Glory (film)

1989 film directed by Edward Zwick

Glory is a 1989 film about the US Civil War's first all-black volunteer regiment as they fight against the prejudices of both their own Union army and the Confederates.

Directed by Edward Zwick. Written by Kevin Jarre, based on books by Lincoln Kirstein and Peter Burchard and the letters of Robert Gould Shaw.
Their innocence. Their heritage. Their lives. Their bravery. Nothing would be spared in the fight for their freedom.


If this man should fall, who will lift the flag and carry on?
  • Robert Gould Shaw, the son of wealthy Boston abolitionists, was 23 years old when he enlisted to fight in the War between the States.

    He wrote home regularly, telling his parents of life in the gathering Army of the Potomac.

    These letters are collected in the Houghton Library of Harvard University.

  • The 54th Massachusetts Brigade lost over half its number in the assault on Ft. Wagner. The supporting white brigades also suffered heavily before withdrawing.

    The fort was never taken.

    As word of their bravery spread, Congress at last authorized the raising of black troops throughout the Union. Over 180,000 volunteered.

    President Lincoln credited these men of color with helping turn the tide of the war.

Colonel Robert Gould ShawEdit

  • [opening lines, in a letter] Dear Mother, I hope you are keeping well and not worrying too much about me. You mustn't think that any of us are going to be killed, for they are collecting such a force here that an attack would be insane. The Massachusetts men passed through here this morning. How grand it is to meet the men from all the states, east and west, ready to fight fro their country, as the old fellows did in the Revolution. But this time, we must make it a whole country, for all who live here, so that all can speak. Before this war began, many of my regiment had never seen a negro, and now the roads are choked with the dispossessed. We fight for men and women whose poetry is not yet written, but which will presently be as enviable and as renowned as any. Last night, we heard of yet another defeat, but we are not disheartened. I am honored to be part of such a splendid company. They have made me captain, of which I am enormously proud. You would think it strange to see me giving orders to a hundred men, most of whom are older than I am. Thank you for sending my volume of Emerson. His words come home to me like truth. "A deep man," he says, "believes that the evil eye can wither, that the heart's blessing can heal, and that love can overcome all odds." My dearest love to Father. Your son, Robert.
  • Good morning gentlemen, I am Colonel Robert Gould Shaw. I am your commanding officer. It is a great pleasure to see you all here today. It is my hope that the same courage, spirit, and honor, which has brought us together, will one day restore this Union. May God bless us all.
  • Dear Mother, the men learn very quickly; faster than white troops, it seems to me. They are almost grave and sedate under instruction and they restrain themselves. But the moment they are dismissed from drill, every tongue is relaxed and every ivory tooth is visible and you would not know from the sound of it that this is an army camp. They must have learned this from long hours of meaningless, inhuman work to set their minds free so quickly. It gives them great energy. And there is no doubt we will leave this state as fine a regiment as any that as marched. As ever, your son, Robert.
  • It is my job to get these men ready. And I will. They have risked their lives to be here, they have given up their freedom. I owe them as much as they have given. I owe them my freedom... my life if necessary.
  • If you men will take no pay, then none of us will! [Holds up his own paycheck and tears it in half]
  • Dear Father, I need your help. Despite my many requests, it has become clear that we are to be used only for manual labor. Morale is low. The men's humor darkened by idleness and despair. Why keep drilling if they are never to be given the opportunity to prove themselves? I have written to Governor Andrew as well as to the general staff in Washington. But I feel that only a letter directly from you to Lincoln himself can have the desired effect. I can think of no other course. I am sure you both pray, as I do, that all this has not been in vain.
  • There's more to fighting than rest, sir. There's character. There's strength of heart. You should have seen us in action two days ago. We were a sight to see! We'll be ready, sir. When do you want us?
  • [Last words] Come on, Fifty-Fourth!

