Rationale for Using the Movie: After an extensive review of the Colonel Shaw's letters, TWM estimates that the movie is 90% historically accurate. The film addresses a significant episode in . history, the effort by abolitionists to make the Civil War into a war to end slavery, rather than just a war to preserve the Union. The fact that black men would take up arms and fight and die on the Union side was a major step in changing Northern attitudes toward slavery and the purpose of the war. The assault on Fort Wagner in which the Massachusetts 54th lost hundreds of men was "a turning point in recognition of blacks' capacity to serve in the army". Foner pp. 251 - 253.