In Civil War Life: Shot To Pieces, Harvard student William F. Bartlett's determination to triumph in battle is second only to the love of his men, friends and family. With fellow Harvard students, William F. Bartlett joins the Union's 20th Massachusetts regiment. In the opening sequence, Confederates deal the Harvard Regiment a blistering defeat at the Battle of Balls Bluff. Scouting the Federal picket line at Yorktown, Bartlett's left knee and lower leg are "shot to pieces" by Confederate gunfire. In an especially accurate depiction, the surgeon amputates from the knee down. At home, gaining a wooden leg, Bartlett recuperates with Agnes Pomeroy, a Massachusetts businessman's daughter. Friendship blossoms into romance. A Confederate ball shatters Bartlett's wrist at Port Hudson while buckshot penetrates his foot, requiring surgery. His regiment musters out on September 1st, 1863. Despite Agnes imploring, "Don't go, you've done enough!" Bartlett rejoins the Army continuing to fight saying, "It will be a bloody day. I believe I am prepared to die." At the Battle of the Crater, another Confederate victory, Bartlett is captured. He fights starvation and disease in prison to stay alive for the woman he loves. Highlights of the film include battles and authentic Civil War medical and surgical procedures, all true to the facts of Bartlett's life. This docudrama inspires young and old alike with its action-packed story of courage and devotion to duty, immersing the viewer in the smoke, gunfire and pathos of America's Civil War.
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