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