EXT. THE SWAMPS OF SOUTH CAROLINA - NIGHT
Dark. Ominous. Kudzu hangs from the swamps maples. A
dark and forbidding place. A bird CRIES EERILY in the
darkness. Insects HUM ominously.
FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR
A detachment of French soldiers with several wagons makes
it's way along a muddy road cut through the swamp. The
soldiers are wary, scanning the underbrush, weapons ready.
In the swamp, parallel to the road, SHADOWED FIGURES,
hidden among the brush, silently track the French
As the lead wagon rolls over a muddy puddle, straddling
it, a MUD-COVERED FIGURE, reaches up, grabs the wagon's
undercarriage, pulls itself up and clings, unseen to the
underside of the wagon. The figure, obscured by the mud,
barely looks human.
As the other wagons roll over other muddy depressions in
the road, three more mud-covered figures reach up, grab
and cling to the underside of other wagons.
The gates are opened. The relieved French soldiers
quicken their pace and hurry into the relative safety of
the fort. In the fort yard the weary detachment
UNDER THE LEAD WAGON
The first dark, mud-covered figure silently drops to the
ground and draws a distinctive TOMAHAWK from his belt as
the other figures drop from the other wagons.
The figures crawl through the shadows toward the sentries
who are closing the main gates. THEY SPRING... the lead
figure dashes forward, raises his TOMAHAWK and HACKS DOWN
at a TERRIFIED FRENCH SENTRY...
The other muddy figures join the attack... stifling the
screams of the French soldiers with VICIOUS KNIFE
SLASHES... gaining precious seconds...
A FRENCH SOLDIER CRIES OUT... sounding the alarm... other
FRENCH SOLDIERS come running out of the darkness...
The four muddy figures, make a stand at the gate, brutally
killing the French soldiers as they come, holding the
gates open as...
Dozens of other muddy figures race out of the surrounding
swamp, tearing through the fort gates, joining the
The lead figure, HACKS, again and again with his
Blood and flesh cover his arm as the vicious blade rises
and falls amid the SCREAMS in the darkness...
EXT. SOUTH CAROLINA COUNTRYSIDE - DAY
Beautiful sunlight. AERIAL SHOT of a post rider galloping
along a road through peaceful untamed woodlands. Soaring
old-growth elms arch over riverside maples along the
shores of the gently curving, deep-water Santee River.
The post rider rides along a raised swamp road. On either
side of the road, gorgeous shafts of sunlight pierce the
canopy falling onto soft, swaying ferns that cover the
high grounds. Hundreds of BIRDS SING. The water is
clear, with fields of floating lily pads, each with a
stark white flower rising from it.
EXT. FRESH WATER PLANTATION - DAY
The post rider approaches a plantation built between the
banks of the river and the deep green of the swamps,
passing acres of perfectly tended rice paddies. Two
sturdy brothers, NATHAN, 13 and SAMUEL, 12, work alongside
three adult male African freedmen, JOSHUA, JONAH, MICA,
planting rice. They look up from their work as the rider
passes. Nathan and Samuel take off running after the post
The post rider approaches the house, built of native
brick, well-constructed and well-maintained. There's a
barn, a workshop and a forge. It is a home of substance
rather than wealth. On the front porch, MARGARET, 11,
pumps a butter churn while her brother, WILLIAM, 6,
watches. They see the post rider. Margaret excitedly
runs off toward the workshop while William stares at the
approaching rider who is trailed by Nathan and Samuel.
INT. WORKSHOP - DAY
A perfect colonial workshop, fastidiously arranged with
every conceivable tool of the period. A foot-powered
lathe. A drop-forge. A lifting saw. Racks of tools,
planes, hammers, augers, drills, blocks, all hanging in
their places. All very well-worn.
BENJAMIN MARTIN methodically works his lathe, turning a
piece of hardwood, shaving off tiny curls of wood with a
razor-sharp chisel. He's in his late-forties, strong and
weathered. His hands, though big and callused, handle the
chisel with a surgeon's precision. Self-educated and
self-sufficient, he has built himself, as he built his
farm, brick by brick, from the coarse clay of the earth.
A finely-made rocking chair, missing only the dowel on
which Martin is working, sits on the work table. The
chair is a work of art, thin and light, a spider-web of
perfectly turned wood, no nails, no glue. Sitting on the
woodpile, SUSAN, 4, a silent, stone-face wisp of a child,
watches her father. Margaret races in.
Father! A post rider!
