Fact or Folktale?
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Right Stripe Media has always been aware of the ongoing debate surrounding the story of Richard Kirkland. Some folks consider the account of “The Angel of Marye’s Heights” to be the gospel-truth, while others don’t believe it at all. We are in the camp of believers. From day-one we strived to present Kirkland’s moment of mercy in the most accurate way possible. This required a great deal of research and we were very fortunate to have access to some of the best minds in the Civil War community, as well as archive materials at the Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania National Military Park Service and the Camden SC Historical Archives. Thanks to them, we were able to compose what we consider to be as accurate of a version as possible.

 

As historians and documentary filmmakers, we completely understand the sense of doubt in some people’s minds. Frankly, Kirkland’s story reads like a Hollywood script. We also admit that there is some speculation as to how these exact events unfolded at Fredericksburg. In order to get as close as possible we consulted the true authority on the subject, Mr. Mac Wyckoff, a retired NMPS historian. Mac is responsible for assembling most of the primary and secondary reference available on Kirkland and is an expert on the history of the 2nd South Carolina. We have been honored to have his support and validation of our film.

 

Over the years, Mac has been called upon to defend the story of Richard Kirkland. Shortly after our film was released he presented an insightful, three-part post on the popular NMPS blog Mysteries & ConundrumsHis posts represent the best argument for the story of Richard Kirkland and we are including links to them for reference. There is also some great commentary added by John Hennessy, Chief of Interpretation at Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania National Military Park.

 

  1. What we really know about Richard Kirkland, the Angel of Marye’s Heights: Part 1–Origins
  2. Richard Kirkland, Part 2–Other Evidence
  3. Kirkland– a hero or bandwagon? Part 3–Evidence, Memory, and Public History