Glory Movie Analysis

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Background Glory is the story of Robert Gould Shaw and his command over the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, which was one of the first all-black active duty regiments in the Union Army in November of 1862. The movie speaks of Colonel (Col) Shaw’s bravery, his pride, his empathy and love for his Soldiers. Col Shaw himself was from a wealthy Boston family with parents who were influential abolitionists. At 23 years old, Robert Shaw dropped out of Harvard to be commissioned in the Union Army to fight in the Civil War of the States. This movie is based on a true story and the letters that Robert Shaw wrote home and in his personal journal are currently located in the Houghton Library of Harvard University. The movie is based on the factual accounts of these letters. The manner in which Robert Shaw led the 54th Infantry was a direct result of his first experience in combat; it was the Battle of Antietam (Maryland).
Beginning Combat Experience At the Battle of Antietam in 1862, then Captain (CPT) Shaw is the lead of his Union regiment. His regiment walks forward in battle at a steady, orderly pace, and fire their weapons in a sort of cadence, only after CPT Shaw yells the command “fire” over the noise of the Confederate Army’s rifles and cannons. Meanwhile, the Confederate Army is stationary and partially protected behind a ridge. They are firing their weapons rapidly, without ceasing. Both armies are losing men. However, the Union Army’s Soldiers are falling at an alarming rate,

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