Lt. Col. N.P Chipman is the Army prosecutor, Otis Baker the defense attorney and Gen. Lew Wallace the judge in the trial of Henry Wirz, the Confederate officer who ran a prisoner of war camp in Andersonville, which saw 14,000 Union prisoners die from cruel neglect. Witnesses include Lt. Col. Chandler, who was assigned to inspect the Andersonville prison; Dr. John C. Bates, the physician at the camp horrified by his experience; Ambrose Spencer, a plantation owner who can testify that food offered to the camp by nearby residents was refused; James Davidson, a haunted 19-year-old prisoner who claims a fellow was torn apart by dogs; Jasper Culver, another prisoner who has a story about a man named Chickamauga; Sgt. James Gray, who testifies that Wirtz killed a man with his own hands; and Dr. Ford, the one witness for the defense.
Did You Know?
portrayed Henry Wirz with a relatively light Germanic accent, while in real life, and at the actual trial, Wirz was known to have a heavy, or thick, Germanic accent. This was done to make the character's dialogue clear and intelligible for television audiences. See more
Colonel Norton P. Chipman was actually a full Colonel, he had been promoted to this rank in the aftermath of the battle he alludes to, the Battle of Fort Donelson while in command of the Second Iowa Infantry. In this movie he wears the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, three years after having been promoted. See more