Martin pointedly continues his work without looking up.
Margaret waits, then, seeing that her father isn't going
to come, she turns and races out.
EXT. FRESH WATER PLANTATION - DAY
The post rider rides up to the house. ABIGALE AND ABNER,
a middle-aged African couple, step out. Abigale calls out
to Nathan and Samuel as they run up breathlessly.
You go tell your father, there a
They race toward the workshop, passing an excited
INT. WORKSHOP - DAY
Martin calmly takes the piece of wood out of the lathe,
carefully fits it into the chair, inserts a peg and taps
it into place. Then he steps back and appraises his
handiwork. He picks up the chair and hooks the top rail
to a scale, countering with a three-pound weight. The
chair floats. Martin blows softly on the weight which
sinks. Susan nods, so far, so good. Nathan and Samuel
burst into the room.
A post rider! Mail!
Martin nods, keeping his attention on the chair.
The boys wait for more. Nothing. They race out.
EXT. FRESH WATER PLANTATION - DAY
GABRIEL, 18, strong and handsome, walks out of the woods
with a musket in his hand and a dozen game-birds over his
shoulder. At his side walks THOMAS, 14, also carrying a
musket. They see the post rider giving the mail to
Abigale with the other children excitedly watch. Thomas
runs over. Gabriel restrains himself and strides toward
INT. WORKSHOP - DAY
Martin takes the chair off the scale and puts it on the
floor. He walks slowly around it, checking every angle.
He takes a deep breath and starts to sit down but stops as
Father, a post rider.
Gabriel waits for Martin to share his excitement. He
May I bring it to you?
Martin pointedly keeps his attention on the chair.
May I open it?
Martin turns with a surprised and authoritarian glare.
Uh... I can wait.
Gabriel leaves. Martin exchanges a look with Susan, then
turns back to the chair. He takes a deep breath and
lowers himself onto the seat, gingerly adding an ounce at
a time. Not a creak. He smiles and sits back with a
CRACK! THE CHAIR SPLINTERS under Martin's weight, DUMPING
HIM on his ass on a pile of broken wood.
He picks up some of the wood, about to fling it across the
room but stops as Susan shoots him a disapproving look.
He calms himself.
Susan gets down from the woodpile and puts the remains of
the chair in the fireplace. Martin steps over to his wood
rack and extracts a fresh dowel. As Susan climbs back up
to her perch, Martin fits the dowel into the lathe and
starts it up.
THE MAIL sits, unopened, on the hall table. Margaret,
William, Nathan, Samuel, Thomas and Gabriel hover.
Abigale bustles in and shoos them away.
You get away from there, now.
That's not your mail. You wash up
for supper... you leave that
The children reluctantly follow her orders, leaving the
unopened mail on the table.
EXT. HILLTOP - FRESH WATER FARM - SUNSET
The loveliest spot on the farm. A beautiful view of the
house, barns, river, fields and hills beyond. A
gravestone stands in the shade of a soaring oak tree
covered with Spanish moss. It reads:
ELIZABETH PUTNAM MARTIN 1738-1773
Above her name is a carving of the night sky, at the
center of which is the NORTH STAR, steady and guiding.
Martin approaches. He gives himself a moment to look at
the grave. A soft wind blows some dry leaves along the
ground. Martin turns his head, as if listening to spoken
words. PUSH IN on the North Star on the gravestone.
That's her, the North Star...
INT. GIRLS' BEDROOM - NIGHT
Martin stands in the doorway, unobserved, while Margaret
and Susan look out the window at the night sky.
... you start from the front two
stars of the Big Dipper and count up
five fingers lengths... that's
Susan gazes up at the North Star. The girls notice Martin
and climb into bed. He puts a chair against Susan's bed
and kisses her. He pulls a blanket up around Margaret,
It helps her to know Mother's there.
Martin nods with a thin smile, kisses Margaret, picks up
his candle and walks out.
INT. BOYS' BEDROOM - NIGHT
Martin enters, finding William asleep on the floor and
Nathan and Samuel both asleep in their beds. He lifts
William into bed, takes a slingshot from Nathan's hand.
Samuel looks up, three-quarters asleep, murmuring:
He tucks in Samuel and walks out.
INT. FOYER - MARTIN'S HOUSE - NIGHT
Gabriel hovers near the still unopened mail. Thomas lies
on the floor, deploying squadrons of lead soldiers.
Martin walks in and pours a drink.
Very well. Open it.