Sergeant John MulcahyEdit

  • For God's sake, men, you march like a bunch of crippled old goats! Jesus Christ, we're gonna be here day and night till we get this right! One, one! Company, halt! About-face! You are ugly Mexican, African fucking whores! We're gonna work on this day and night till we get this right, gentlemen. Forward at the half step. March!
  • [to Thomas Searles] Oh, look at this. Bonnie Prince Charlie. Are you a gentleman? Are you a member of Congress or something? Or are you the bloody prince of Africa?! [Searles glances at him] Well, don't look at me! [grabs his jaw, points his face forward] Look straight ahead! Look straight ahead! I'll eat your ass up, boy-o!

Major ForbesEdit

  • Mr. Rawlins, this regiment was formed with the promise that only white officers would be commissioned to lead it. Nothing was mentioned, however, about noncommissioned officers. Therefore, in recognition of initiative taken not only for yourself, but on behalf of the entire regiment, you are hereby awarded the rank of Sergeant Major. Congratulations.

Private TripEdit

  • Let me tell you something boy. You can march like the white man. You can talk like him. You can learn his songs. You can even wear his suits. But you ain't never gonna be nothing to him but an ugly ass chimp in a blue suit.
  • [addressing the 54th the night before battle] I ain't much about no prayin,' now. I ain't never had no family, and... killed off my mama. Well, I just... Y'all's the onliest family I got. I love the 54th. Ain't even much a matter what happens tomorrow, 'cause we men, ain't we? We men.


Give'em hell 54th!
  • Sgt. Maj. John Rawlins [to a group of children]: That's right, honeys. Ain't no dream. We runaway slaves, but we come back fightin' men. Go tell your folks how kingdom come in the year of jubilee!
  • Sgt. Maj. John Rawlins: If tomorrow is our great getting up moment... If tomorrow we have to meet the judgment day... Heavenly father, we want you to let our folks know... that we died facing the enemy. We want'em to know, that we went down standing up! Amongst those that are fighting against our oppression. We want'em to know, heavenly father, that we died fighting for freedom!
  • Pvt. Jupiter Sharts: [praying aloud] Tomorrow we goes into battle. So Lordy, let me fight with the rifle in one hand and the Good Book in the other. So that if I may die at the muzzle of the rifle... die on water, or on land, I may know that you blessed Jesus almighty are with me... and I will have no fear.
  • Union Corporal: "Give'em hell 54th!"


Army Surgeon: Heard the latest?
Captain Robert G. Shaw: What's that?
Army Surgeon: Well, I heard it from a friend who's a dispatch rider, who got it from a friend of his who's one of Stanton's clerks in the War Office. He says Lincoln is gonna issue an Emancipation Proclamation. Gonna free the slaves.
Captain Robert G. Shaw: What?
Army Surgeon: Well, maybe not the ones in the border states or somethin', I don't know, but he's gonna free some of 'em, anyway.
Captain Robert G. Shaw: My God.
Army Surgeon: Yeah, he said he would have done it sooner, only he was waiting on a big victory, which is, I guess what this is.

Francis Shaw: Robert. Governor Andrew, you know my son, Robert.
Governor John Andrew: [shakes Robert's hand] Yes, good to see you again, Robert.
Captain Robert G. Shaw: Governor Andrew.
Francis Shaw: [gestures to Douglass] Robert, have you met Frederick Douglass?
Captain Robert G. Shaw: Mr. Douglass.
Governor John Andrew: I understand you were Antietam.
Captain Robert G. Shaw: Yes.
Governor John Andrew: A great and a terrible day. Well, I could use your help, Robert.
Francis Shaw: The governor is proposing to raise a regiment of negro soldiers.
Governor John Andrew: No, no, no, it was not just my idea. Mr. Douglass and some of us...
Frederick Douglass: We will offer pride and dignity to those who have known only degradation.
Sarah Shaw: Colored soldiers, Robert. Just think of it.
Captain Robert G. Shaw: Wonderful.
Governor John Andrew: I've submitted your name, Robert, to be commissioned colonel of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry.
Captain Robert G. Shaw: Thank you, governor, that's... It's a wonderful idea.

