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"Glory" Topic

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Conrad Kinch21 Dec 2011 12:04 a.m. PST

As I am blisteringly up to date in everything I do*, I've just posted a review of the film "Glory" to my blog.

You can read the whole thing here.


*It's only 22 years late…

Sane Max Inactive Member21 Dec 2011 4:53 a.m. PST

Grrr you could have warned us the review contains Spoilers!grin

It's a good film isn't it? Regarding Flogging, it's a good question. I can't recall reading of its use either.


Dynaman878921 Dec 2011 5:40 a.m. PST

Found this

"At the beginning of the war flogging was a legal punishment, but it was banned in the US Army in August 1861 and in the Confederate Army in August 1862. Thereafter officers did occasionally have their men flogged, but this usually ended up with the officer facing a court-martial. Branding, however, remained legal throughout the war."

on the following page, link

no idea if it is accurate or not.

cavcrazy21 Dec 2011 5:46 a.m. PST

Before the civil war deserters in the army were flogged, after 1861 branding and tattoos were also common.
I think the movie Glory is a great film, and the flogging scene is a very powerful image. There is a monument dedicated to the MA. 54th regiment across from the state house in Boston, its the same bronze monument they show at the end of the movie.

FusilierDan Supporting Member of TMP21 Dec 2011 6:36 a.m. PST

Definitly a top ten for me. Top five in history category. Great perfomances by all.

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP21 Dec 2011 6:36 a.m. PST

Flogging is still listed as a legal punishment in the 1861 army regulations but it is missing from the 1863 regulations. As Dynaman notes it was banned by order during 1861.

Dynaman878921 Dec 2011 6:44 a.m. PST

I love the movie, excellent battle scenes and MOST of the characters are well done. Denzel Washington's is the only one out of place. Some review noted that no white man, North or South, would have put up with an "Angry Black Man" like Denzel's character. (true or not I don't know, I would have to go with it being a true sentiment for the vast majority)

The closest anyone would probably get is Frederick Douglas, and he was given some (not much, some) slack since he was an intellectual.

WarWizard21 Dec 2011 6:45 a.m. PST

Regarding the bronze monument. A full size plaster version, same bronze tone, is also on display at the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC. I was in DC this past Spring with my daughter, and we walked into this room, and on one wall I was suprprised to find there was the lifesize statue. At first I thought they moved it from Boston. Then I found out it was a restored palster version, used to creat the bronze. It was the only intem in the entire room. It was very dramatic. So if you are in Boston or DC, check it out.


drummer21 Dec 2011 7:39 a.m. PST

I do not know but I strongly suspect regulations, like the one forbidding flogging, were enforced unevenly in the ACW.

Shaw's comrade in arms Colonel James Montgomery (who was well portrayed in the film) regularly engaged in looting and arson and on occasion executed prisoners. He was never even charged with anything.

Remember it's not what you do, but who you do it to that counts most.


flicking wargamer Inactive Member21 Dec 2011 8:49 a.m. PST

WarWizard is correct. Very cool to see.

EJNashIII21 Dec 2011 11:34 a.m. PST

To expand upon your review read "The Gates of Hell, Campaign for Charleston, 1863", by Stephen Wise. link This this a very precise account of the actions leading up to the attack, a detailed analysis of the attack and the follow up actions. You will learn how the movie differs from the truth and how it captures the basic essence of the brutal action and it's significance. For example, the real man Denzel portrayed on the wall not only took those bullets, after the battle he crawled with that tattered flag all the way back to the reserves and offered directly to the commanding general to personally reorganize the survivors white and black and lead a another assault to recapture Shaw's body. So, yes he really was head strong and quite a man. Also, the book points out that the movie was a little unfair about the ragamuffin 1st and 2nd South Carolina. Most spoke french and probably just couldn't understand anything the Yankees said. After all, they were the ones who laid siege to Wagner and eventually did capture it. While the movie captures the horror of the scene in the moat and upon the central wall, it does entirely miss the desperate action on top the bomb proof in which the black and white survivors together, devoid of officers, made their last stand, while hoping the reserves would come forward to save them.

Dynaman878921 Dec 2011 11:40 a.m. PST

Thanks, I put the book on order, always looking for a good history of that battle.

John Michael Priest21 Dec 2011 6:19 p.m. PST

While whippings and brandings did occur in the Federal army during the war, they were few and far between.

charared Supporting Member of TMP21 Dec 2011 8:30 p.m. PST

Wonder if "bucking and gagging" or breaking on "the wheel" was still used?… (lots of Mexican War officers around in 1861)

Regular Army vs. Volunteers (54th Mass. etc.)?