Thomas and Gabriel leap for the mail, battling, tearing
into it. Martin steps to the window with his drink,
looking out into the night. Gabriel scans, Thomas reads
The New York and Rhode Island
assemblies have been dissolved...
The middle colonies?
Rioting both sides of the bay, in
Chestertown they burned the Customs
House and tar-and-feathered the
Customs Agent. He died of burns.
In Wilmington they killed a Royal
Magistrate and two Redcoats.
Who, the rioters or the magistrates?
Anything about the convention in
Poor Richard says they'll make a
Declaration of Independence by July.
Martin extracts a delicate pair of reading glasses from a
wooden pocket-box and motions for Gabriel to hand him some
of the newspapers and pamphlets. Gabriel does so. Martin
sits down and begins reading.
Scott Higgins joined the militia.
Martin doesn't respond. Thomas looks up from his lead
He's seventeen. A year younger than
Gabriel and Thomas wait for a reaction. None. Gabriel
sighs and sits down to open more mail. Martin's eyes
drift from the page to Gabriel. Suddenly Gabriel starts:
Father! The assembly's been
convened! You're called to
Martin nods, not pleased, not surprised.
We'll leave in the morning.
EXT. SWAMP ROAD - DAY
The Martins drive on a beautiful swamp road. The arching
maples and willows form a tunnel of green. The children
excitedly CHATTER AND SING. Martin, driving one of the
wagons, is troubled. Gabriel, driving the other, is as
excited as his siblings, but he restrains himself.
EXT. BENNINGTON OVERLOOK - DAY
The two carriages pass a view of their entire valley.
Scattered farms with a patchwork of cultivated fields and
rice paddies surround the town of Bennington.
EXT. SANTEE ROAD - DAY
Passing through rolling farmland, the Martins head toward
the coast. They pass a large contingent of South Carolina
Militia, drilling in a field. The children, particularly
Gabriel, watch avidly.
EXT. CHARLESTON - DAY
Bustling. Martin and Gabriel negotiate the carriages
through the busy streets. The children watch, wide-eyed,
seeing taverns, a public gallows, drunkards, street
entertainers, well-dressed ladies attended by their maids,
food venders. They pull up in front of a grand house --
INT. CHARLOTTE'S HOUSE - CHARLESTON - DAY
CHARLOTTE SELTON, mid-thirties, beautiful, with a deep
sadness that she keeps hidden as best she can, runs down
the grand staircase of her mansion. She stops in front of
a mirror and quickly primps, then hurries out the front
EXT. CHARLOTTE'S HOUSE - CHARLESTON - DAY
The children leap from the carriages and swarm around
Charlotte, embracing her, smothering her with kisses.
Aunt Charlotte! Aunt Charlotte!
Welcome! Welcome! Margaret,
William, look at you...!
They're huge. What have you been
They're from good stock on their
Thank you. Come, come, inside, wait
until you see what I have...
Presents! For me? What do you
The children race through the door, forcing Martin and
Charlotte together. They stand awkwardly, their bodies
close, as the children pass. After the children go,
Martin and Charlotte stand for an extra instant, then turn
and see Susan standing, staring.
You, too, Susan. There's something
Martin and Charlotte watch Susan walk inside.
She still hasn't started talking?
Martin shakes his head. They sigh and head inside
EXT. CHARLESTON SQUARE - NIGHT
CHAOS. A yelling crowd of Sons of Liberty is massed
around a Liberty Tree from which hang dozens of glowing
lanterns. GABRIEL walks through the crowd drinking it all
in, turning his head this way and that, seeing:
Drunk men. Vendors selling rum, ale, food and banners
emblazoned with a coiled snake and the legend, "Don't
Tread On Me." Scores of on-lookers, including respectable
people, as well as street urchins, whores and drunkards,
watch the proceedings.
Gabriel moves through the crowd, excited by the madness of
the scene, listening in to BITS OF CONVERSATION as he
Gabriel stops, noticing PETER HOWARD, a one-legged,
middle-aged man about Martin's age, standing with his
family on the edge of the crowd. Howard's daughter, ANNE,
very attractive, around fifteen, stands a bit apart from
Gabriel makes his way over and stands next to Anne. They
exchange a look. She turns back to watch the crowd.
Gabriel clears his throat and speaks with earnest, adult
Miss Howard, isn't it?
She speaks without looking at him.
You know who I am, Gabriel Martin.
The last time you saw me I was nine
and you put ink in my tea.