Trip: Wait, no. That's my space, nigger. I sleep better close by the door.
Thomas Searles: Well, if you don't mind, I'd prefer a space where there's more sufficient reading light.
Trip: Oh, I like it when niggers talk good as white folk!
Thomas Searles: I'd be happy to teach you. It would be my pleasure.
Trip: Hey, listen here, snowflake, I ain't got nothin' to learn from no house nigger, you hear?
Thomas Searles: I am a free man, as was my father before me.
Trip: Oh, you free, huh? Then move your free black ass out my space, before I have to bust it up!

Sergeant Mulcahy: For God's sake, man! Do you not know your right from your left?
Jupiter Sharts: [stammers] N-No, sir.
Sergeant Mulcahy: How many here do not know right from left? [several men raise their hands] Jesus, have pity. [slaps Sharts on the chest] This is your front! [slaps him on the back] This is your rear! [stomps on Sharts' right foot] This is your right! And this-- [Sharts raises his left foot as Mulcahy is about to stomp on it] Now you're learning, boy-o.

Colonel Robert G. Shaw: Sergeant Major!
Sergeant Mulcahy: Sir!
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: At ease, Sergeant.
Sergeant Mulcahy: Sir.
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: I have no doubt you are a fair man, Mulcahy. I wonder if you are treating these men too hard. [Mulcahy hesitates to speak.] You disagree. You may speak freely.
Sergeant Mulcahy: [referring to Searles] The boy's your friend, is he?
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: We grew up together, yes.
Sergeant Mulcahy: Let him grow up some more.

Colonel Robert G. Shaw: You're a good shot, private.
Jupiter Sharts: Thank you, sir. Squirrel hunting.
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: You ever killed a man?
Jupiter Sharts: No, sir.
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: But you're handy with a gun.
Jupiter Sharts: Yes, sir.
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: Reload. [Sharts slowly starts to reload his rifle] Faster. [Sharts continues reloading] Faster. Faster! [Sharts finishes loading, and fumbles for a fuse cap] Discharge your weapon. Discharge your weapon. Do it! [Sharts takes aim, and fires] Now do it again, only this time, I want it done quickly! [to the other men] A good man can fire three aimed shots in a minute. Major Forbes, give me your Colt revolver.
Major Cabot Forbes: What?
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: Your gun. Give it to me. [Forbes hands Shaw his pistol, and he turns back to Sharts who is still reloading his rifle] Faster. [Sharts takes aim and fires again] Reload. Quickly! Faster! [Shaw fires the pistol] Faster! Load. [fires] Faster! [fires] Do it! DO IT!! [fires] DO IT! [fires] DO IT! [fires] [Sharts fumbles with his weapon, and stares at Shaw, shaken. Shaw turns back to Major Forbes, and hands him back his pistol] Teach them... properly, Major.

Major Cabot Forbes: Why do you treat the men this way, Robert?
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: How should I treat them?
Major Cabot Forbes: Like men? And what about Thomas? Why are you so hard on him?
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: He's not a very good soldier. I'm getting these men ready for battle.
Major Cabot Forbes: Robert. They're already good as the 7th ever was. They march well, they're disciplined.
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: No thanks to you.
Major Cabot Forbes: I beg your pardon?
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: You heard me.
Major Cabot Forbes: Who do you think you are, acting the high-up colonel?! You seem to forget, I know you. And so does Thomas. [Forbes starts to walk off]
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: Forbes! If you don't believe in what we're doing here, maybe you shouldn't be part of it.
Major Cabot Forbes: Part of what? Huh?! [imitating Mulcahy] "Left, right! Left, right! Little finger along the seams of yer trousers!" Marching is probably all they'll ever get to do, Robert.
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: It is my job... to get these men ready. And I will. They have risked their lives to be here, they have given up their freedom. I owe them as much as they have given. I owe them my freedom... my life if necessary. Maybe so do you, Cabot. I think you do. [Cabot bows mockingly and walks off]

