"Cold Mountain" Wash. Post Style Review
The Washington Post Style Section, Dec. 24, 2003, review of "Cold Mountain" the film, looks at the battle of "the Crater" at the Petersburg National Battlefield.
" Celebrated Civil War chronicler Shelby Foote was asked by the producers of "Cold Mountain" to read and comment on the screenplay, and he says he caught one serious inaccuracy in the Crater scene: a description of Union prisoners--it wasn't clear if they were blkack or white--being executed well after they had surrendered." "This wouldn't have happened, Foote says, and the incident DOES NOT APPEAR IN THE FINISHED FILM."
"But Foote joins Gallaher, Calkins and other historians in confirming that the Confederates at the Crater killed many black soldiers who were TRYING to surrender." They eliminated all scenes of Confederates killing black troops who were trying to surrender, who had surrendered and who were wounded and then shot dead.
The fact is; from my research and a letter, written by a confederate soldier who was there, dated August 1,1864, states that, " our troops charged them, got back to the works, killed five hundred Nigros and took two prisoner and put them to work. We took one thousand white troops. I don't know what our loss was, but it was pretty heavy, but nothing like the enemy's. The 18th and 17th loss heavy. I forgot to tell you we took two regts. of Yankees in the fight that I have mentioned."
By my calculations, " The battle of the "Crater", was the largest massacre of Black troops in the Civil War; over and above Fort Pillow.
Shelby Foote needs to do some more research on his facts.