Publication Date

April 2019




Arcadia Publishing


I often tell my students to never go to the movies with a desire to be educated because essentially movies are made to entertain, not educate their audiences. On the other hand, well-made movies are often authentic reflections of an event, time or place that can be educational. The movie Glory is responsible for offering millions of Americans their first glimpse into the contributions of freedmen and the volunteer regiments of former slaves recruited to fight for the Union army. In one scene, the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment is joined by the 2nd South Carolina Volunteers Regiment of contraband soldiers as they approach a set of homes in previously held Confederate territory. Upon the order of their commander, Colonel James Montgomery, the 2nd South Carolina Volunteer Regiment begins to ransack, pillage and burn the dwellings to the ground while physically assaulting a white woman. This display of deviant behavior as an undisciplined mob of marauders preying on the weak is, unfortunately, the image one receives of this historic military unit.