The Horse Soldiers (1959) Script

♪ I left my love, my love I left ♪

♪ A-sleeping in her bed ♪

♪ I turned my back on my true love ♪

♪ Went fighting Johnny Reb ♪

♪ I left my love a letter ♪

♪ In the holler of a tree ♪

♪ I told her she would find me ♪

♪ In the US Cavalry ♪

♪ Hi-ho, down they go ♪

♪ There's no such word as "can't" ♪

♪ We'll ride clean down to hell and back ♪

♪ For Ulysses Simpson Grant ♪

♪ Hi-ho, down they go ♪

♪ There's no such word as "can't" ♪

♪ We'll ride clean down to hell and back ♪

♪ For Ulysses Simpson Grant ♪

♪ I left my love, my love I left ♪

♪ A-sleeping in her bed ♪

♪ I turned my back on my true love ♪

♪ Went fighting Johnny Reb ♪

♪ I left my love a letter ♪

♪ In the holler of a tree ♪

♪ I told her she would find me ♪

♪ In the US Cavalry ♪

♪ In the US Cavalry ♪

♪ Hi-ho, down they go ♪

♪ There's no such word as "can't" ♪

♪ We'll ride clean down to New Orleans ♪

♪ For Ulysses Simpson Grant ♪

General Hurlburt, by appointment.

General Hurlburt and Colonel Marlowe, sir. Steve, come in.

Hello, Sam. Colonel Marlowe.

General Sherman, Colonel Marlowe.

How do you do, sir? Colonel.

Marlowe, I've been anxious to meet you.

It's a privilege, sir. Sit down.

Is this your first look at Vicksburg, Marlowe? Yes, sir.

We've been looking at it for ten months, and we don't like it.

Colonel, for your benefit, the war on our side hasn't been going well at all.

Not in Washington, not in the newspapers, not in the field.

To put it mildly, with less men and less resources, the South has whipped us to a standstill.

Now, if I could take Vicksburg...

...the whole picture would change, but I'd have to do it this summer.

Or sit out here another year.

Which might cost us 100,000 men. It might cost us a war.

Which brings all this talk down to their main source of supply...

...and a thorn in our side.

Newton Station. Sam.

Marlowe has worked out the details of your plan pretty thoroughly.

Let's hear them.

If I could get back to La Grange right away, we could leave by Thursday.

Good. Who would your people be?

My own First Illinois along with Secord's First Michigan and Second Iowa.

We'd be culled down to a short brigade.

Cross at La Grange, down through Ripley, New Albany, Houston...

Is there something wrong, sir? I know the map, Colonel. Proceed.

Anyway, the main trick is no fighting until we hit Newton Station.

How much track do you figure to destroy?

As much as I can get my hands on.

At least enough to keep them busy for a couple of months rebuilding.

Otherwise, the raid would just be another horse ride.

All right, Colonel, go ahead.

All the rails, ties, buildings, bridges, all the rolling stock you can get your hands on.

Sam, even if he should manage to get through to Newton Station, he'd be 300 miles dead center in the Confederacy.

Have you thought how you'd get back? Have you, sir?

Well, I guess I asked for that.

But I hate to think of you sitting it out in Andersonville Prison.

It's a hellhole. I'd think about that twice, too, sir.

Well, Colonel, your success.

All right, here is La Grange.

We will make 35 miles a day, average. 35?

35? Isn't that stretching it a bit? It will be the first day, Ned.

I intend to make twice that distance. In an operation like this, everything is stretched. Even our necks...

Now, just hold on a minute, John.

Regarding cutting the men's rations from five days to three, you can't expect men...

They'll have to live off the land eventually.

They might as well get used to it while they're fresh.

They actually seem excited.

There's a rumor around camp they're headed for Nashville in a parade.

That was a good rumor to spread, with the help of the Sergeant Major.

Thank you, sir. And, gentlemen, I'll have to admit they had me fooled too.

You see, I was going to use my leave to do a little electioneering back home.

You know, shake a few hands, kiss a few babies.

You see, I'm running for Congress this fall.

Well, there's 30,000 votes at Andersonville, Phil.

I hope you don't get to shake any of their hands.

Leaves are being cancelled, Orders to reshoe the whole blasted outfit, and some of them shoes ain't even shiny yet.


I'm trying to figure out what's up.

They've been sitting under that tree all the morning.

I heard some scuttlebutt about us being pulled out for a big parade up North.

I figure we're heading for Nashville. That's to my liking.

A parade, and then leave. Now this war is starting to shape up.

Where's the officers' conference? Over under that tree yonder, sir.

Thank you.

My apologies for being late. Understood.

Sit down, Major. I don't believe I know the Major.

I'm sorry. Colonel Marlowe, Major Kendall.

How do you do, sir? Glad to know you.

Major Kendall has just been assigned to us from General Grant's headquarters.

The Major seems to be out of uniform. Where are your side arms, Kendall?

If you look in the book, sir, you'll see a surgeon doesn't carry them.

Surgeon? You cut out our artillery and our wagons. Nothing to slow us down.

And now you saddle us with a doctor and a medical unit?

Regulations, John. Kendall goes along.

Very well, sir. Any questions?

All I can say is I'm glad for some action...

No glory hunting, Richard.

If anything knocks this into a cocked hat, it'll be a firefight.

Is that all, sir? Now, one thing.

Logan, is Brady ready? Yes, sir.

Oh, a photograph. You know gentlemen, I'm running...

Move away, move away. Move back. All right, men.

Are you ready for us, Brady?

Move back. Colonel.

Move back. Sit down, Colonel.

Thank you very much. That's all right.

Sit down, Marlowe. No hats, please, gentlemen.

That's right. Nice and relaxed.

Now, roses are red, violets are blue, the camera's looking straight at you.

Oh, I must have another one. That man in the white coat moved. I must...

That isn't all he'll be moving before long. Sorry General, is that all?

That's all, gentlemen. Thank you, Mr. Brady. Kendall.

Thank you, gentlemen. Thank you very much.

Sit down.

Colonel, I gather you're not too happy about my going along.

I hadn't counted on you, that's all.

I can understand your reasons for trying to avoid a fight, tactically speaking. But you're going very deep into enemy territory.

Tell me, what did you intend to do about your wounded?

