The Film


A tremendously moving story of a Union soldier and his wife during the Civil War, “Love & Valor, The Intimate Civil War Letters” is based on the book of the same name, which was featured by the Smithsonian in the month after 9/11. Ritner, a Union captain from Iowa, was a teacher, farmer and abolitionist before the war. The movie tells of their devotion to each other, patriotism, loneliness, anguish at the death of loved ones, and slavery. Emeline raising four small children, managing the family farm, dealing with other women in town. Jacob witnessing death of family and friends, participating in great adventure, seeing new lands, changing views on the South.


The movie is narrated by Tony Award winning actor Brian Dennehy. Jacob and Emeline’s great great grandson, Charles Larimer, also as a narrator, tells the strange stories about how he found the letters. He tells most of his stories in cemeteries by the actual graves of the people mentioned in the letters. He also tells strange stories on how he found additional information about some of the people featured in the letters, including a young run-away slave whom Jacob Ritner met in Mississippi in 1862 during the Vicksburg campaign, and the Ice Merchant of Savannah who hosted Jacob Ritner for Christmas dinner in 1864 at the end of Sherman’s March to the Sea.



Running Time: 83 minutes 15 seconds
Language: English
Genre: Narrative-style Documentary, Drama
Plot Keywords: Patriotism, Grave, Civil War, U.S. Civil War


Love & Valor on IMDB