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EXT. BATTLEFIELD, JENKINS’ FERRY, ARKANSAS - DAY
feet deep. Cannons and carts, half-submerged and tilted,
fight each other hand-to-hand, with rifles, bayonets,
nothing depersonalized: it’s mayhem and each side intensely
hates the other. Both have resolved to take no prisoners.
HAROLD GREEN (V.O.)
Some of us was in the Second Kansas
Colored. We fought the rebs at
Jenkins’ Ferry last April, just
soldier they captured at Poison
ANACOSTIA RIVER - NIGHT
assault on the Confederate port of Wilmington, North
HAROLD GREEN, an infantryman in his late thirties, and IRA
at his side.
So at Jenkins’ Ferry, we decided
warn’t taking no reb prisoners.
And we didn’t leave a one of ‘em
alive. The ones of us that didn’t
die that day, we joined up with the
116th U.S. Colored, sir. From Camp
What’s your name, soldier?
Private Harold Green, sir.
I’m Corporal Ira Clark, sir. Fifth
Massachusetts Cavalry. We’re
waiting over there.
He nods in the direction of his cavalry.
IRA CLARK (CONT’D)
and shipping out with the 24th
Infantry for the assault next week
(to Harold Green:)
How long’ve you been a soldier?
Two year, sir.
fight now we
from our pay for our uniforms.
That was true, yessir, but that
Equal pay now. Still no
commissioned Negro officers.
Yes, sir, that’s good you’re aware,
sir. It’s only that -
(to Lincoln, trying to
change the subject:)
gonna be -
accustomed themselves to seeing
Negro men with guns, fighting on
their behalf, and now that they can
same pay - in a few years perhaps
they can abide the idea of Negro
lieutenants and captains. In fifty
hundred years - the vote.
What’ll you do after the war,
Work, sir. Perhaps you’ll hire me.
Perhaps I will.
But you should know, sir, that I
get sick at the smell of bootblack
and I can’t cut hair.
I’ve yet to find a man could cut
mine so it’d make any difference.