I intend to move, and move fast.

Those too badly shot up to carry on will be left to the clemency of the enemy.

Civilian or military. Including yourself?


That's a pretty primitive attitude. Medically speaking.

Well, Doctor, war isn't exactly a civilized business.

Of course, I realize that it gives you fellas a wider field of opportunity...

For experimenting, Colonel? I didn't say that.

Mitch. Yes, sir?

Give the doctor a full roster. Yes, sir.

Examine every man.

Throw out any man who, in your unchallenged opinion, of course, is unfit.

Even those who might get sick a week from today.

Look, Colonel, I didn't ask to be assigned to this mission.

I'm a military doctor. I've been ordered to go and I'm going to do my job.

So get off my back.

Bugler! Yes, sir?

Get me Mitchell.

Sergeant Major Mitchell's in the hospital, sir.

How old are you? 32, sir.

Join that group.

Hang on, son. Here we go.


This is going to hurt worse.

There. He'll be all right.

I got your sick list, Kendall. Good. I'm glad it's a short one.

We'll let that drain full out.

I approve of that, Doctor. The lad had quite a boil.

I didn't come here to watch you carving anybody's behind.

Why's Mitchell's name doing on that sick list? If you oblige, sir, we observe quiet here.

What's this? Hoppy, this is Colonel Marlowe.

How do you do? Stand in line. We'll take care of you presently.

Is he going along with us? He's a good man. I need him.

And I need Mitchell. He's strong as a bull...

Let me show you something.

Aye, Colonel, I've been trying to tell the doctor that this is nothing unusual, sir.

No, not for a man with malaria.

There's nothing new about this, Kendall.

I've seen him ride 40 miles in one day, shivering in his saddle.

He's had malaria twice as long as... So you concur in my diagnosis.

Come on Mitch, get out of bed. I got some whiskey in my tent.

You stay where you are, Sergeant.

I was ordered to take off the duty roster any man who, in my unchallenged opinion, was unfit.

He's sick and he's going to stay here. Those are my orders.

You've read the whole book, haven't you?

Oh, Colonel!

We got that fella with all them stripes for you.

Bring him in. We hauled him right off the train.

Sergeant Kirby reporting, sir. Well, Kirby.

Besides being slightly drunk, what's got you riled up?

They got me in town, sir. Pulled me right off the train, sir.

I just gotten filled. My first in two years.

They tell me you're good. You better be.

You're replacing the best top soldier in the regiment.

I expect you to be happy about that.

I could be sweet time happier where I was going, sir.

You got me there. No, sir, you got me here.

Sir. Sir.

All right, march this sergeant down to the river and throw him in.

Clothes and all? Clothes and all.

Pump him full of black coffee till it runs out his ears.

Kirby, when you come back, come back sober. You've got two hours.

Parades, Nashville. You can't... You can leave that keg.

You're welcome to it... sir.

Kirby, you tangle with me and I'll have your hide.

You're welcome to that too, sir. If it's in the line of duty.

Forward, left! Forward, left!

Yo! Yo!

♪ I left my love My love I left, a-sleeping in her bed ♪

♪ I turned my back on my true love Went fighting Johnny Reb ♪

♪ I left my love a letter in the holler of a tree... ♪

Good luck, John. Thank you, sir.

♪ Hi-ho, down they go There's no such word as "can't" ♪

♪ We'll ride clean down to hell and back for Ulysses Simpson Grant ♪

♪ I left my love a letter in the holler of a tree ♪

♪ I told her she would find me in the US Cavalry ♪

♪ In the US Cavalry ♪

♪ Hi-ho, down they go There's no such word as "can't" ♪

♪ We'll ride clean down to New Orleans ♪

♪ For Ulysses Simpson Grant ♪

♪ I left my love My love I left ♪

♪ A-sleeping in her bed ♪

Wait on here a minute.

It'll be the sun, it raises in the east every time, don't it?

It sure does in Missouri.

And for eight hours, with no turning, we've been heading straight this way.

Now, if the sun raises in the east, what direction is that there?

It ain't north. Course not. It's south.

Hey, we've been riding smack-dab into reb territory.

Reb country, Richard. Yes, sir.

Send out your scouts.

Are you going to call a halt, Colonel, or lead them to the clemency of the enemy?

Sound recall.

Just a patrol, sir. No sign of any major force, as far as I could tell.

Now, the fact remains we've been spotted.

The word's out for sure now.

They'll be back here with everything available looking for us.

All right, Ned, you can prepare to turn back.

That's a bad mistake, John, splitting the force.

Now, you need every man you've got. Diversion be damned.

We've got to make them think that we all turned back.

Oh, sure, sure.

But you out to remember that from now on, every Johnny Reb with a gun is going to be hiding behind a tree trying to make a name for himself.

And you want to cut your force by one third! Aw, John, listen to me.

There's an old axiom in politics which says that you never split your ballot...

Richard, Sir. when the horses are watered and the men are fed, we'll move out.

Yes, sir.

Hey, Doctor.

These here contraband children say there's something wrong over that cabin.

I guess they need a doctor.

All right.

Are you the doctor? Yes, I am.

What happened?

It's Rainey, sir. Rainey the first. He's dead.

Carry on.

Where's Kendall?

Dr. Kendall went over to that cabin with some young colored people.

An emergency, I believe. He what?!

He went over to that cabin with some young colored people.

Are you the doctor too? What? No, no.

Kendall, what the devil are you doing?

We just delivered a baby.

It's a little girl.

You can take care of her now, Granny.

You're going to be all right.

We've got a couple of wounded men out there, you know.

No, one's dead.

One's gone, one's born.

It's an amazing process, isn't it?

As many as I've delivered, it never fails to awe me.

All right, children, you got a new baby sister. All right, take a look at her, go on.

All right, Kendall. Go back and take care of your wounded.

They'll be all right. Hopkins knows what to do.

You're not a country sawbones, you know.

You're an officer in the Union Army under oath.

I took an older oath before that one.

They didn't seem to be having any trouble having babies around here before you arrived.

I was sent for and I was asked to help and I couldn't turn 'em down.

Now, come off it, Colonel. Even you were born.

As of right now, you are under officer's arrest.


Do I still carry out my duties, sir?

From now on, you'll confine them to the troops.

Very well, sir.

