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When Shaw finally loses patience with the Quartermaster, he marches in and demands 600 pairs of shoes and 1200 pairs of socks. After the initial interchange, Matthew Broderick (Shaw) says "Do you really think you can keep (pause) 700 Union soldiers..." Patently Matthew had forgotten just how many pairs he needed and the slight pause indicates he had momentarily forgotten his lines.
When Colonel Shaw volunteers to lead the charge on Fort Wagner, he tells General Strong, "you should have seen us in action two days ago - we were a sight to see". The skirmish Shaw was referring to occurred on James Island, SC on July 16th, 1863. The charge on Fort Wagner occurred two days later on July 18th. But the film portrays Shaw's conversation with General Strong as taking place on the 17th, with the regiment resting that night (the singing scene) and making the charge the next day (the 18th). So what he should have said was "you should have seen us in action yesterday", not "two days ago".
Errors in geography
During the final battle scene with the 54th forming up for the attack on Ft. Wagner on the beach, the ocean is to their left. This would mean that they were headed south instead of north. Fort Wagner was actually attacked from the south, therefore, the Atlantic Ocean should be on the right, not the left.
In the movie, Shaw is surprised when the men refuse pay that was reduced because they are a "colored" regiment (though he eventually joins them in their refusal). In reality, Robert Gould Shaw's came up with the idea himself.
When Jupiter is picking off bottles with his newly issued rifle, he shoulders the weapon on his right side, but uses his left eye to sight in. He later explains to Shaw that he is a good shot. In order to be a consistently good shot, Jupiter should have been sighting in with his right eye. It would have been impossible (especially with an unfamiliar weapon) to get a proper sight picture with his left eye.
Incorrectly regarded as goofs
When the 54th returns from the Battle of James Island, the melody to "The Bonnie Blue Flag" can be heard in the background. While "The Bonnie Blue Flag" is a patriotic Southern song, actually closer to a Confederate National Anthem than "Dixie", the melody was not exclusive to that song and there were other songs with the same melody, including a humorous song titled "The Arms of Abraham" lamenting the experiences of a draftee in the Union Army, and the melody was popular on both sides of the war. It was originally a British song from the Crimean War, called "The Irish Jaunting Car."
Shortly after being informed by Rawlins that the men need shoes, a soldier's shoe is slowly removed in front of Shaw. It shows how "worn out" the shoe is supposed to be, and subsequently the damage to the man's foot. If looked at closely however, the only part of the shoe that shows wear and tear is the midpoint of the sole, with nearly all of it remaining in very good to excellent condition.