[Sergeant Mulcahy is leading a Company of the 54th during a bayonet drill.]
Sergeant Mulcahy: Thrust! Develop! Guard! [walks past Private Jupiter Sharts] You're not a dancing school son, take his head off! Thrust! Develop! Guard! [walks to Corporal Thomas Searles] Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, what have here? Bonny Prince Charlie and his little toy bayonet. Your not reading your books now. Go on, go on, get over here, get over here. Now stab me.
Thomas Searles: What?
Sergeant Mulcahy: Stab. Me. [Searles half-heartedly prods with his bayonet. Mulcahey sweeps it aside disdainfully.] Stab, not tickle! Hit me! [Searles again lunges with the bayonet] Come on! You prissy little schoolgirl, you're the worst Soldier in this whole company, now hit me![Thomas lunges with his bayonet, Mulcahy deftly grabs his weapon and viciously knocks him to the ground with it.] No shame son, get up. [Searles lies on the ground crying] I said get up!
Trip: Nigger forgot to duck, that's all. [a few other soldiers laugh]
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: [points at Trip] Sergeant, deal with that man.
Sergeant Mulcahy: [walks over to Trip, whispers] Let me tell you a wee secret, son. The only thing you're to learn to do is to keep your mouth shut. [pushes Trip back]

[Col. Shaw approaches Rawlins after having Trip horse-whipped for desertion.]
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: Mr. Rawlins... this morning, I... it would be a great help if I could talk to you from time to time about the men. That's all.
[Shaw turns to leave]
John Rawlins: Shoes, sir. [Shaw turns around] The men need shoes, Colonel.
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: Yes, I've been after the quartermaster for some time.
John Rawlins: No, sir. Now. That boy ran off to find him some shoes, Colonel. He wants to fight. Same as the rest of us. More, even.

[Shaw enters the quartermaster's office while some of his soldiers guard the door]
Quartermaster Kendric: Good afternoon, Colonel. Change your mind about that bottle I was talking about?
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: I want 600 pairs of shoes and 1200 pairs of socks... and anything else you've been holding out on us, you piece of rat filth.
Quartermaster Kendric: I'd love to help you, Colonel, but we just don't have any.
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: Not for niggers, you don't?
Quartermaster Kendric: Not for anybody.
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: I see. Pity. I'll just look around to see if you haven't misplaced them, hmm?
[Shaw starts smashing up the place, throwing items off shelves and onto the floor.]
Quartermaster Kendric: HEY!
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: [Over the noise] Where are they, you son of a bitch?!
[Shaw throws items off another shelf]
Quartermaster Kendric: Damn it, you can't-!
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: Can't I? I'm a colonel, you nasty little cuss! You really think you can keep 700 Union soldiers without proper shoes because you think it's funny?! Now, where would that power come from?!

Edward Pierce: Colonel Shaw. Edward Pierce, special assignment from Harper's Weekly.
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: Harper's Weekly?
Edward Pierce: Serving an entire nation. A million loyal readers want to know what happens when the men of the 54th see action.
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: A million and one. Well, you'll want to see this. [gestures to Forbes]
Major Cabot Forbes: Attention, company! [the men stand at attention] Rawlins, front and center.
John Rawlins: [steps forward] Sir!
Major Cabot Forbes: Mr. Rawlins, this regiment was formed with the promise that only white officers would be commissioned to lead it. Nothing was mentioned, however, about noncommissioned officers. Therefore, in recognition of initiative taken not only for yourself, but on behalf of the entire regiment, you are hereby awarded the rank of Sergeant Major. [hands Rawlins sword and insignia]] Congratulations. [shakes Rawlins' hand]
John Rawlins: [salutes] Thank you, sir.
Soldiers: Hip, hip, hooray! Hooray! Hooray!
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: Congratulations.
John Rawlins: I ain't sure I'm wanting this, Colonel.
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: I know exactly how you feel.

