This historical war drama represents a serious attempt to reflect the bravery of a group of Civil War soldiers - the 54th Regiment of Massachusetts - often disregarded by history. They were a troop of free black men who fought foolhardily to help win liberty for their people. The historical novels ONE GALLANT RUSH by Peter Burchand and LAY THIS LAUREL by Lincoln Kirstein, as well as the letters of Robert Gould Shaw, served as basis for the film featuring Colonel Shaw (Matthew Broderick) the officer in the Federal Army who volunteered to lead the 54th. Shaw had to face the prejudices of both the enemy side (the order was to kill all black commanding officers) and of his own fellow officers.
- Their innocence. Their heritage. Their lives. Nothing would be spared in the fight for their freedom.