Searching for Buster Kilrain...

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 9.34.21 AM...will, of course, be a wasted effort. Why? Because he is not real. Kilrain is a fictional character in Ron Maxwell's film, Gettysburg. A wise veteran of the 20th Maine, Kilrain's character serves as something of a military mentor to Joshua "don't call me Lawrence" Chamberlain (the real colonel of the 20th). But that's all - he's just a character invented by Michael Shaara to help move the story along. Still, as a testament to the power of film connecting history to popular culture, people think he was a real guy. I have heard more than one NPS guide joke about tourists asking for the whereabouts of Kilrain's grave on the battlefield. And recently,  my Twitter friend, Chris alerted me to a small commemorative note placed at the 20th's monument on Little Round Top (presumably by a tourist) praising Kilrain's soldierly virtues and thanking him for his service.

Honestly, I could talk about this film for hours (and write about it as well, as I have done HERE)  - its cultural resonance never ceases to amaze me.

With compliments,