In short, Amazon's Civil War production suffers from The Patriot Syndrome. In that 2000 Revolutionary War film, Mel Gibson's character owns a South Carolina plantation on which there are no slaves. Rather, the African Americans on the property "work the land as freed men." The absurdity and scarcity of such a scenario is equally embraced in Point of Honor and other films. Morally upstanding white protagonists somehow always have to be the exception rather than the rule within their slave society. There's nothing wrong with creating main characters with flaws--as online shows such as House of Cards have revealed. In this context, there is a certain lack of creative courage with Point of Honor.
Additionally, the show has received criticism for it simplification of antebellum issues and contemporary social strife. As Sonia Saraiya with Salon writes: "The pilot demonstrates ridiculous historical inaccuracy and mind-boggling racial insensitivity, but that doesn’t even really cover it. It’s more that the show is offering up a narrative of whiteness in the South that is worryingly, terrifyingly convenient in a world still very much plagued by racial inequity." In this regard, the program seems to care more about evoking sympathy for the elite planter class than conveying some semblance of authenticity. Considering that show writer Randall Wallace also penned the equally inaccurate Braveheart and Pearl Harbor, none of this should come as a great surprise to viewers.
From a military history perspective, the show begins with a commendably orchestrated recreation of First Bull Run, but quickly spirals beyond reality with a series of hackneyed skirmishes and a perverse Union officer with a Colonel Kurtz-style blood lust. Typically, I embrace most film productions about the Civil War era because I fervently believe that cinema has the ability to spark interest in the past. Unfortunately, Point of Honor provides little use to educators except to reveal another episode of fantasy historical exceptionalism. The question remains: Why do screenwriters insist on fabricating narratives when true stories are far more astute and revealing?