[The 54th has just entered the mostly deserted town of Darien]
Sgt. Maj. John Rawlins: Town's clean, sir. Ain't no Rebs here, just some women.
Colonel James M. Montgomery: Well, all right. You here that, boys? Let's clear her out!
[the soldiers start looting the town]
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: What are you doing?
Sgt. Maj. John Rawlins: Liberating this town in the name of the Republic.
Soldier: The musket, master Colonel. Never shoot it. Shoot now?
Colonel James M. Montgomery: Yeah, I don't see why not. Go ahead.
Soldier: Shoot the lady, boys! [shoots at figurehead on hotel]
Man: [runs out] Don't shoot! We ain't Secesh here!
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: That man is a civilian!
Colonel James M. Montgomery: That man is Secesh, and Secesh is all the same, son. [the soldiers fire at the man, who runs off] Look around you, look at 'em. You really think anybody's gonna put some boys into some real combat? Do you? I mean, they're little children for God's sake. Little monkey children. You just gotta learn how to control them.
[A scream is heard, Shaw and Montgomery look over to see a soldier fighting with a white woman and her black servant over some silverware] You see what I mean? Children.
Woman: [hits soldier] Animal! Leave her alone! [the soldier grabs and starts choking her]
Colonel James M. Montgomery: Hey, boy! Take your hands off the white lady. [the soldier ignores him, Montgomery pulls out his pistol and shoots the man dead] Now that would not have been necessary if that Secesh woman hadn't started it. They'll never learn. You see, Secesh has got to be swept away by the hand of God, like the Jews of old. And now I'll have to burn this town.
Woman: Nigger soldiers! NIGGER SOLDIERS!
Colonel James M. Montgomery: Tell your men to set torches and prepare to fire the buildings.
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: I will not.
Colonel James M. Montgomery: That is an order. You will do it, or you will be brought up on charges for disobeying your superior officer.
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: It is an immoral order, and by articles of war, I am not bound to obey it.
Colonel James M. Montgomery: Well, you can just explain that at your court-martial. After your men are placed under my command.
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: [long pause, to his men] First squad, second platoon. Fall out to set torches. Prepare to fire the town.
Sgt. Maj. John Rawlins: First squad, second platoon! Fall out!
[The soldiers proceed to set fire to the buildings]

Trip: [to a group of Union soldiers marching up the road] Look like we goin' the wrong way. Hey. Hey, come on now, buck up boys! Hey, buck up now, come on! Be someday they gonna let the 54th get into it, see! And all your troubles would be over. Come on now, cheer up!
10th Connecticut Corporal: [stops to face Trip] What'd you say, boy?
Trip: Boy? Hey, let me tell you...
Thomas Searles: Shut up, Trip.
Trip: Would you get up off me, snowflake? [to the 10th Connecticut Corporal] See, let me explain something to you. See, the way I figure, I figure this war would be over a whole lot sooner if you boys just turned right on around and headed back on down that way, and you let us head on up there where the real fighting is.
Union Soldier: There are men dyin' up that road.
Trip: And there wouldn't be nothing but Rebs dyin' if they'd let the 54th in it.
Union Solder: Listen-
[Men of both regiments argue and begin fighting]
Sgt. Maj. John Rawlins: Hold it! As you were, Trip! As you were! [To the Connecticut soldiers] You men move on.
10th Connecticut Corporal: [Scoffing as he notices Rawlins' rank] Stripes on a nigger. That's like tits on a bull! [the other Union soldiers laugh]
Sgt. Maj. John Rawlins: You're lookin' at a higher rank, Corporal. You'll obey and you'll like it.
10th Connecticut Corporal: Make me.
Trip: I'll make you!
[The 10th Connecticut soldiers push forward again and the fight resumes; Major Forbes arrives on his horse]
Major Cabot Forbes: WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?! [The fighting immediately stops]
Sgt. Maj. John Rawlins: Attention!
Major Cabot Forbes: [Pointing at the 10th Connecticut Corporal] You! Yes, you! What's your name? I'm putting you up on charges!
[The Corporal freezes in fear, unable to speak]
Sgt. Maj. Rawlins: There ain't no cause for that, sir.
Major Cabot Forbes: What's that, Sergeant?
Sgt. Maj. John Rawlins: It's just a soldiers' fight, sir.
Major Cabot Forbes: All right. You men move along. [pause] MOVE IT!
[The 54th resumes its work and the 10th Connecticut continues marching; the Corporal looks at Rawlins briefly, then rejoins his unit.]

