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: Where about you from? Trip
: I'm from around Tennessee. I ran away when I was 12 years old and I ain't never looked back. Sharts
: What ya doin' since then? Trip
: I run for President.
: I didn't win though.
: He's just a boy. Trip
: He a weak white boy, and beatin' on a nigger make him feel strong.
: I ain't fightin' this war for you, sir. Colonel Robert G. Shaw
: I see. Trip
: I mean, what's the point? Ain't nobody gonna win. It's just gonna go on and on. Colonel Robert G. Shaw
: Can't go on forever. Trip
: Yeah, but ain't nobody gonna win, sir. Colonel Robert G. Shaw
: Somebody's gonna win. Trip
: Who? I mean, you get to go on back to Boston, big house and all that. What about us? What do we get? Colonel Robert G. Shaw
: Well, you won't get anything if we lose.
Colonel Robert G. Shaw
: So what do you want to do? Trip
: Don't know, sir. Colonel Robert G. Shaw
: It stinks, I suppose. Trip
: Yeah, It stinks bad. And we all covered up in it too. Ain't nobody clean. Be nice to get clean, though. Colonel Robert G. Shaw
: How do we do that? Trip
: We ante up and kick in, sir. But I still don't want to carry your flag.
[Trip and Searles are about to fight when Rawlins steps in
: Look, goddamn it! The whole world gotta stomp on your face? Trip
: Nigger, you better get your hands off me! Rawlins
: Ain't no niggers around here! Understand? Trip
: Oh, I see, so the white man give you a couple a stripes, and suddenly you start hollerin' and orderin' everybody around, like you the massa himself! Nigger, you ain't nothin' but the white man's dog!
[He starts to walk away, Rawlins stops him and slaps him
: And what are you? So full of hate you want to go out and fight everybody! Because you've been whipped and chased by hounds. Well that might not be living, but it sure as hell ain't dying. And dying's been what these white boys have been doing for going on three years now! Dying by the thousands! Dying for *you*, fool! I know, 'cause I dug the graves. And all this time I keep askin' myself, when, O Lord, when it's gonna be our time? Gonna come a time when we all gonna hafta ante up. Ante up and kick in like men. LIKE MEN! You watch who you call a nigger! If there's any niggers around here, it's YOU. Just a smart-mouthed, stupid-ass, swamp-runnin' nigger! And if you not careful, that's all you ever gonna be!
: See the way I figure, I figure this war would be over a whole lot sooner if you boys just turned right on around and headed back on down that way, and you let us head on up there where the real fighting is. 10th Connecticut soldier
: We got men dyin' up that road. Trip
: And there wouldn't be nothing but rebs dyin if they'd let the fifty-fourth in it.
: Let me tell you something, boy. You can march like the white man, you can talk like him. You can sing his songs, you can even wear his suits. But, you ain't NEVER gonna be nothing to him, than an ugly ass chimp... in a blue suit.
: Hey, yo, nigger, that's my spot, see. Cpl. Thomas Searles
: If you don't mind, there's more sufficient reading light here. Trip
: Oooh, I like it when niggers talk good as white folks! Cpl. Thomas Searles
: I'd be happy to teach you. It would be my pleasure Trip
: Now, listen here, snowflake. I ain't got nothin' to learn from no house nigger, you hear? Cpl. Thomas Searles
: I am a free man! As was my father before me. Trip
: Oh, really? You free? Then why don't you move your free black ass out my spot, see!
: [addressing the 54th the night before battle
] I ain't much about no prayin', now. I ain't never had no family, and... killed off my mama. Well, I just... Y'all's the onliest family I got. I love the 54th. Ain't even much a matter what happens tomorrow, 'cause we men, ain't we?
: Nigger, is you an old man or is you an old woman? I forget.
[the 54th learns they will be paid less than an all-white regiment. Trip gets mad, and refuses his pay
: Tear it up! Tear it up! TEAR IT UP!
[all the men begin tearing up their checks
[watching Searles practice with his bayonet
] Sgt. Mulcahy
: Oh, what do we have here? Bonnie Prince Charley and his toy bayonet! You're not reading your books now. Stab me. Cpl. Thomas Searles
: What? Sgt. Mulcahy
[Searles comes at him gingerly and Mulcahy slaps it away
] Sgt. Mulcahy
: I said STAB, not TICKLE! Come on, you prissy little schoolgirl! You're the worst soldier in this whole company, now HIT ME!
[Searles comes at him again, Mulcahy disarms him and slams the rifle butt into his stomach, then his face. Searles falls to the ground, writing in pain and sobbing
] Sgt. Mulcahy
: No shame, son, get up... I SAID GET UP! Trip
: Nigger forgot to duck, that's all! Colonel Robert G. Shaw
: Sergeant, deal with that man!
: I wonder when they gonna give us the blue suits. Trip
] Where you from, boy? Sharts
: South Carolina. Trip
: South Carolina? Well, then you ought to know better than that, boy.
: [as Col. Shaw is writing, Maj. Forbes approaches him with a letter from President Lincoln
] They've done it. Colonel Robert G. Shaw
: [Shaw reads the letter
] Assemble the men.
[54th is in formation in the pouring rain in the Camp Readville common area
] Colonel Robert G. Shaw
: In accordance with President Lincoln's wishes, you men are advised that the Confederate Congress has issued a proclamation. It reads: 'Any negro taken in arms against the Confederacy will immediately be returned to a state of slavery. Any negro taken in Federal uniform will be summarily put to death. Any white officer taken in command of negro troops shall be deemed as inciting servile insurrection and shall likewise be put to death.' Full discharges will be granted in the morning to all those who apply. Dismissed. Colonel Robert G. Shaw
: [turning to Forbes after dismissal of troops
] If you're not here in the morning, I'll understand. Trip
: [turns to Sharts
] Still want that blue suit, nigger?