Glory: 54 th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry and Civil War Essay

Submitted By eplotkin1
Words: 697
Pages: 3

"In theory it may seem all right to some, but when it comes to being made the instrument of the Lord's vengeance, I myself don't like it." -Robert Gould Shaw The film "Glory" directed by Edward Zwick and produced by Freddie Fields in 1989, gave us insight on the slave aspect of the Civil War. It was filmed mostly in Georgia, but also in Massachusetts.
In early February of 1863, abolitionist Governor John A. Andrew of Massachusetts issued the Civil War's first call for black soldiers. Being a northern state, Massachusetts didn't have many African American residents. By the time the 54th infantry regiment headed off to training camp more than 1,000 men had volunteered. Two famous enlistees included in the 54th were Frederick Douglass' sons Charles and Lewis Douglass. Lewis Douglass (played by Morgan Freeman, but named different in movie) would later on become Sergeant Major, one of the few African American officers of that time.
Compared to what I have read over slavery during the Civil War and the 54th regiment along with other African American troops, the film was very accurate. Between the battles, the training, even the soldiers pay compared to the white soldiers was accurate. Some things were left out, such as the black soldiers having to pay a uniform fee and showing that not all of the 54th regiment died at the battle at Fort Wagner.
The film was authentic as well from the uniforms, way people talked and acted, and the guns. Some things I noticed in the film that was not as authentic were in the scene where the 54th march past a plantation with the children waving, one was wearing a digital watch. Another flaw in the authenticy was during the attack on Fort Wagner, when the the soldiers dropped to the sand for cover you can notice that their bayonets quivered showing that they were not real in fact made of a rubber material. An error not in the accuracy of the movie but with a scene was when the 54th were fighting in the forest, Denzel Washington's character began grappling a Confederate soldier, in one shot the Confederate soldier wasn't wearing a hat and in the next shot he was.353
Leader of the 54th regiment was Col. Robert Gould Shaw, who at first seems to be a sort of coward who passes out after being hit with shrapnel. He later awakes to a field clean up crew and shows clear signs of guilt returning home he attends a party where he recieves news that he has been elected to lead a regiment of black soldiers against the southern