Don't push me too far, Kendall.

Forward! Ho!

Lukey, what are the dogs raising such a fuss about?

Dogs? You know how dogs make such a fuss.

Soldiers, Miss Hannah. Lots of 'em. Soldiers? How wonderful!

Thunder in the outhouse. Them's Yankees.

Lukey, you go on downstairs and meet them.

Lukey, do you hear?

Come here, girl.

Come on, come on.

Who lives here?

Oh, miss Hannah. Miss Hannah Hunter lives here.

Tell her I want to see her. Colonel Marlowe, Union Army.

Yes, sir.

Put that gun away.

Sorry for this intrusion, ma'am. But... It isn't that, Colonel.

It's just that, well, I never prepared myself to see that uniform within the walls of this house.

Ma'am, we no more wish to be here than you do to have us.

Why, that's gallantly spoken, Colonel.

No matter what our... well, our differences, I fear I'm forgetting the amenities.

Welcome to Greenbriar, gentlemen. Thank you.

Lukey, take the gentlemen's hats.


Sergeant Kirby. Sergeant.


Well, shall we make ourselves more comfortable in the Rose Room?

No, thank you, ma'am. We'll only stay a moment.

Oh, you and your men are riding on?

No, we will bivouac in your woods for the night.

Sleeping on the cold, cold ground?

When is this awful, wasteful, terrible struggle going to end, Colonel?

Why, brother against brother...

And I must tell you, Miss Hunter, that during our stay no one will be allowed to leave the premises.

And wherever would we go, Colonel?

I'm sure you must agree with me that this war makes loneliness for everyone.

And also, I must commandeer most of the grain and horses, if you have any.

You will be paid, Miss Hunter, for everything, in Union greenbacks.

We will not bother you any longer. Good evening.

Kirby. By your leave, ma'am.

Why Hannah Hunter, what's got hold of you, talking like a field hand?

You alls, we alls. Yankees!

It's uncanny, Colonel.

I've heard about 'em, but I didn't believe it.

I'll have you know, I received my commission from the Governor from the sovereign state of Michigan!

Now, young man... What's your question?

Well, the question is this man's authority in his present position.

As usual, I am trying to present the grim facts of life.

Colonel Secord doesn't understand that coffee tastes better if the latrines are dug downstream instead of upstream.

How do you like your coffee, Colonel?

Ah, Secord, you oughta have... Pardon.

Oh, Colonel! Colonel Marlowe!

I am forgetting my manners. Why, how I ever...

Well, I don't believe I've met these gentlemen.

Miss Hunter. Colonel Secord. Major Gray. Ma'am.

Major Kendall.

Gentlemen. Ma'am.

You know, I'm just so scatterbrained.

Poor Papa and Mama must be turning over in their graves at me for not extending what little hospitality Greenbriar can offer.

But at least I can extend an invitation to you and your officers for dinner.

No, Miss Hunter, we have no... No, I insist.

There's three fat capons that have to go anyhow.

What with our store of grain being reduced, like you mentioned.

So, you see, you brought it on yourself, didn't you?

Speaking for myself, ma'am, and I know the others would be delighted to accept.

Very well, thank you. Hot food is pretty hard to turn down.

Splendid. Now, how many can I count on?

Would five or six be...? Not at all.

Perfectly wonderful.

At nine, gentlemen?

Colonel Secord? Of the First Michigan, ma'am.

Major Gray? Ma'am.

Major... Kendall, isn't it?

I'm afraid I'll have to regret, ma'am. It's not of my choice, I assure you.

At the moment, I'm under arrest.

We will all be glad to accept the invitation, Miss Hunter.


You dropped your handkerchief.

You care for a little more, Colonel Secord?

No, no, thank you, ma'am. No?

Colonel Marlowe?

No, thank you. Oh, come now, Colonel.

Well, a man with a great big frame like yours can't just nibble away like a little old titmouse.

Gentlemen, please be seated.

Now, what was your preference? The leg... or the breast?

I've had quite enough of both, thank you.

Oh... What a shame.

Would anyone else like something more? No, thank you.

Gentlemen, be seated. I must warn you too, there's no coffee.

And a sweet or a dessert of any kind was just out of the question.

Sugar's $150 a barrel.

"And yet your fair discourse hath been as sweet as sugar, "making the hard way sweet and delectable."

How perfectly charming. A little something of your own?

No, ma'am. Richard II.

By profession, I'm an actor. Why, how fascinating!

Why, Major Ken... Your cigar. Oh, gentlemen, please be seated.

Major Kendall a doctor. And Colonel Secord almost a congressman.

And you an actor. And now, all military men.

Such a waste of talent.

But, of course, Colonel Marlowe, I imagine that you are a professional soldier.

No, prior to this insanity, I was a railroad engineer.

Why, how thrilling.

To think of being able to steer one of those huge things, puffing and steaming.

And ringing that little bell like ding-dong! Ding-dong!

Not quite. My job was in the construction of railroads.

Why, my! Such brilliant minds.

Poor little me just barely squeezed through Miss Longstreet's Seminary for Young Ladies.

How did you ever manage to remember all those books in college?

I didn't.

I started driving rail spikes at ten cents a day and found.

And now, Miss Hunter, I must ask you to leave us.

We are taking the privilege of using this room for an hour or two. If we may.

Of course, but wouldn't you must prefer using another room? The study, perhaps?

We're quite comfortable here. Oh, of course.

Then I'm sorry, but I must be rude and explain.

You see, Lukey and I, we must be in the fields by five in the morning.

Gentlemen, go ahead and light your cigars.

Well, thank you, ma'am. And you see, all this...

Allow me. Thank you kindly.

All this and the dishes must be done before she can get to bed.

Now, am I being too inconsiderate? Of course not, ma'am.

May I? Of course. This way, gentlemen.

Oh, thank you. Thank you, ma'am.

How wonderful.

Oh, really, I thought it was a charming dinner.

Post this room. Yes, sir.

I hope you'll be comfortable here. Oh, yes. This is fine.

Now, if you wish to light a fire, it's all ready.

No, it's fine.

Some brandy. And I'll have Lukey bring it. No, thank you, no brandy.

Are you sure there's nothing more that I can...

Oh, yes. Uh...

Doctor, there's no need for you to be a part of this.