Would have to be a very CONFIDENT/STUPID Col. Commanding to order harsh physical penalties on volunteer troops…

He'd probably know he'd wind up living in the same geographical area as his surviving troops AFTER the conflict ('tho maybe a different 'tude on the part of some white officers towards their "Ethiopian" troops).

Interesting subject for future study…


"Glory" is a first rate ACW film (imho).

EJNashIII21 Dec 2011 10:51 p.m. PST

The punishment thread caught my interest. I picked up my copy of Hard Tack and Coffee which has a entire chapter on army punishment. Billings listed a number of nasty punishments, but interestingly, whipping was not mentioned. We have the following:

wearing a ball and chain
carrying a heavy log
confinement in the guard house/tent
Black list (extra nasty duty like digging latrines)
buck and gagging
on the chines (stand on the rim of a empty barrel)
knapsack drill (marching with a knapsack full of bricks)
standing on a raised platform in the weather
tied up thumbs (standing with arms extended)
put in a sweat box
march all day in camp with a sign
lashing to a wheel (artillery favorite)
double guard duty
reduction of rank
riding a wooden horse
shaving half his hair off
wooden overcoat (wearing a barrel)
drumming out of camp
hard labor in the Dry Tortugas or the Rip Raps
death by shooting

As far as Glory, I don't know if the incident was based on a real infraction. The historical consultant for the movie was Brian Pohanka of the 5th NY reenactors, who is deceased. So we cannot ask for a source. However, Billings did mentioned most of the harsher physical punishment was earlier in the war and sassy back talking officers and NCOs was the most common offense.

Old Slow Trot Inactive Member22 Dec 2011 7:55 a.m. PST

As a reenactor,I was a member of a firing squad during a scenario my unit cooked up last September. They said I handled it well,even providing the blindfold.

firstvarty197922 Dec 2011 11:30 a.m. PST

There are many documented cases of execution by either hanging or firing squad. One at least documented in a picture here. WARNING! Some might be disturbed by this image.

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Dec 2011 1:23 p.m. PST

Glory is easily in my top five of all time favorite movies, I watch it several times a year, the story completely grabbed me and I thought the character development throughout the movie was excellent.

The 54th was trained right down the street from my boyhood home and their monument sits across from the statehouse in Boston.

The score was excellent as well, can't say enough good things about this one………

Tgunner22 Dec 2011 1:43 p.m. PST

It was a great movie. I just wish that there were more movies out there that focused on just one regiment and the men in it.

Bottom Dollar Inactive Member22 Dec 2011 5:26 p.m. PST

I agree with Tgunner.

CooperSteveOnTheLaptop23 Dec 2011 4:23 a.m. PST

Love it. I've seen the memorial in Boston, I was suprised because it's attached to a wall on an urban street, seeing it in the film I imagined it as part of a grand memorial wall in a garden of remembrance on a headland…

I admire the way they saturate you in battle gore at Antietam at the start of the film to establish 'war is hell' then play that down elsewhere in film…

Maxshadow24 Dec 2011 2:53 a.m. PST

Does anyone produce nice 15-18mm figures for the 54th or other black regiments?

Swampking24 Dec 2011 3:55 a.m. PST


If I remember correctly, Musket Minis and I believe, Peter Pig make figures for the 54th MA. I can't remember any others, which doesn't say much.

Flat Beer and Cold Pizza Inactive Member24 Dec 2011 4:50 a.m. PST

In the film (which is one of my favorites too, by the way) Denzel Washington's character is flogged immediately after being caught. I understand the cinematic effect of arbitrary corporal punishment, but wasn't desertion actually a Court Martial offense?

Billy Yank Inactive Member24 Dec 2011 6:10 a.m. PST

Maxshadow, I can vouch for the Musket minis ones. They are very nice 15s.

Billy Yank

Private Glover Inactive Member24 Dec 2011 3:32 p.m. PST

My only real complaint is that the movie showed the 54th assaulting from the wrong side.

John Michael Priest24 Dec 2011 6:39 p.m. PST

Whipping and branding remained on the books in the Army until 1876. The one case I am aware of occurred during the Peninsula Campaign and the lieutenant (3rd NJ) who inflicted the whipping, which was done with a buggy whip, wisely resigned from the service within the week.

The 49th NY had two men branded for deretion in 1864. Alotta's book on Civil War Justice (White Mane) is an excellent resource for executions in the Federal Army during the war.

Maxshadow26 Dec 2011 5:25 a.m. PST

Thanks Billy Yank.

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