For those people who did not study the Civil War or doesnÃ¯Â¿Â½ft know anything about the Civil War, there were many African Americans fighting too. Before the Civil War, the African Americans that were not freed by their landowners were treated poorly. Some left their family in the south and escaped to the north in hope to get more freedom and also to help bring an end to slavery. After the battle at Antietam, many African Americans were allowed to enroll in the war. Many of them wanted to fight for one single purpose and that was to bring an end to slavery. In the movie Ã¯Â¿Â½gGlory,Ã¯Â¿Â½h the director focused on the African American in the north that fought in the 54th regiment led by Colonel Robert Gould Shaw. During the time of the Civil War, the African Americans that fought in the 54th regiment were often treated unfairly but there were always nice people that backed them up.
In this essay, IÃ¯Â¿Â½fm going to discuss the different sentiments towards the African American solders that dedicated their life to preserve the union and abandon slavery.
During the Civil War, there were people who were extremely prejudiced against the 54th regiment because the soldiers were all different colored skin and the people where used to the idea that different color skinned people worked as slaves. In Ã¯Â¿Â½gGlory,Ã¯Â¿Â½h Colonel Montgomery, Sargent Mocati (the Sargent that trained and prepared them for war) and the colonel that was in charge of distributing necessities, served as the people who discriminated the African American soldiers. When in training, Sargent remained strict towards the training of the African American soldiers even after his short talk with Robert about being too harsh on the soldiers and stuff. I think he was racist against the soldiers because if the solders were white, he probably wouldnÃ¯Â¿Â½ft treat them the same way. When he was teaching the soldiers how to march, some of them couldnÃ¯Â¿Â½ft tell the difference between left and right. He acted as if all African Americans were uneducated and they were hopeless to teach. Shoes were an essential part of training. Many of the African American soldiers didnÃ¯Â¿Â½ft even have decent shoes when they enrolled for the war. Naturally, after all the training, their shoes worn down. If the 54th regiment were composed of white soldiers, the department that pass out shoes would already prepare extra shoes for them. But since the 54th regiment was composed of all African Americans, the regiment was discriminated and there were no extra shoes for them. The other white generals thought the 54th regiment would never go on battlefield and even if they do, they probably will all die. Therefore they were no extra resources for them. Another fact that there were some racist sentiments was that the African American soldiers only get a $10 while the white soldiers get $13. Colonial Montgomery, who was anther leader of a contraband regiment, also showed racist sentiments towards his regiment and also RobertÃ¯Â¿Â½fs regiment. He treated the African Americans harshly, and didnÃ¯Â¿Â½ft treat them like real man. He allowed them to confiscate civilian valuables and burn down secesh towns.
Not only the whites showed sentiments towards the African American soldiers, but there were also tension among the African American soldiers. For example, Tripp had many arguments with the other soldiers. In one instance, in the beginning of the movie when Thomas offered to teach Tripp English, Tripp very rudely called thomas a *nigger that talk like a white boyÃ¯Â¿Â½h suggesting that he didnÃ¯Â¿Â½ft need some white wannabe Ã¯Â¿Â½gniggerÃ¯Â¿Â½h to teach him. Tripp refers all the African American Ã¯Â¿Â½gnigger,Ã¯Â¿Â½h and this shows that he has no respect for himself and the other African Americans. When Robert made Rawlin a Sargent Major, he created more tension between him and Rawlin by calling him a Ã¯Â¿Â½gwhitemanÃ¯Â¿Â½fs dog.Ã¯Â¿Â½h Tripp not only showed no respect towards someone that is wiser and elder than him but also offended Rawlin.
Although there were racist sentiments towards the African American soldiers, there were also people that thought the African American regiment would actually accomplish something. For instance, there actually were people that were on the African AmericanÃ¯Â¿Â½fs side like Major Forbes. A lot of times, he argued with Robert about the training of the 54th regiment. He argued that it was often too harsh and they need to treat them as living people. Although Robert put rules and regulations on his soldiers, he was a caring colonel. When he heard that his men needed new shoes and they couldnÃ¯Â¿Â½ft get any, he was willing to go to the supplies distributor and get his men shoes and socks. Robert knew his men wanted to fight, so he went to his heads to request for his men to fight in some of the battles. He was even willing to threaten them. Robert also showed great respect towards some of the elderly soldiers like Rawlin. Because Rawlin did will in one of their battles, Robert actually made him a Sargent Major which is a position even higher then the white soldiers. Not only the officers showed good sentiments, also there were people in towns that totally welcomed the African American soldiers. In parts of the movie, when they walked through towns, they were cheered and welcomed by the towns that they pass and little kids actually look up to them.
In spite of all the sentiments towards the African American fighting in the Civil War, the 54th regiment still proved themselves to be a significant part of the northern soldiers. They were brave, and willing to sacrifice their lives to help their family in the south that are still under control of slavery. Although the 54th regiment had severe casualties in the battle at Fort Wagner, they were still a big part of the Civil War and cannot be disregarded.