Gabriel straightens up and speaks officiously, trying to
appear a man above such childish pranks.
I believe that was one of my younger
brothers... perhaps Samuel or
It was you and it turned my teeth
black for a month.
The CROWD CHEERS AS several Sons of Liberty string up
effigies of King George III and Governor Wilmington. As
they light the effigies on fire, Anne's father, notices
Anne talking to Gabriel. He motions for her to join him
at his side. Anne nods to Gabriel, taking her leave.
Gabriel watches her go. With extreme effort, she keeps
herself from glancing back at him. Gabriel turns his
attention back to the crowd. Seeing a small knot of
affluent men gathered in conversation, Gabriel walks over
and stands just outside their circle, listening avidly.
EXT. CHARLOTTE'S BALCONY - NIGHT
Martin, his children and Charlotte watch the mob in the
square below, The children are transfixed. Martin is
troubled. Charlotte looks closely at Martin, gauging his
Look! There's Gabriel!
They see Gabriel making his way through the crowd. He
sees them and waves, then enters the house. A moment
later Gabriel breathlessly steps onto the balcony.
Harry Lee is here from Virginia
recruiting for a Continental Army.
He seeks a levy of troops and money.
The Governor has vowed that if the
Assembly votes a single shilling to
Lee, he'll dissolve the body.
Which would force our delegates in
Philadelphia to vote for
And send us to war alongside
Gabriel nods enthusiastically. Martin shoots him a
sidelong glance, troubled by the prospect. Charlotte
IN THE SQUARE, a pair of drunk Sons of Liberty, pull down
one of the smoldering effigies, cut off its head, and
start hacking at it's groin with a sword.
Martin sees his younger children's expressions as they
Inside, all of you, right now.
They start to protest but a look at their father's face
convinces them otherwise. They file into the house.
Gabriel assumes the order doesn't apply to him but a stern
look from Martin sends him reluctantly inside, leaving
Charlotte and Martin alone on the balcony.
Lee will be counting on your vote.
He'll expect you to be the first to
Martin looks down at the mob without responding. The
flames of the burning effigies light his face.
EXT. ASSEMBLY HALL - CHARLESTON - DAY
The capital building of South Carolina. A large crowd of
lower-class men and women is massed in front of the
Assembly Hall. As well-dressed Assemblymen walk into the
building, the CROWD YELLS words of encouragement to some
and berates others.
In the square in front of the Assembly Hall a squadron of
blue-uniformed AMERICAN CONTINENTAL SOLDIERS drills. A
recruiting table is being set up by a Continental Captain
and several military clerks.
INT. ASSEMBLY HALL - DAY
Two dozen ANGRY, YELLING, MEN OF PROPERTY. Among them are
ROBINSON, HAMILL and JOHNSON, who are Patriots. Opposed
to them are SIMMS, WITHINGTON and BALDRIDGE who are
Loyalists. As Martin makes his way to his seat, the
SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY POUNDS HIS GAVEL.
Slowly, the room quiets down.
Our first order of business...
And our last if we vote a levy...
The ROOM ERUPTS.
ORDER! ORDER! Mr. Simms, you do
not have the floor.
The ROOM SETTLES DOWN.
Our first order of business is an
address by Colonel Harry Lee of the
An imposing figure makes his way to the front of the
assembly, COLONEL HARRY LEE, about Martin's age and cut
from the same cloth -- strong, weathered, with a powerful
bearing. Lee sees Martin and offers a familiar nod, which
Martin returns, stone-faced. At the dais Lee pauses, then
You all know why I am here. I am
not an orator and I will not try to
convince you of the worthiness of
our cause. I am a soldier and we
are at war and with the declaration
of independence we all expect from
Philadelphia, it will soon be a
formal state of war. In preparation
for that, eight of the thirteen
colonies have levied money in
support of a Continental Army. I
ask South Carolina to be the ninth.
In the balcony, Gabriel nods in agreement. Simms rises.
Colonel Lee, Massachusetts may be at
war, along with New Hampshire and
Rhode Island and Virginia, but South
Carolina is not at war.
Massachusetts and New Hampshire are
not as far from South Carolina as
you might think and the war they're
fighting is not for independence of
one or two colonies. It's for the
independence of one nation.
And what nation is that?
Robinson, one of the Patriots, stands up.
An American nation. Colonel Lee,
with your permission?