Perhaps Miss Hunter would show you some of the beauties of Greenbriar.

Why, of course, if the Doctor has any interest...

He'd be pleased to.

Very well. Come, then, Doctor.

I noticed a lovely garden outside. Shall we take a stroll?

Why, of course.

You know, you gentlemen must be very comfortable in your heavy uniforms, but I feel a definite chill in the air... it's me and my thin blood.

Would you excuse me, Major, while I go upstairs and fetch a shawl?

Miss Hunter. Yes, Major?

I'm afraid I'll have to go with you.

Upstairs? With me?

Why, Major! You're only getting a shawl.

Well, of course, but in these parts it's unheard of...

You'll have something spicy to tell your grandchildren.

This is war. At the moment, Greenbriar has been a military installation.

Well, then I don't suppose there's any real harm, being that you're a doctor at all.

That's right.

Lukey, bring some brandy to my sitting room, please.

Well, I hope you'll be comfortable here, Major.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Hey! Where are you going with that?

Miss Hannah, she asked for this brandy. Yeah, yeah, I know, for the Major.

We never give any of our top-ranking officers drink an unlabeled bottle, unless somebody tastes it first.

Is this what you does? Test things? Certainly.

See that second stripe there? That means I'm official taster for majors on up.

Here's La Grange. Mm-hm.

We've come down here approximately 80 miles.

We're headed for Newton Station.

John, is we've any word on the enemy strength at Newton Station?

No, not a word. Whatever it is, we're obliged to take it on.

Good. And maybe we'll see some action. No, Major Gray. This is not play-acting.

Here's your brandy, sir. Oh, thank you.

And it's all tested. Tested?

By the man downstairs with those tester's stripes, for majors on up.

Oh, yes. Sergeant Kirby.

He really tested it, didn't he? Yes, sir. Twice.

Lukey? Yes, Miss Hannah.

Excuse me, sir.

...very lucky.

That is the next piece of information, gentlemen.

We're not going back to La Grange.

We're what? We're not going back north.

We're heading down here straight south through to Baton Rouge to join up with the Union forces there. All the way?

Oh, great Scott, when did you decide that? Well, it's the best way. It's the only way.

John, it is 300 miles from Newton Station to Baton Rouge.

And it is 300 miles from Newton Station to La Grange.

Only the rebs will really have been closed in behind us, ready to chew us to bits.

So we'll go out the way they least expect: straight south.

Damn it, John, it's suicide.

Why we couldn't... Is it possible your orders could have been misinterpreted?

The only duty I have after Newton Station is to get as many of these men back alive as I can.

And so I still must protest.

And what's more, I want that on the record for General Hurlburt.

It is impetuous mass suicide.

It's on the record, Colonel, but get this.

Unless enemy action allows you to take my place, that's the way is going to be.

Blow Newton Station off the map, then right on through to Baton Rouge.

There will be no change. Do you understand?

All right, John, you're in command.

Now, let's go over it again. Straight through to Baton Rouge.

We will not turn back.

I'm sorry for keeping you waiting, Major. Was the brandy satisfactory?

Excellent. Won't you join me? Oh, goodness me, no.

I never touch spirits.

You know, my papa taught me that a girl ought to keep her wits about her at all times.

Your father raised a very smart girl.

You're just being sweet. Would you like to see the garden, Major?

Didn't you forget your shawl?

Why, Lukey!

Now, Lukey, you take that tray downstairs and go about doing what you have to do, you hear.

You know, I remember the first time I tried spirits, at the Governor's Ball in Jackson.

And my escort, Adam Lovelace from Biloxi, well, he gave me a mint julep.

You know, those Lovelace boys are all very handsome, but fast, if you know what I mean.

Well, if I could tell you the thoughts that went on in my mind after that one julep... Oh, my!

I'd rather know the thoughts so going on in your mind right now.

Kendall, what in the name of...? Ah-ah-ah. Sorry we have to interrupt.

Maybe we out to ask them what they think your chances are of blowing up Newton Station and getting to Baton Rouge.

Are you drunk? Unfortunately, no.

They were listening upstairs.

Makes a pretty good stethoscope.

Don't feel too guilty. I was slower to catch on than you.

Where were you, Kendall?

Well, a gentlemen thinks twice before peeking into a lady's bedroom, but sometimes it pays off.

Looks like she's made a fool out of both of us.

Ding-dong. Ding-dong.

You know something, Miss Hunter?

You have put me to quite an inconvenience.

At least I've accomplished something, sir.

And I don't suppose I could accept your word of honor not to discuss this with anyone else.

I don't hold to honor with any Yankees.


So the whole state of Mississippi will be alerted.

So could you possibly suggest what I should do with you?

I noticed she was getting on your nerves all evening.

Now's your chance to shoot her.

Oh, Kendall, one more word out of you... Go ahead. Shoot us.

Shoot both of us. But you'll never get away with the rest of your filthy, murdering plans, Mr. Colonel Marlowe.

You Yankees and your holy principle about saving the Union.

You're plundering pirates, that's what.

Will you think there's no Confederate army where you're going?

Do you think our boys are asleep down here?

They'll catch up to you and they'll cut you to pieces, you nameless, fatherless scum!

And I wish I could be there to see it.

If it happens, Miss Hunter, you will be.

Hurry it up. Hurry it up. All right, men. Move it!

You're an excellent rider, Miss Hunter.

Right interesting country, isn't it?

I'm more interested in why you vandals with so eager to confiscated my dead father's clothes.

Well, they're for our cadets.

Scouts. Scouts!

Spies, you mean.

It's a wonder they don't crawl along on their bellies like snakes.

You'll find out what happens to spies down here.

My personal experience with spies is limited. I've only known one.

Do you mind, Major? I prefer to ride alone.


Miss Hannah!

All right, come on, forward! Yo-oh!

Back in line, Doctor.


Well, these lady's drawers are almost dry. Yeah.

Aren't you getting a little chilly?

Don't tell me you're concerned about my health.

If I give you back your clothes, will you promise not to run away again?

I would, ma'am. There's a point where pride becomes impractical.

Actually, if you could get a look at yourself, I'd think you'd agree with me.

Very well. I do wish to keep my health.

I shall not try to run away again. Your word of honor?

My word of honor. To Yankees?

