Casting Call: Civil War Reenactors Needed for Movie–Rebel Private

I was delighted to learn from Dixiebroadcasting that a new Civil War movie is in the works.  I explored the site and am impressed by the commitment of its planners to historical accuracy.  One unique aspect: There will be a black Confederate soldier.  I’ve told my students for years that the South had black soldiers (admittedly, not many) before the North did. The director is searching for Civil War reenactors for its project.  I’ve done some work as a movie extra: (The Dead Will Tell, and Miracle Run, both filmed in New Orleans) and will likely apply for this movie. Here is the call for reenactors, followed by the project overview. I lifted these from the movie’s site.

The producers of Rebel Private are seeking reenactors to be selected from a nationwide search to participate in the film as members of Company F of the Texas Brigade and or Terry’s Texas Rangers ( mounted ). Professional actors will be cast for roles with general dialog, however, reenactors will be asked to flesh out the immediate soldiers around such key actors as the story unfolds. Through battlefield attrition these positions will come and go as the “war” progresses and in Fletcher’s transition story wise, from The Texas Brigade to Terry’s Texas Rangers.

The director will make every possible effort toward historical accuracy down to the most minute detail. Great attention will be paid to the period look of soldier’s faces and to uniform changes throughout the story timeline, early to late war. We will utilize entire reenactor units overall in the film participating on the field, however, for the immediate members of Company F and Terry’s Texas Rangers, we will ask for young reenactor soldiers between the ages of 16 and 30, who are thin, with great interest paid to beards and hair. Reenactors for these positions will likely be involved for several weeks. A unique particularly period essence to an overall impression is our focus in this, our…”call to arms”.

For those with interest, please submit recent photographs in uniform and or mounted, along with contact information.

Project Overview

Heartland Pictures, Inc. will produce an independent feature film, Rebel Private, in collaboration with Rebel Private, LLC. The Film’s screenplay is based on the memoirs of Private William Fletcher, C.S.A., of Hood’s Texas Brigade, Army of Northern Virginia, one of few published works of Confederate enlisted men chronicling personal combat experiences. Margaret Mitchell, a friend of the family, referenced the book extensively when writing Gone With The Wind. Miss Vallie Fletcher Taylor, great granddaughter of William Fletcher, released his memoirs in1996, Rebel Private, Front and Rear, which otherwise would have been lost to time as he had self published in 1908, yet all but two copies were destroyed in a tragic house fire. The under thirteen million dollar budget will offer creative freedom, yet studio quality and scale, with unique distribution potential, through the independent film management process.

The “War for Southern Independence” was an unprecedented national tragedy and ironically, an illegal and unnecessary war. Formulated in a gristmill of humanity, where at Gettysburg as many soldiers were casualties in three days as in Vietnam over ten years, this great drama remains fertile ground for stories of uncommon valor and sacrifice. As a result, the loss of potential for what might have been a great Southern nation, adhering to pure Jeffersonian principles established in the American Revolution, a constitutionally based confederation of sovereign states, where little known, the immoral institution of slavery was by 1861 destined to naturally fade, remains unfulfilled.

Into this maelstrom, countless young men such as William Fletcher were thrust, lives forever changed, generations forever diminished, the flower of Southern youth lost to what they perceived was the second American Revolution. It is our fervent desire to honestly illustrate the human side of the Southern people, the often maligned Southern soldier, upon whom this war was unjustly waged and from a Southern point of view. Such has not been done in film all though historically accurate, it is not politically correct. Confederate General Patrick Cleburne put it succinctly…”Gentlemen, if we should not prevail, the victor will write our history”.

“The North practiced sanctioned buying, or substitution. This, the practice of replacing ones self for payment, a socially and legally accepted manner of evading service. You could not do that in the South, Southern pride would not allow for it”. Shelby Foote, noted historian.

In the Orwellian world of the 21st Century, even the word Confederate creates ire through the propaganda of historical revisionism. We would hope through power of the film medium to in some way restore pride in Southern history, which also is American history. Hollywood suffers a bias in that respect, perpetuating negative myth. Only an independent film through planned unique distribution will prevail in such truth. Southerners should not be ashamed of the noble sacrifice of their ancestors and through this film will be allowed the light of honest inspection. Rebel Private is the vehicle, true history the lesson. It is time for an end to distortion.

Music of the time offers an emotional lament, a window on the time often with Celtic roots and as such it touches the soul in a visceral way. Contemporary country music Nashville ties will bring a wealth of resource applied through a purist “Mountain Music” application. We creatively do not seek a symphonic big Hollywood sound, but rather, a historically researched, period instrumentation portrayal of the 1860s.

Heartland Pictures, Inc. is in the fund raising process for Rebel Private, which will be filmed in Texas, Louisiana and Virginia. The writer-director, Chuck Untersee, is a Texan and twenty year veteran of the Hollywood film industry. Through burning zeal to illustrate aesthetic purity of the time by a visually driven romantic story and intimate combat intensity of the D-Day invasion in, Saving Private Ryan, to the poignant relationships of, Cold Mountain, he will create a visceral and riveting film. Rebel Private will be a deeply Southern, highly aesthetic, historically accurate, non “commercial” portrayal of the period. It is our intent to make the audience laugh, cry and most importantly…to think.

If you are interested in learning more about this project, go to the movie’s homepage here:


My calendar is on my main website, but I’ve recently added these events:

The Highland Games in Jackson, Louisiana. This Saturday, November 15, I will be storytelling and playing some music in the children’s area and signing some books. Here is the event’s website:

Brock, TX ISD Thursday, Jan. 15  School Programs!

One thought on “Casting Call: Civil War Reenactors Needed for Movie–Rebel Private

  1. Ricky sounds like movie thing will be a hoot. The movie Thomas Taylor and I appear in will be out on DVD in mid Jan. “Cold River” is the name of it, cheaply done, but it was a hoot for a few days…..

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