A Critique on Historical Accuracy
Glory, reports the major battles of the American Civil War, and most importantly retells the tale of the 54th Massachusetts regiment; the first black regiment ever to exist. The cinematography and the battle scenes are impressive and very touching at times. Nevertheless, historically speaking, this movie portrays the Civil War at times, inaccurately. Some of these inaccuracies are minor and thus don’t have a large impact, while others are major. The film is a fairly good representation of the actual story of Shaw and the 54th regiment.
The discrimination and prejudice held upon the blacks, was noticeable at that time, and was showed frankly throughout the movie. The movie does a very good job in portraying that while slavery was indeed against Northern principles, more specifically north of the Mason-Dixon Line, there was still a lot of racism, and blacks were still considered inferior individuals.
Strong opposition in the North as well as a widespread prejudice that blacks were intellectually and socially inferior limited their involvement in the war to driving supply wagons, burying the battle dead, and building railroads (Kashatus, 24).
Glory does a great job in placing emphasis on the fact that at first, the mentality towards the blacks was not positive, including Northerners, and even Abraham Lincoln, who himself, “refused to raise a large black army on political grounds” (Kashatus, 24). In fact, the movie further insists on the prejudice held upon blacks, in the scene when the men of the 54th regiment meet the white regiment coming back from a battle, and were not only mocked, but called “niggers.” There are several white, Union soldiers who not only despised the black men, but that also believe them incapable of doing anything more significant than basic errands. To even further show this racism that some Northerners still had on blacks, “contrary to recruitment...