JOSEPHINE

In the spring of 1864, the bravest man fighting in the Civil War... was a woman. 

Near the end of the Civil war, a desperate young farmer’s wife enlists in the army, posing as a man. She battles the enemy, the men of her unit and her own identity in a quest to find her missing husband.

 

 

What is the story?  

Fifteen years ago, I came across some letters that a Civil War soldier from Tennessee named John Robison wrote home to his wife Josephine. His grammar and spelling were terrible, but the words he wrote to her were poetic and beautiful. Not long after, I turned those letters into a song called “Josephine” that my wife Joey and I recorded and made a music video for. (https://vimeo.com/53610046

 In 2013, I received an email from a man in Virginia who had seen our music video and he said he knew of letters that Josephine had also written to John. When I found and read those letters, I was even more moved by the words she wrote and the love she clearly had for the husband that the war had separated her from. Over the next year and a half, my best friend Aaron Carnahan and I wrote Josephine's story into a full-length screenplay for a movie... actually we let her tell us the story that she wanted to tell. Page by page, we watched her wait for John until she could wait no more. Then, after burying their only child - in desperation - we saw her cut off her long hair, put on John's old clothes and join the confederate army to find him. We watched a lost and scared girl, dressed like a male soldier, not only learn to become a woman again, but also teach the men around her how to be better men. We followed Josephine and her ragtag unit across three states - over six months, against all odds, with nothing to go on, but the belief in the one thing in the world she had left... love. 

Josephine’s story is an honest one. With that honesty, comes real-world struggles and the gritty reality of war-time and all it entails. This is not a Christian film. It’s a film made by Christian men and women who want to tell a real story of redemption and light in a world filled with darkness. This is not a movie about the civil war, or the south – and it has no political agendas. It’s a love-story that happens to unfold in a war that’s hard to understand and even harder to live through. 

Is the story true? 

We used excerpts from Josephine and John’s actual letters in the screenplay. After Aaron and I had written about half of the screenplay, we learned that in reality hundreds of women like Josephine actually served and fought in the Civil War as union and confederate soldiers. 

 

 

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