Well, that might not be living, but it sure as hell ain't dying. And dying's what these white boys been doin' for going on three years now
Trip: Yeah, button up that collar. Suck in that gut. Tuck in them big black lips. Lighten your skin, shrink up that nose.
Thomas Searles: I don't have to listen to this.
[Searles stands up to leave, Trip blocks his way.]
Trip: Where you goin', boy?
Thomas Searles: Let me by.
Trip: Let you by? Let you by. Let me tell you something boy. You can march like the white man. You can talk like him. You can learn his songs. You can even wear his suits. But you ain't never gonna be nothing to him but an ugly ass chimp in a blue suit. Oh, you don't like that, do you?
Thomas Searles: No.
Trip: Well, what we gonna do about it? Want to fight me, boy? Huh? What you gonna do about it? You want to fight me, don't you? Don't you? Come on, nig.
[Trip and Searles are about to fight when Rawlins steps in]
John Rawlins: All right! All right!
Trip: Hey, get your hands off me, gravedigger!
John Rawlins: Goddamn it! Does the whole world gotta stomp on your face?
Trip: Nigger, you better get your hands off me!
John Rawlins: Ain't no niggers around here, you hear me?
Trip: Oh, I see. So the white man give you a couple of stripes, next thing you hollerin' and orderin' everybody around, like you the massa hisself! Nigger, you ain't nothin' but the white man's dog! Shit. [Rawlins slaps him.]
John Rawlins: And what are you? So full of hate you just want to go out and fight everybody because you've been whipped and chased by hounds. Well, that might not be living, but it sure as hell ain't dying. And dying's what these white boys been doin' for going on three years now, dying by the thousands! Dying for you, fool! I know, 'cuz I dug the graves. And all the time I'm diggin', I'm askin' myself, "When? When, O Lord, is it gonna be our time?" Well, time's comin' when we're gonna hafta ante up. Ante up and kick in like men. LIKE MEN! You watch who you callin' nigger. There's any niggers round here, it's YOU! Smart-mouthed, stupid-ass, swamp-runnin' nigger. If you ain't careful, that's all you ever gonna be.

General Charles Harker: Ah, Shaw. Sit down. [Shaw remains standing] Well, Colonel, what can I do for you?
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: You can give me and my regiment a transfer to combat command.
General Charles Harker: Couldn't do it, Colonel. You're much too valuable to my operations here.
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: [after a long pause] May I sit? [Harker motions for Shaw to sit.] Thank you. [to Major Forbes] Major. [Shaw and Forbes both sit down] I've written a letter to my father, asking him to press Governor Andrew and President Lincoln. But I don't have to wait for all that, do I?
General Charles Harker: [to Colonel Montgomery] Colonel Montgomery, would you bring that ashtray over here?
[Colonel Montgomery stops playing the harpsichord and walks over to the desk with an ashtray. General Harker lights a cigar]
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: But valuable to your operations here, do you say? Your foraging, your depredations? Yes, I've become quite a student of your operations in this region. Thirty-four mansions, I think it was, pillaged and burned under Colonel Montgomery's expedition of the Combahee. Four thousand bales of cotton smuggled through the lines with payment to parties unknown, except by you. False quartermaster requisitions. Major Forbes here has seen the copies.
Major Cabot Forbes: Yes, indeed. Along with confiscated valuables shipped north as personal baggage.
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: Shall I go on?
General Charles Harker: Can you?
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: I can report you to the War Department. Oh, yes. I can do that.
General Charles Harker: [stands] Let you take your regiment out to fight. That's what you want, isn't it? Show what they can do.
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: When?
General Charles Harker: [chuckles] You are bright-eyed, aren't you?
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: When?
General Charles Harker: Just as soon as I can write the orders.