To Yankees. Cross your heart?

I gave you my word! All right, Lukey.

Help Miss Hunter with her clothes.

I'm glad you're being sensible. You were beginning to worry me.

From a medical standpoint. Thank you, Doctor.

I wish I could be of further assistance, but fortunately you Southern people have your own help.

Attention! Eyes front!

Rebs, sir!

Hopping that riverbank, sir. A full brigade, they coming fast.

Horse, foot and artillery, sir. It ain't militia, neither.

How far? Ten minutes.

All right, get out of sight, get in those trees.

Enemy patrol. Take cover and choke up. Yes, sir. Bugler!

Not bugler, you idiot! Hand signals. Yes, sir. Yes, sir.

Enemy across the river, sir. But that flag move out. Keep it quiet.

Why doesn't he stand and fight? He's got a full brigade.

♪ Hurrah! Hurrah! For Southern rights, hurrah! ♪

♪ Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag That bears a single star ♪

♪ Hurrah! Hurrah! For Southern rights, hurrah! ♪

♪ Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag That bears a single star ♪

Hold it. Take it easy. Oh!

Come on, stop it, stop it.


Hey! Help! Over here!

Ouch! Ouch!

Let go with those teeth!

I've got 800 men out there. Get some water.

Looks to be all clear across the river, Colonel.


How many men does it take to keep one lone female quiet?

Colonel, the prisoner would like a word with you.

Yes, Miss Hunter?

I'm not here to complain about what you did.

It was your duty as you saw it, and you did it.

I'm sorry you had to break your word.

I gave my word not to run away. I didn't give it not to cry out for assistance.

I suppose there's a fine point there, but I have to ask you to give me your word on that too.

I do that, here and now.

Or suppose when the time come I testify against you, I'd be handicapped with a broken jaw, wouldn't I?

I'd say so. Anything else, ma'am?

One slight item. My constant companions there.

I don't know how it is up North, of course, but down South there are times when Southern women feel the need for privacy.

You two.

We was respectful. Real respectful, sir.

You told us it was all right just as long as we could see the top of her head.

You told them that? Well, other arrangement...

Then there's one more item.

I suggest you see a doctor. Ding-dong. Ding-dong.

Over there in that barn. Come on.

We was bushwhacked, Colonel. All right, smoke 'em out.

Hold your fire.

Hey, there! We're Confederates, but we ain't hostile. Honest!

Drop your weapons and come on out of there.

Yes, sir.

I'm coming.

Hey, Virgil, come ahead on.

They's real bluebellies.

Watch it, Colonel.

Here's just the two of us, Cap. And one captive.

Howdy, Cap. Jackie Jo and me is sorry about popping away at you people.

We thought you was more sheriff deputies coming to get us.

What have you got against sheriff's deputies, my friend?

That's a good one, huh, Jackie Jo? Yeah. That's a slick one.

We just love sheriff's deputies.

They're deserters from the Confederacy, sir. The lowest swine bred.

I take it you're the sheriff? Captain Henry Goodbody, retired.

Acting sheriff of Lorena County.

I was about to apprehend these rats for hanging.

But we bushwhacked you, you old goat, didn't we?

That we did, Jackie Jo boy. But tell them about us, Captain Goodyo.

Don't you dare touch him again! Miss Hunter.

You! You call yourself a man? Treating with that scum?

Miss Hunter, that man is our enemy.

One word from you of any kind and he will be shot. Understand?

That's right, ma'am. Soldier.

Can I help you, miss? Leave alone, I'm perfectly quite capable of getting on by myself.

Seems you need a little attention. Doctor!

Will you look to our good friend's ear?

Sorry but I got a weak stomach.

Otis, see what you can do for our new recruit.

Hard to explain a man, isn't it?

Take care of this man.

Gunshot wound, sir.

Ow! Hey! You aim to stick that thing clear through to the other side?

I seriously doubt it would have met with any obstruction.

Sergeant, give me a couple of those good cigars.

Ow! Hey!

Did it hurt you, Virgil? Yeah, burn.

Here. This will make you feel better. Thank you.

We'll have a talk, fellas. All right, sir.

Did you come through Newton Station?

Sure did. Ah. Any troops there?

Oh, not no more. Now, the Alabama Sixth, it was there.

But it moved to Vicksburg with the Georgia Tenth.

The Tenth was Virgil and my's old outfit.

"Was" is right.

All I guess there aren't any troops within 30 or 40 miles now.

Oh, 60 at least. You vile traitors!

Vicksburg, you say? That's where we're headed for.

Looks like we're in for a little fight, huh. Yeah.

Well, thanks, fellas. Untie the sheriff. High on the hog, huh, Virg?

Hey. Hey, looks like you Yankee boys do all right with the women.

Yes, sir, Cap, and that's a pretty towheaded one you've got there.

Hi. Howdy, missy.

Hi, missy. See what I told you about up North?

Sergeant, your gauntlets. A pleasure, sir.

Hi, missy. Hey, missy.

Remove the prisoner.

Are you going to shoot him personal, Cap? You let Jackie Jo here do it.

Yeah. He's the best dang shot I ever seen.

Tell him what is it?

I once saw him shoot a runaway negro slave woman... right through the... eyes...

Tie 'em up.

Sheriff, I'll leave them in your hands. Pistol.

Yes, sir. It's loaded.

With the compliments of Miss Hannah Hunter of Greenbriar.

Thank you, sir. You are welcome, sir.

Satisfied, Miss Hunter?

Well, your sense of justice does surprise me a little.

Justice? Those men would have been excess baggage.

I don't trust them any more than I really trust...

Than me? That's right.

Five minutes for watered, Kirby. Yes, sir.

Yes, ma'am. A hard man to understand.

Hi there, girls! Yankees! Get out of here!

Get out, you dirty Yankees! Get out of here!

Jonathan! Oh, Miss Hunter. Sorry ma'am.

Mustn't talk to the prisoners. We've got a nice room for you upstairs.

I'll got a nice hot bath for you. Yeah, you can change your clothes.

You see, we've got a lot of work to do.

You're not going to burn the town, Major? Oh, no, ma'am. Just war supplies.

Cotton. Railway equipment. Contraband, ma'am.

Contraband. That's me, ain't it?

Come on! Dismount!

