When the first rumblings of the Civil War reached Savannah, reaction wasn’t what most would imagine.
It meant huge rallies in Johnson Square, elaborate uniforms, and parades with proud Southerners who would sometimes take excursions to battle sites to watch the action, said Michael Jordan, the president of Cosmos Mariner Productions.
Jordan has produced many historical films and documentaries including “Savannah’s Famous Ships” and “In the Footsteps of Juliette.” He was featured speaker Monday at the 39th annual meeting of the Bulloch County Historical Society, which was held in the social hall at Statesboro Primitive Baptist Church.
Jordan showed clips from his videos, talking about Savannah and how the Civil War affected those living in the area.
Topics discussed included Fort Pulaski and how the Union took the fort using rifled gun cannons, which destroyed the fortress walls because the projectiles traveled farther and the cannons were more accurate and more powerful than the cannons the Confederacy had.
In the film clips, Jordan reviewed how Confederates had problems in constructing effective ironclad ships, some of which were ineffective because of the Savannah River’s current, or were unbearable to be inside during the South’s damp heat.
The film clips covered the prison situation in Savannah, where Union soldiers were held in a jail where Forsyth Park stands now, and how the miserable, dirty conditions were still improvements over Andersonville’s prison.
“I think I was bound to make this documentary no matter what,” Jordan said, sharing his childhood memory of visiting Civil War battlefields. He talked about how Savannahians voted to rejoin the union two days after William T. Sherman arrived and referred to the county as the great state of Chatham.”
He likened the Civil war to the Vietnam war in that there was “morphine addiction and alcohol addiction. … It was like the whole house of cards collapsed and everything was upside down.”
The film about Savannah and the Civil War took one-and-a-half years to make and included “31 actors, a host of museums and historians,” Jordan said.
In speaking of the sometimes touchy subjects of slavery and war, Jordan said, “I figured the only way to tell the story was to make everybody mad,” but he shared the story as a way to “pay the debt to those who sacrificed.”
Jordan is an award-winning videographer and producer and received a Regional Emmy nomination in 2007 for “Life on the Big E.”
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.