Civil War Smore
By: Chris Agro
Gods and Generals
Colonel Robert Shaw was an officer in the Federal Army during the American Civil War. He was given an opportunity to lead the first company of black soldiers (54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment). Shaw was forced to deal with the prejudices of both the enemy (who had orders to kill commanding officers of blacks), and of his own fellow officers. Shaw had changed as a person through this film. At first, Shaw was very timid and a weak leader, feeling sympathetic for the men who the fellow officers were harder on. As the film goes on, you get to see Shaw change into this real commanding officer. He went by the book and their were no exceptions. On the down side of this, his friends he grew up with like Major Cabot Forbes and Cpl. Thomas Searles did not like the fact that Shaw treated them as if they weren't best friends. Shaw later gained respect from his troops and fellow officers by not accepting his monthly pay because his soldiers didn't. Shaw also finally got shoes for the troops. This whole time, Shaw has been trying to get his men into action and fight. When the opportunity came up for anyone willing to lead the attack on Fort Wagner, Shaw took it immediately. throughout the film, we have seen Private Trip as a negative, bully type man who is too cool for everyone. But the night before the attack, he opens up to his fellow troops and says he loves them. This was a huge change in personalities from the beginning of the film. The men go into confident and ready, but the artillery and protection of the enemy is too strong for Shaw and his men. They were defeated, but were remembered for their valiant effort and showed that African Americans can fight just as well as white men.
It's January, 1865, and US President Abraham Lincoln has just started his second term in office as an immensely popular leader, especially among his supporters, because of his love and kindness for the people. Throughout this film, Lincoln's main goal is get the 13th Amendment passed and abolish slavery. Lincoln knows nothing will get done until slavery is abolished. However, the country is in turmoil entering its 4th year in the Civil War and thousands of lives lost on each side. Lincoln believes that if the Amendment is passed, the war will be over, seeing as slavery is the main cause of the war. Lincolns son also causes him stress because of the sudden urge to enlist in the army. Robby knows he will never forgive himself if he doesn't serve his country. However, his father (Abraham Lincoln) and mother (Mary Todd) strongly oppose the thought of their son enlisting in the army. But Robby is very determined, he sees all of the limbs that have been amputated and still insists that he is going to join. Lincoln and his men try to convince some of the democrats to change their minds and vote "yes" for the bill. All they need is two more "yes'" to get it passed. Their effort to persuade these men was a success and they got the vote to pass. General Lee surrendered his army and the North won the Civil War. Slavery was no more.