Neatly done, Richard. Thank you, sir.

Is this the whole garrison? Every last man, sir.

They gave up without a struggle, like Caesar to Cleopatra.

Without a struggle, huh?

Kirby, set up headquarters in this hotel.

It would be a pleasure, sir. And close the bar.

Yes, sir.

Well, John. Shall we set about the day's work?

I'm going to love setting a torch to this nest of rebels.


Rebel Colonel, sir. Yes, sir?

What is the contraband in the warehouses and on those cars in the sidings?

The property of the Confederate States of America is not contraband, sir.


Well, let's look at it from my side, Colonel.

Jonathan! Like...

Jonny Miles. You know the Colonel?

Sure. We're old friends. Last time we served together was fighting Indians.

Sorry about the arm, Jon. When did that happen?

I want neither your solicitude nor to recall our association.

Have I your permission to retire, sir?

Take him away.

I can't figure a man like Miles giving up that easy.

He's West Point. Tough as nails.

Maybe losing that arm took a lot out of him.

The man I knew could lose both arms and still try to kick you to death.


Did you picket this whole area? Yes, sir.

Colonel! There's a reb train coming in, sir.

Secord! Woodward! Yo!

This bar's closed.

Well, it must be a supply train, rolling right into our laps.

I never saw a supply train without guards on it before.

Well, they wouldn't be too alert, John, in their own territory.

Where were you pick up that reb Colonel? The telegraph office.

Telegraph office? Yes, sir.

All right, Secord, you know what to do. All right, First Michigan...

Get those horses under cover!

Get them wagons, come on!

Get that bale off there. Watch it, men!

Keep down, out of sight.

Cover from inside. Come on!

Sir? No, I don't need it.

Everyone's ready for action, sir. Thank you.


I didn't want this. I tried to avoid a fight.

That's why I took up medicine.

Look at that idiot! Jonny! Jonny Miles!

Cease fire!

All right, move him up. Move this man up.

Let me be of assistance, sir. I'm a physician. Dr. Marvin.

Major Kendall. We appreciate your help.

This man is next.

Go get some air.

I can help. Get out.

Get him out of here.

Lou, you go and get some ice. All you can find, you hear.

I go. You too. You help him. Quick.

How long are you going to be, Kendall?

Take a look for yourself. We just started.

I need a definite answer. I can't give you one.

I've got a job to do too, you know.

At least five hours.

Colonel. Hey, Colonel.

Hello, trooper.

I'm Hoskins. Bud Hoskins.

K Company, sir.

You don't know me I know, sir. Sure, sure I know you.

Good soldier. You just lie easy, son.

I put my hand on there and it's all...

Just lie still.

You'll write my ma, Colonel? She'd love it if you...

You'll be writing her yourself before long.


No, I know.

And I'm scared, Colonel. There's nothing to be scared of.

No, I'm all right.

Just hold onto me, sir.

And write my ma.

I'll be in your debt forever.

Aren't you proud?

Yes, I'm very proud of that boy.

Report. Three dead, 18 wounded.

Demolition proceeding as ordered, sir. And the bar is closed.

The bar is open!

Get some laudanum. There is no more, sir.

All right.

Come down out of there, buster, unless you want to go up with it.

Well, John, there goes half a million dollars of railroad equipment.

That's how I made my living, you know. Building railroads.

The railroad's finished for eight miles! North and south...

John, John, what are you doing? John, wait a minute!

John! Get out!

You figure this is a hospital? John, listen to me.

And I can do it to Colonels, too! Get out of here.

When we move out, give your people, the wounded, a lot of liquor.

I'd do that anyway.

Here, take this.

It will steady you down.

I've never seen it this way before.

I was with my father when he died.

But he died peacefully.

Without pain. Well, it was lucky.

For both of you.

Go ahead, Kendall! Have a field day!

What do you mean, field day?

He's in there fighting to save men's lives.

Men's lives? Or the reputation of his profession?

You can't be serious, Colonel Marlowe. Have it your way, ma'am.

Medicine is the most noble and unselfish... Sure, noble profession, noble oath.

Lanterns held on high.

So high they won't admit they're groping for...


You're unfair and... Unfair?

There was a girl not much older than that boy in there.

I wasn't unfair then, understand?

Because they used a lot of fancy words that a ordinary section hand wouldn't understand.

So I held her down while two of 'em worked on her.

I trusted doctors then. Believed in 'em.

Because I was in love and I didn't want to see her die.

A tumor, they said it was.

And it had to come out right away.

So they stuck a leather strap in her mouth so she could bite off her screams while they cut away to get in there.

And what did they find? Nothing!

Oh, they were sorry. Sure, they'd made a mistake.

They had something to talk about before their next experiment.

But what about me? They left me begging her not to die.

And I lost my wife.

I didn't kill either one of them.

I must have been crazy, or too conventional.

Quite a speech. I guess I'm feeling my liquor.

Thank you, Doctor. You're welcome, ma'am.

Thanks, Hank.

Well, we almost fooled you. Almost.

You'll never make it, Hank. They're already closing in on you.

Bedford Forest is sniffing at your heels.

You're headed straight for that prison at Andersonville.

There's nothing we can do to help you there, Hank.

The South is starving.

Jonathan, all I'm doing is practicing medicine.

Old ironhead does all the thinking.

He thinks things pretty good. West Point?

No, section hand.

How are Susan and the kids? Oh, they're fine.

In Vicksburg. I expect you'll be seeing them soon.

Nice try, Jonathan. Nice try, are you?

See you in Vicksburg, Hoppy.

Goodbye, Hoppy. Goodbye, Doctor.

I want to thank you for all I've learned.

I shall endeavor to get home alive as many as I can.

You're a good man, Hoppy.

After this thing is all over, if we don't meet again, be sure and finish medical school, huh.

I shall make a point of it, sir.

Goodbye, Doctor. And good luck.

Thank you, Doctor, for all your help.

Vicksburg. They're headed southwest to Baton Rouge.

Baton Rouge.

It's Baton Rouge, Major. Tell General Forest.

No. Yes, you can. I'm on the board of inquiry.

Oh, I know exactly what can be done.

Now, he has no right, even as a...

Phil... Yes, John?

I'm sorry about what happened back at Newton Station.

