visit the film locations
Visit: the Mercer Williams House Museum, 429 Bull Street, Monterey Square,
Savannah, GA 31401 (tel: 912.236.6352)
Savannah is of course home to Chippewa Square and the bench of Forrest Gump
Glory film location: the mansion of Robert Shaw: Mercer House, Bull Street, Savannah, Georgia
The story of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the first black regiment in the US army, was filmed mainly in Georgia.
The opening ‘Battle of Antietam’ was staged near McDonough, southeast of Atlanta. The epic scale was enhanced by including shots of 125th anniversary reenactment of the ‘Battle of Gettysburg’ – which involved around 11,000 participants – in June 1988. Such events are prohibited in Gettysburg National Military Park, Adams County, Pennsylvania, so the huge reenactment was staged on farmland about five miles to the south.
The ‘Boston’ scenes filmed in Savannah, Georgia. Once a great cotton port, Savannah slid into deep decline until the 1950s, when a giant restoration project was begun. The beautiful downtown area is now the USA’s largest Urban Historic Landmark district.
The parade, when the 54th finally gets its blue coats, is along River Street, running along the south bank of the Savannah River.
The mansion of commanding officer Colonel Shaw (Matthew Broderick) is the Italianate Mercer Williams House, 429 Bull Street on Monterey Square, which was then a private home but is now open to the public. It was designed by New York architect John S Norris for General Hugh W Mercer (the great grandfather of songwriter Johnny Mercer) and completed in 1868. It went on to become the home of Jim Williams, central character of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (played by Kevin Spacey in Clint Eastwood’s movie, which also filmed at the house). ‘Readville Camp, Massachusetts’ was filmed in Battlefield Park.
The assault on ‘Fort Wagner’ was shot 60 miles south of Savannah, on Jekyll Island, once the private playground of the stinking rich – we’re talking Vanderbilts, Rockefellers and Astors – it was bought by the state of Georgia in 1947 (for $650,000 if you must know).