GLORY  (1989)

 
Synopsis

This powerful, engaging, Civil War epic, Glory, portrays Colonel Robert Gould Shaw leading the Union's first all-black volunteer company, the 54th Massachusetts Regiment. This gripping story follows Shaw's authentic war letters beginning with his battle experience at Antietam Creek. The newly appointed Colonel, a young abolitionist from Boston, agrees to head a company of brave black men eager to become soldiers. The narrative's cornerstone is four exceptionally diverse enlistees, introduced to each other as they become tent mates during their training in Readville, Massachusetts. John Rawlins, the inspirational leader, unites the troops and eventually becomes the Regiment's sergeant major; the free Thomas Searles, Shaw's educated childhood friend, is the first to volunteer for the company; Jupiter Sharts, an uneducated simpleton from South Carolina, brings naïve courage to their cause; and Private Tripp, the embittered runaway slave, embodies the indomitable spirit of the 54th. Under their drill sergeant's intense direction, the men come together and prove to themselves as well as to their white commanders that they are capable fighters. The unit's wish to fight consummates when Shaw volunteers his men to lead an impossible assault on one of the Confederate's strongholds, Fort Wagner.  Meeting an apocalyptic fate, the 54th manages to breech the battery's parapets, and in their glory help turn the tide of the war.

 

Copyright (c) 2003, Todd Scurci and Denny Boyle, Undergraduates at Lehigh University.

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