Ah, forget it, John. Forget it. You were under a strain.

But since you brought up the subject...

You know, John, I'm an older man than you are.

What's more, I'm a politician.

We've knocked over Newton Station.

It's a glorious thing on my... our records.

But now is the time to head north, back to La Grange while we still get a chance...

We're committed, Phil, and that's that.

Stubborn. Stubborn!


Can I have some of that liquor to swallow, Doc?

You haven't got a good enough excuse. How'd this happen, Dunker?

Oh, I was chopping down one of them telegraph poles back there in Newton.

Then axe ricocheted right onto my leg.

Go arrest the axe. It ain't nothing.

Nothing, huh? Almost blood poisoning. You're lucky I saw you limping.

Aw, Doc...

What are you putting on there? Dirt?

No. Tree moss. Ordinary green mold.

It has some sort of healing agent, I imagine.

You imagine? I don't imagine the results, Colonel.

This is an old Cheyenne Indian cure.

Cheyenne Indian cure!

Green mold! Tree moss!

You keep this on. Report any soreness to me.


It's all right. It's all right. What for they shoot me, Miss Hannah?

Get my bag.

She's gone, ma'am. Oh, no.

Are you all right, Miss Hannah?

I brought you a little bitty piece of candle, Miss Hannah.

We'll have some hot water for you in the morning.

And lookee here. I found a piece of looking glass for you.

Thank you.

I hope you'll... be able to get some rest here.

You must know how we feel, ma'am, about Lukey.

How much we regret... how sorry I am... that in some way we were the cause of...

Lukey isn't asking for that.

I wish I could let you go.

If I gave you a horse and turned you loose, would you promise not to tell anybody our plans for the next 24 hours?

It's too late.

It's too late for all of that.

No more promises.

No more anything now.

I'm sorry. Truly sorry.


That leg was all right yesterday.

Yes, sir, it was but this morning it got all swolled.

I had to tear my trouser leg. Where's the poultice?

Well, it started into itching, sir, so I just yanked her off.

It was a sign it was beginning to heal, you fool.

Come in here, or you're in trouble.

Brown, lend a hand.

Over there.

Coffee? Thanks.


That's Salt Springs, all right, sir. Nary a soldier inside, neither.

Just some old women, a couple of salt mills and a school for little boys.

The salt mills will need burning.

Why show ourselves? We've been lucky so far.

You call that coffee?

We can't pass 'em up. That salt is as valuable as ammunition.

We'll bivouac here and hit them in the morning.

All right, you're the boss.

♪ Hi-ho, down we go There ain't no such word as "can't"... ♪ What's going on?

The doctor's working on Dunker's leg, sir.

♪ I left my love My love I left... ♪ Take another pull.

Ah, that's good store liquor, Doc. Who hit John?

I've got to take it off, Dunker. What did you say?

I've got to take your leg off.

You've got to what?

The poison's gone too far. You'll be dead by morning.

What can come of me after that, Doc?

Huh? One leg? What can come of me after that?

I'll rig a sling and leave you with the closest civilian care.

Civilian care?

Then comes prison next, huh? Andersonville?

Is that what happens to me, Doc?! Andersonville?!

Quite possibly. Yeah.

Well, that's a hell of a tough choice for a fella to have to make.

Ain't it? Well, tell me. Ain't it? It's got to come off.

All right.

You just fire away.

But before you start sawing, you give me some of that chloroform stuff.

You put me out, Doc. I'll give you what I got.

Now bite this.

All right, give me a hand here. Hold him down. Hold him down.

God... God!

It's obviously the column that raided Newton Station.

That Vicksburg report was just a faint.

I thought a brigade of cavalry was due here to reinforce your battery.

They won't get here till late today, sir.

What you suggest, Lieutenant, is most extreme.

My oldest boy here is only 16. Damn it, sir!

I beg your pardon, Colonel. I mean, Reverend...

Look, I've got a boy in my battery that's 14, I've got a man that's 72.

This is a war, sir.

I could start lobbing shrapnel and grape at them critters, catch 'em napping.

It'll raise king with the animals. Just a little show of force, sir, then maybe, perhaps we can hold them off until the cavalry gets here.

Cadet Major Barksdale. I'am, sir?

Assemble your battalion. Every man, sir?

The entire complement. Taylor and Fitcher have the mumps.

Scratch them from the duty roster. Well, you heard the Lieutenant.

You'll be pleased to inform the corps we shall move at dawn.

Thank you, sir! Yes, sir.


Cadet Major Barksdale, you may move your column forward. And God bless you.

Right shoulder, arms!

Right, face!

Cadets, forward march!

Reverend, my boy Johnny. He's all I've got left.

First his pa, then his uncles, his brothers. Now him?

He's all I have left, Reverend.

I'm not going to let him go. I'm not going to let him go.

Cadet drummer Buford, you are relieved of duty.

I'd save a little of that for Dunker.

I just lost him.

You lost Dunker, eh?

Well, you lost us a good man.

Blood poisoning. Amputation. A shock to the heart, I guess.

I wouldn't have had to amputate if he done what I say...

If, if, maybe, perhaps.

What's the matter, medicine man? Section hand, I've had you!

Strip your blouse!

I think you're right. Come on.

Orderly! Horses! Bring 'em up!


Johnny Buford!


What are the rules, Colonel? Just make up your own.

You said no rules, Colonel.

On your feet, croaker.

Fire Peter!

Fire Paul!

Fire Paul!

Artillery fire, sir. Hidden battery.

Those are nothing but children. They're schoolboys.

Oh, just some kids from the military school.

Yeah, but they keep coming.

Sound assembly.

Well, at least that Holy Joe ain't no kid.

Halt! Front rank, kneel!

Ready! Miss Hunter, I...

Aim! Fire!

Rear rank, halt!


Ready! Aim! Fire!

What do you want to do, Colonel? Set up a field hospital?

Yes, Mr. Colonel Marlowe, what are you going to do now?

With all due respect to your presence, ma'am, I'm going to get the hell out of here. Bugler!

Sound recall!

I told you to take care of this woman!

Hey, Colonel, I got me a prisoner. What do you want me to do with him?

Spank him. On the bottom?

Where do you think?

Halt! Hold it, Colonel.

Report. Rebs. They got the whole road blocked.

