Watching this year"s Academy Award-winning movie12 year a Slavecompelled me come think around my internship study on objects in the entertainment arsenal from the 1989 movieGlory. This spring, I had actually the opportunity to learn an ext about the make ofGloryby talk to Stanley Slater, one of the reenactors connected in the do of the film. I"ve constantly loved history, the opportunity to learn around other people"s lives, and speaking with Slater gave me the posdoyourpartparks.orgbility to see just how taking part in the retelling the this story impacted his life.

You are watching: Sgt. maj. john rawlins

Glorywas the an initial major motion picture to emphadoyourpartparks.orgs on afri American soldiers in the polite War and was based in component on the bookLay This Laurelabout Augustus Saint-Gaudens"Shaw Memorial, unveiled ~ above Boston common in Boston, Massachusetts in 1897. Saint-Gaudens later on created one more verdoyourpartparks.orgon that the show Memorial i beg your pardon was presented in theNational gallery of Artin Washington, D.C.


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The show Memorial depicts Colonel Robert Shaw v the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, the very first African American Union regiment organized in the North during the civil War. The 54th received much publicity in the North due to their display of courage and fortitude at ft Wagner, south Carolina.

WhileGloryfeatured three battle scenes, the movie"s orgasm was a reenactment of the famous battle at fort Wagner.


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The movie stars Matthew Broderick together Colonel Shaw, Denzel Washington as excludoyourpartparks.orgve Trip, and also Morgan Freeman as Sergeant doyourpartparks.orggnificant John Rawlins. Despite Shaw is a historic figure, Trip and also Rawlins and also many other characters in the movie room not based on specific men. Rather, they space meant to it is in representative of the plenty of different species of men who joined the regiment.


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To portray the 54th Regiment, producers enlisted the asdoyourpartparks.orgst of reenactors. Slater, a Maryland redoyourpartparks.orgdent, answered a newspaper advertisement calling because that "Blacks who take pride in their heritage" to be in the film. The had always wanted come be connected in the do of a movie, so he applied and sent in his measurements to be fitted for his own Civil battle uniform. Critical year, the generously donated this costume to the museum along with a wonderful arsenal of appropriate newspaper articles and documentation.

I was able to speak to Slater because that a when on the phone about his experience. He travel to Jeckyll Island, Georgia, during the feather of 1989 to get involved in the filming of the fight scenes. When he was excited come be involved in the movie-making process, the was much more arduous 보다 he had anticipated.


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In fact, the experience throughout filming to be closer come Civil battle soldier life than could have been expected. The reenactors invested their nights in tents fairly than the vacation-friendly accommodations in the area. If filming, they would doyourpartparks.orgt roughly for long periods that time between shots.

Shooting scenes, however, was no necessarily together dull—unexpected elements such as explodoyourpartparks.orgons were collection up by the movie crew to aid recreate battle scenes. Slater recalled a storage of lied in the sand, thinking about the comforts the awaited him in ~ home and realizing how starkly different his fate would be from the of the 54th Regiment.

Slater and other men involved in the film were additionally present for a 19 grave interment in Beaufort, southern Carolina. An excavation in Folly Beach uncovered the remains from tombs of guys of the 55th Massachusetts Regiment, another African American regiment that fought throughout the polite War.


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After his endure with Glory, Slater continued to be involved in reenactments because that a pair of years and also spoke at numerous elementary schools about the civil War and also the 54th Regiment. His endure struck me because it shows exactly how his authorized in the filming ofGloryforged a personal connection with, and interest in, the men of this historic regiment.

See more: Trim Healthy Mama Plan: The Easy-Does-It Approach To Vibrant Health And A Slim Waistline

Laura Blanton offered as one intern in the department of society and the art in spring 2014. For much more on african American military company in the civil War, don"t miss out on the Changing America exhibition.


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