Guns were finally provided for the troops ion April 30. In the film, the fears of the army about giving guns to the blacks are visualized as Colonel Shaw watches with concern as the troops play with the guns when they first get them, pretending to shoot one another and generally showing some disrespect for the power of the weapons they are holding. Other details of the history of the regiment are also presented in the film, notably the presentation of the troops to the governor at the reviewing stand before the governor's mansion and the movement of the troops by boat to the South.
The Battle of James Island was the first large-scale battle in which the regiment participated. The battle is made to seem minor in the official record:
At daybreak on the morning of July 16, Brigadier-General Hagood, in accordance with instructions, attacked the enemy on James Island, driving them to the shelter of their gunboats and to Battery Island. . . The retreat of the enemy was followed by the advance of our troops, who have occupied the ground ever since (Official Records of the Battle of James Island 75).
The account by Emilio is more detailed and is followed closely in the film version. Emilio says Colonel Shaw took the 54th to a place where it halted and stood in line to fight. The battle is lengthy and involves two waves of attack by the enemy. The firing of the enemy in the first wave leads to their being repelled by the volley of the 54th, and the sense of victory in the film is found in the historical record as well:
It was a supreme moment for the Fifty-fourth, then under fire as a regiment for the first time. The sight of wounded comrades had been a trial; and the screaming shot and shell flying overhead, cutting the branches of trees to the right, had a deadly sound. But the dark line stood stanch, holding the front at the most vital point. Not a man was out of place, as the offices could see while they stood in the rear...
"Glory"- Most accurate historical film ever made. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 10:24, May 30, 2015, from http://www.collegetermpapers.com/viewpaper/1303829777.html