How many? Look like a full regiment of regulars, sir.

They got two pieces of artillery and they're digging in along the road.

Well, the only thing to do is fight our way back to Salt Springs and head east.

Haven't you seen that dust? Dust?

Yeah, cavalry. They following us for three hours.

Colonel, Deacon here says he knows this country real good. Don't you, Deacon?

Preaching the gospel, singing the praises of the Lord hereabouts for years.

Or it might be a good idea to start praying right now.

But Deacon use this smuggled runaway slaves north out of here through the swamp with the underground railway.

Well, Deacon. Do you think you could smuggle us out here south?

Oh, wait a minute John. Wait a minute.

Why, that swamp is full of quicksand, cotton mouth, rattlers...

The Garden of Eden had its sufferance too.

Follow me, brother Colonel, through the swamps all the way to the river Amite. Lead kindly, Lord.

All right, get yourself a couple of fresh horses.

By the right flank, take cover.

Come on!

Come on! Come on! Come on!

Move out.

Come on. Move out. Come on, boy.

Come on, boy.

Keep moving! Keep moving! Come on!

Keep moving. Stay awake there, kid.

Keep moving. Pick up your feet.

John, how far do you figure to Baton Rouge?

40 miles.

Keep alive in there!

You want me to apologize now or later? For what?

Keep moving! I never thought you could do it.

You know, John, I've given up all thought of running for Congress.

You know, with this on my record, by George, I can be Governor.

Keep moving! Governor of State of Michigan, John.

Stay alive! And forward you can name your own job.

Railroad commissioner, Oh, I wouldn't start making campaign lieutenant governor...

But, John... promises till we get there.

Join your regiment.

Colonel, my duty, medically speaking, is to inform you that some of these men may make it on their hands and knees.

We've been 20 hours without a stop. We need a rest.

I've got eyes, Kendall.

It's also my duty to inform you that if we run into a fight they may not...

That is all, Doctor.

Thank you, sir.

Column, halt! Column, halt!

Woodward. Yo!

First squad, scout the other side of the bridge.

First squad, forward, yo!

I don't know if you've heard.

Your people are about an hour behind us, coming fast.

I've heard.

We're going on to Baton Rouge. We'll leave you here.

Your own kind can take care of you.

I'm sure they can. Yes.


I'm sorry for the hardship and... the humiliation that we've... that I've caused you.

Get her out of here!

Recall! Forward, ho!

Get her in that cabin!

Come on, Miss Hannah.

Looks like they've got us in a trap.

Knock on it!

Give us some cover!

Captain Woodward, move!

Leave me alone.

I'm all right. Let me alone, would you?


Get Colonel Secord right away. Yes, sir.

Not that way, the other door. Yes, sir.

Report. It's alive with rebs, sir.

And I seen at least two cannons.

They jumped us so quick can't wait to see more.


The wood's full of 'em. Join your troop.

Yes, sir.

Cut his boot off, Sam. Nobody's cutting that boot off.

I got a lot of work to do. Cut his boot off.

Take a good stiff jolt.

Those are $20 boots, trooper.

Get some water. Who, me?

Take A-troop and that Reverend, or whatever he is.

Find a ford someway across that river.

Flank 'em. Yes, sir.

Take a bugler with you. Yes, sir.

Fine, sir. Thank you for the opportunity.

John, we've ridden right into a trap. They want us to cross that bridge.

It'd be like going through a funnel.

We've accomplished our purpose, John.

In a position like this, there's nothing disgraceful about honorable surrender.

Get back to your troop. Keep 'em under cover.

You mean... you're going on? Get out of here!

You're not going very far with that bullet in you.

You're taking your own sweet time about cutting it out of there.

You're not the only wounded man here, Colonel. Get me my bag.

Now, this is going to hurt a little.

Go on with it, Kendall.

Keep that leg stretched.

Probe, please.

Are you having fun?

You're lucky.

You may not believe it, Colonel, but I bought you some time.

A couple of hours? Maybe more.


First Michigan in position, sir. First Illinois in position, sir.

Carry on. We were in position first.

I'm all right.

Get cracking.

God almighty. Here he come.

Mount up.

You heard me, Kirby. Mount up.

You heard the Colonel! Mount up!


The Deacon found a place to ford. The men ought to be in position by now.

Thanks. Cover our rear. See how much time we've got.

Yes, sir.

Where's your horse? Back in the swamp, sir.

Lips dry? Yes, sir. But my bugle ain't.

Uncase the colors. You heard him.

Do you know your orders?

John, You're not fit. Let me lead this charge.

With a success like this, governor be damm. I could land in the White House.

We'll probably all land in the...

Get back to your regiment!

Bugler, sound charge!

Forward! Fire Paul.


You're hurt, sir.

Blow... Trumpet, blow.

They can't give up.

Maybe it's crazy, maybe it's brave. But don't ask me to explain it. Nobody can.

Come on, we're going to have a lot of work to do.

Bugler, sound recall.

Got any more?

Come on, give us some more here.

How much longer, Sergeant? Sergeant Major.

Pretty near ready, sir.

All right, boys! Hurry it up! Hurry it up! Lay it in there!

Knock on it! Knock on it!

Come on out! Get out of there! Get out of there!

Can those men be moved? They're all critical.

May I speak to them? I'd rather you didn't.

They've got to be quiet. I've given them all the laudanum I have.

It's a lousy finish for good men.

There'll be a medic with that reb column. Get your horse.

I can't count on that.

You mean you're staying?

Medicine's where you find it. Even in Andersonville?

Even in Andersonville.

I wouldn't blame you if you slap it away. Shake hands?

Doctor. Yeah.

Major Gray. All right, I'm coming.

Say your next doctor you see when he need takes that bandage off...

Yeah, I know. Tree moss.

So long, croaker.

Take care, section hand.

You're tired. You've helped a lot. Thanks for it.

A poor way of being grateful after what I've put you through.

You'd better be going. Yes, I guess I'd better.

Look, Hannah Hunter.

Thank God I won't be the cause of hurting you any more.

Because it happens I'm in love with you.

Tell her for the rest when you get back.

One of your own, sir. Get going.

Colonel, they're right on my tail.

Let's go. Yah!

Doctor, could our regimental surgeon be of any service to you, sir?

I'd be grateful.