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'Sherman's March' to be shown on The History Channel Sunday

April 20, 2007

"Sherman's March" premieres at 9 p.m. on Sunday, April 22, on The History Channel. Significant portions of the two-hour network television special were filmed in Washington County.

The production company was JWM Productions, and the project was directed by Jon King, with Executive Producer Jason Williams.

Washington County-based Historical Entertainment provided production assistance, including providing Civil War re-enactors, location scouting and securing, props and other essential production efforts.

"We filmed in Boonsboro, at the Miller House, and at the home of Pat and Taylor Lemkuhl, " said Russ Richards, CEO of Historical Entertainment. "While filming we also got support from the Alsatia Club, because we used their building as a staging and holding area for all the filming at the Miller House."

Richards said much of the local filming took place in the fall of 2006. Richards said the production company received a lot of local assistance, "along with all the help from the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau. We used the Four Points Hotel as the base of operations, and also as our host hotel." Richards said there were nearly two weeks of filming in Washington County. "We only had three days of filming elsewhere, including near Gettysburg," he said.

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Tom Riford, president and CEO of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau said, "This documentary chronicles General William Tecumseh Sherman's fabled 'March to the Sea' through Georgia and the Carolinas. The two-hour movie uses state-of-the-art production techniques, including CGI, special effects and historical re-creations. To have most of the movie filmed here in our county speaks volumes for our capacity as a site for film and television productions."

Riford said four movies and more than 10 network television episodes have been filmed in Washington County during the past three years.

"It's a terrific local economic impact," Riford said. "Usually, a film's cast and crew use local lodging, they eat here, they purchase props and construction material locally and also bring positive name recognition for our county."

Riford said this History Channel film's local economic impact was estimated at nearly $100,000 for the short amount of time the project filmed in Washington County.

Michael Callas, general manager of the Four Points Sheraton, agreed. "The History Channel production was a wonderful boost for our hotel. To have more than two dozen rooms filled for about two weeks meant a lot. We always welcome movie and television productions here, and are proud to have been the headquarters for several projects during the past few years," he said.

Historical Entertainment has worked on several film projects, and also is involved with several current productions. "I have worked hard to grow our county's television and filming opportunities, so as to attract productions. This project couldn't have happened without the help of the CVB, Washington County, the Four Points, the Miller House and the town of Boonsboro. This sort of help is important, or else these productions would simply go elsewhere. The cooperation, and the ability to make things happen is usually at a fast pace, which helps bring them here," Richards said.

Gen. Sherman was hated in the South during the Civil War for his policy of destroying everything his troops marched through. In this new docudrama profile, historians look at the facts and myths of Sherman's march to the sea.

To view a sneak-peek "trailer" of "Sherman's March" visit www.History.com. To go directly to the special preview of the movie see http://www.history.com/media.do?id=historyinthemaking_shermansmarch_60_broadband&action=clip. Also see http://www.vsocial.com/video/?d=80805, and a behind-the-scenes video here: http://uncutvideo.aol.com/videos/16ef61bda19e1b3ba1e44c35799a1f57.

Bill Oberst, Jr. plays General Sherman. There were more than 50 cast and crew, with additional dozens of re-enactors.

The two-hour movie portrays the American Civil War in the fall of 1864, while there seemed to be no resolution in sight. "Over 400,000 men had died - far more than any other American war. To end the conflict, General William Tecumseh Sherman adopted a deliberate strategy that later historians would call 'total war.' Plundering food

supplies and burning buildings, he marched 60,000 Union troops through the South. By destroying Confederate morale, 'Sherman's March' hastened the end of the American Civil War. The myth is that Sherman was a cruel, heartless monster. The truth is much more complicated." - Rick King, Director (from the History Channel web site).

For more information about Historical Entertainment, see: www.historicalentertainment.com. The Miller House has been used as a location for other History Channel productions, including "Secret Missions of the Civil War" which premiered in 2005. The Miller House is managed and maintained by the Washington County Historical Society. For more information, see: www.mdwchs.com.

Historical Entertainment is a member of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau. For more information, see: www.marylandmemories.com.

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