GLory Essay, Research Paper
The Civil War was a great event in everyone’s life. Especially in the lives of the African Americans. We saw how they were forced into slavery and the hardships and torture that these men and women went through. However, we cannot go through what these brave men and women went through. In this film, “Glory,” these former slaves and fugitives combine their forces with those who did them wrong, the “white” men, to fight for their country. However, these men are deprived of supplies a soldier needs and treated as if they were still slaves. They lacked the right to be an officer or a human being. All this changes when their commanding officer starts to see it their way and is not only their leader but also their friend.
With the president against the idea of having African Americans enlisting in the army, these brave soldiers take on what most people wouldn’t today. This film tells the story of the 54th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry in 1863, made up of black soldiers – some Northern freemen, some escaped slaves – and led by whites, including Robert Gould Shaw, the son of Boston abolitionists. Although it was widely believed at the time that blacks would not make good soldiers and would not submit to discipline under fire, the 54th figured in one of the bloodiest actions of the war, an uphill attack across muddy terrain against a Confederate fort in Charleston, South Caronlina. The attack was almost suicidal, particularly given the battlefield strategies of the day, which involved disciplining troops to keep on marching into withering fire. The 54th suffered a bloodbath. But its members remained disciplined soldiers to the end, and their performance on that day encouraged the North to recruit other blacks to its ranks,
180,000 in all, and may have been decisive in turning the tide of the war. The training was harsh on the colored soldiers. They were disciplined as if they were still slaves. They lacked the respects that a white soldier would receive. “Glory” tells the story of the 54th Regiment largely through the eyes of Shaw (Matthew Broderick), who in an early scene in the film is seen horrified and dismayed by the violence of the battlefield. Returned home to recover from wounds, he is recruited to lead a newly formed black regiment and takes the job even though his own enlightened abolitionist opinions still leave room for doubts about the capability of black troops. It is up to the troops themselves to convince him they can fight – and along the way they also gently provide him with some insights into race and into human nature, a century before the flowering of the civil rights movement. Among the men who turn into the natural leaders of the 54th are Trip (Denzel Washington), an escaped slave, and John Rawlins (Morgan Freeman), first seen in the film as a gravedigger who encounters the wounded Shaw on the field of battle. These little details lead up to larger ones, as when the children of poor black sharecroppers look on in wonder as black soldiers, in uniform, march past their homes. And everything in the film leads up to the final bloody battle scene, a suicidal march up a hill that accomplishes little in concrete military terms but is of incalculable symbolic importance. The most widely known battle fought by African-Americans was the assault on Fort Wagner, South Carolina, by the 54th Massachusetts on July 18, 1863. The 54th volunteered to lead the assault on the strongly-fortified Confederate positions. The soldiers of the 54th scaled the fort’s parapet, and were only driven back after brutal hand-to-hand combat.The typical soldier during these battles, such as Battle of Antietam, Battle of Fredericksberg in which the colored soldiers tried to prove that they are not of any lesser being than the white soldiers, and the battle at Fort Wagner, didn’t all of automatic weapons such as the ones we have today. These soldiers had to deal with manual armory. They had rifles where you had to manually insert the bullets and had bayonets on their rifles to fight with due to the limited amount of time a soldier has to reload his rifle. The white officers had swords and pistols and the canons were used as well. These soldiers needed to be well armed because of the battles like that of Fort Wagner on July 8, 1863. This was a typical Civil war battle along with the bloodiest battle at Antietam. In this battle, for example, the 54th regiment was volunteered by Robert Shaw to create a diversion so that the rest of the troops can be able to move in. They marched into battle as they were trained to do. To march into the deadly battle field in which the bullets and the cannons were being fired straight at them. Many fell but still the army moved on until they can find shelter nearby. These soldiers and there officers usually had tactics or some sort of maneuver to escape the enemies attacks. One group of soldiers were divided with a separate officer guiding and giving orders. Results of the battle usually ends up with many casualties and the destruction of the battlefield along with it’s civilians. No matter what happened these soldiers in the north were disciplined to the point that they would march to there deaths.
At the battle of Fort Wagner, Robert Gould Shaw volunteers the 54th Regiment, in which he was kernal, to be the ones to go out to the battle field and fight. Despite the fact that