Robert E. Lee has a complex relationship with his second-in-command, James Longstreet. Longstreet loves Lee as a father, but the two have arguments regarding the strategies of the war.
Joshua Chamberlain is paired with his brother, Tom. Joshua promised his mother he would protect Tom, but he has to put his brother in great danger to fill a hole in the line.
General Lew Armistead, who fights for the Confederacy, must fight against his old friend Winfield Hancock, showing how the Civil War forced Americans to fight against their family and friends.
Private Buster Kilrain becomes a friend and mentor to his colonel, Joshua Chamberlain.
General Richard Ewell of the Confederacy is intimidated by General Jubal Early, even though Ewell has the greater responsibility. Early is pushy, even though he is capable.