California has been following me since I started my project in Virginia.
First there was the August 23rd earthquake in Mineral, Virginia, about 10 miles west of my work location and 35 miles from Richmond.
Now, Steven Spielberg comes on my heels for his biopic about Abraham Lincoln.
It is my understanding the film will focus on the last three months of the war, during which time the 16th President visited General Grant while the siege of the city was underway. However, Lincoln’s most memorable trip to the city occurred over April 3-4, his arrival only one day after it was abandoned by the Confederate Army. He disembarked from a naval vessel at Rockett’s Landing and walked two miles to the residence of Jefferson Davis. An escort of Marines was dispatched but never caught up with the President. Security was much looser in those days, to say the least.
Filming has been underway in recent weeks around the city. Dirt and sod were brought in to cover the streets around the shooting locations. The City of Richmond has had practice with converting its urban locales. The HBO series John Adams was shot here.
A battle scene is scheduled to be shot tomorrow (11/16) on the south side of the James River. A former prison site with 180 acres will be used.
I also heard from a source that Mr. Spielberg purchased a home in the historic Church Hill neighborhood of Richmond, although it would seem a rental arrangement would be more believable. Church Hill has many restored Victorian residences and is where Saint John’s Episcopal Church is located. Patrick Henry gave his “Give me liberty or give me death speech” there.
The film is targeted for release in April 2012.