Director Ron Maxwell and producer Ted Turner return to the glory and tragedy of the Civil War in this historical drama, a prequel to Gettysburg, which examines the early days of the conflict through the experiences of three men. Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (Jeff Daniels) left behind a quiet life and a career as a college professor to become one of the Union's greatest military minds. Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson (Stephen Lang) was, like Chamberlain, a man of great religious faith who served in the defense of the Confederacy. And Gen. Robert E. Lee (Robert Duvall), who led the Confederate army, was a man who was forced to choose between his loyalty to the United States and his love of the Southern states where he was born and raised. As Chamberlain, Jackson, and Lee are followed through the declaration of war and the battles at Manassas, Antietam, Frederickburg, and Chancellorsville, the film also introduces us to the many supporting players in the epic tale of the war between the States, among them the women these men left behind, among them Fanny Chamberlain (Mira Sorvino) and Anna Jackson (Kali Rocha). Based on a novel by Jeff Shaara, Gods and Generals also features a new song written and performed by Bob Dylan.
by Mark Deming synopsis