Franklin County Men Provide Props To “Lincoln” Movie

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WASHINGTON,  MO. (KPLR) – In less than two hours the highly anticipated movie “Lincoln” will hit some screens in St. Louis.  And when it does, a pair of Franklin County men will be paying special attention.

Pieces from the film are in their back shed.

This is what an ambulance looked like in 1865.

It is the exact same thing that was used in the civil war as a spring board.

And when it comes to the civil war, you will find no bigger fan that Charles Staats.  He's the historian.  His son C.J. is a professional stuntman specializing in horses, and a veteran of most every big civil war film in recent memory.

So when Stephen Spielberg and company began work on the story of Abraham Lincoln, the Staats family reputation prompted a phone call from producers in need of a period perfect ambulance.

He said I know C.J. has one; he and his father have it.  So C.J. called me up and said, 'we`ve gotta get it ready, dad, Steven Spielberg wants it.'

So he went to work on this one, a relic he tracked down just up the road in Washington, Mo.

When this came along it was right up my alley.

Soon C.J. was off to Richmond Virginia with this one and a couple of other military carriages from the time.  He would handle the family equipment, and also spent a lot of time working with the movie's star, Daniel Day Lewis, on his horsemanship.

Daniel Day Lewis really got into character.  We had to refer to him as Mr. President or Mr. Lincoln.  He really got into character every day.

When the trailer finally came out, the Staats family saw their treasure, just a glimpse.  Here's another look in super slow motion.  But it's enough to have Charles chomping at the bit to head for the theater for the movie's opening day.

If the good lord`s willing and the creek don`t rise, I’ll be there.