[After the battle of Grimball's Landing, Shaw is walking amongst the dead and wounded, and comes across Thomas Searles, who has been shot]
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: Thomas!
Thomas Searles: How do, Colonel?
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: Hurts, doesn't it? [Searles nods] Well, I'm extremely jealous. You'll be back in Boston before me, stting by the fire, reading Hawthorne, decent cup of coffee.
Thomas Searles: I'm not going back.
Major Cabot Forbes: Thomas, listen to me. You're shot. You have to go back.
Thomas Searles: Robert, promise me that you won't send me back. Promise me!
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: All right. All right.

Colonel Robert G. Shaw: Trip, isn't it?
Trip: Yes, sir.
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: You fought very well yesterday, Trip. Sergeant Rawlins has recommended that you receive a commendation.
Trip: Yes, sir.
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: Yes, and I think you should bear the regimental colors.
Trip: Well...
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: It's considered quite an honor. Why not?
Trip: Well, I'm... wanting to say somethin', sir, but I...
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: Go ahead.
Trip: All right. See, um... I ain't fightin' this war for you, sir.
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: I see.
Trip: I mean, what's the point? Ain't nobody gonna win. It's just gonna go on and on.
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: Can't go on forever.
Trip: Yeah, but ain't nobody gonna win, sir.
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: Somebody's gonna win.
Trip: Who? I mean, you get to go on back to Boston, big house and all that. What about us? What do we get?
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: Well, you won't get anything if we lose. What do you want to do?
Trip: I don't know, sir.
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: It stinks, I suppose.
Trip: Yeah, it stinks bad. And we all covered up in it. I mean, ain't nobody clean. Be nice to get clean though.
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: How do we do that?
Trip: We ante up and kick in, sir. But I still don't want to carry your flag.

There's more to fighting than rest, sir. There's character. There's strength of heart. You should have seen us in action two days ago. We were a sight to see! We'll be ready, sir. When do you want us?
General George Strong: [addressing his officers] No one will ever take Charleston without first silencing the forts which protect its harbor. And the first one that must be taken is that: Fort Wagner. [points to Fort Wagner in the distance] Wagner mounts a 10-inch Columbiad, three smoothbore 32-pounders, a 42-pound carronade, a 10-inch coast mortar, and four 12-pound howitzers, plus a garrison of about a thousand men. As many of you gentlemen may be aware, over the last four days, our Navy has weakened Wagner with a constant barrage. Headquarters has determined a time for our attack. We will proceed with a direct frontal assault tomorrow at dusk. The problem, gentlemen, is the approach. The ocean and the marsh leave only a narrow strip of sand, a natural defile through which we can only send one regiment at a time. Now our best hope is that leading regiment can keep the Rebs occupied long enough for reinforcements to exploit the breach. Needless to say, casualties in the leading regiment may be extreme.
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: General Strong. The 54th Massachusetts requests the honor of leading the attack on Fort Wagner.
General George Strong: It's Colonel Shaw, isn't it?
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: Yes, sir.
General George Strong: You and your men haven't slept in two days.
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: That's right sir.
General George Strong: You think they have the strength to lead this charge?
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: There's more to fighting than rest, sir. There's character. There's strength of heart. You should have seen us in action two days ago. We were a sight to see! We'll be ready, sir. When do you want us?

[The Regiment is assembled for the attack on Fort Wagner.]
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: [points to the color-bearer] If this man should fall, who will lift the flag and carry on?
Thomas Searles: [steps forward] I will.
Soldiers: Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!!
Colonel Robert G. Shaw: I'll see you in the fort, Thomas.

Colonel Robert G. Shaw: Come on, Fifty-fourth! [Shaw is shot]
Major Cabot Forbes: ROBERT!
[Shaw struggles forward, but is shot two more times and falls dead]
Trip: [Gets up and take the flag from the dead Union soldier] COME ON! [Trip begins to carry the flag forward, but is shot and killed]
[Trip's courageous call increases the morale of all Union troops in the battle]
Major Cabot Forbes: CHARGE! [All men charge uphill toward the Fort]


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