the repairs necessary to a few of Gettysburg National Military Park's 1,300 monuments, which were damaged by vandals in February 2006. But the program segues into an appreciation by park volunteers, who share stories about their personal connections to the site. One woman is a descendant of soldiers who fought for both the North and the South in the Civil War.

Written and produced by David Solomon with camera/editing work by Paul Ruggieri, "Stone Soldiers" is a well-organized, well-plotted program that nicely fits its time slot. It doesn't feel padded or stretched. Beautiful views of the monuments are complemented by the use of period-style music that evokes a sense of the era.

Stories include the history of how a dog from Pittsburgh ended up memorialized on the monument of one regiment. Carvings on a boulder mark the spot where the son of a judge from Washington, Pa., was buried after dying on the battlefield.

One of the people interviewed refers to Gettysburg as "the largest outdoor museum in the world." In "Stone Soldiers," the park's caretakers eagerly share their passion for this historic site.


Post-Gazette TV editor Rob Owen can be reached at 412-263-2582 or rowen@post-gazette.com .


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