Those of us who call ourselves
Patriots are not seeking to give
birth to an American nation, but to
protect one that already exists. It
was born a hundred-and-seventy years
ago at Jamestown and has grown
stronger and more mature with every
generation reared and with every
crop sown and harvested. We are one
nation and our rights as citizens of
that nation are threatened by a
tyrant three thousand miles away.
Were I an orator, those are the
exact words I would have spoken.
Laughter. Martin rises.
Mister Robinson, tell me, why should
I trade one tyrant, three thousand
miles away, for three thousand
tyrants, one mile away?
Laughter from the Loyalists. Surprise from Lee and the
Patriots. In the gallery, Gabriel winces.
An elected legislature can trample a
man's rights just as easily as a
Captain Martin, I understood you to
be a Patriot.
If you mean by a Patriot, am I angry
at the Townsend Acts and the Stamp
Act? Then I'm a Patriot. And what
of the Navigation Act? Should I be
permitted to sell my rice to the
French traders on Martinique? Yes,
and it's an intrusion into my
affairs that I can't... legally.
And what of the greedy, self-serving
bastards who sit as Magistrates on
the Admiralty Court and have fined
nearly every man in this room.
Should they be boxed about the ears
and thrown onto the first ship back
to England? I'll do it myself.
And do I believe that the American
colonies should stand as a separate,
independent nation, free from the
reins of King and Parliament? I do,
and if that makes a Patriot, then
I'm a Patriot.
Martin grows more serious.
But if you're asking whether I'm
willing to go to war with England,
the answer is, no. I've been to war
and I have no desire to do so again.
The room is quiet, the Assemblymen having been thrown off-
balance. Gabriel is disappointed by his father's speech.
This from the same Captain Benjamin
Martin whose anger was so famous
during the Wilderness Campaign?
Martin glares at Robinson, then smiles.
I was intemperate in my youth. My
departed wife, God bless her soul,
dampened that intemperance with the
mantle of responsibility.
Robinson looks derisively at Martin.
Temperance can be a convenient
disguise for fear.
Martin bristles but before he can answer, Lee steps in.
Mister Robinson, I fought with
Captain Martin in the French and
Indian War, including the Wilderness
Campaign. We served as scouts under
Washington. There's not a man in
this room, or anywhere, for that
matter, to whom I would more
willingly trust my life.
I stand corrected.
But, damn it, Benjamin! You live in
a cave if you think we'll get
independence without war...
Wasn't it a Union Jack we fought
A long time ago...
That's a damn long time...
The Speaker POUNDS HIS GAVEL again.
Gentlemen! Please! This is not a
Martin and Lee ignore the speaker.
You were an Englishman then...
I was an American, I just didn't
know it yet...
The Assemblymen and even the Speaker turn their heads in
simultaneous anticipation of each rejoinder.
We don't have to go to war to gain
There are a thousand avenues, other
than war, at our disposal...
Martin speaks slowly and firmly.
We do not have to go to war to gain
Lee says nothing for a moment, then he speaks more
seriously, quietly, grimly.
Benjamin, I was at Bunker Hill. It
was as bad as anything you and I saw
on the frontier. Worse than the
slaughter at the Ashuelot River.
The British advanced three times and
we killed over seven hundred of them
at point blank range. If your
principles dictate independence,
then war is the only way. It has
come to that.
Martin is silent for a long moment. He softens and grows
unsteady, speaking far more honestly than he ever wanted
I have seven children. My wife is
dead. Who's to care for them if I
go to war?
Lee is stunned by Martin's honesty and his show of
weakness. At first Lee has no answer, then:
Wars are not fought only by
childless men. A man must weigh his
personal responsibilities against
That's what I'm doing. I will not
fight and because I won't, I will
not cast a vote that will send
others to fight in my stead.
And your principles?
I'm a parent, I don't have the
luxury of principles.
The other Assemblymen, both Patriots and Loyalists, stare
at him, appalled. Martin, feeling weak, sits down. Lee
looks at his friend with more sympathy than
disappointment. In the gallery Gabriel turns and walks
EXT. ASSEMBLY HALL - DAY
The crowd waits. The doors open and a PAGE BOY dashes out
and runs to the Continental Captain at the recruiting
Twenty-eight to twelve, the levy
The Continental Captain motions to an assembled squadron.
They raise their muskets and FIRE A VOLLEY into the air.
Other soldiers, STRIKE UP A MARTIAL AIR ON FIFES AND
DRUMS. Volunteers crowd around the recruiting table,
YELLING and jostling for position.
The delegates walk out. Both Patriots and Loyalists give
Martin a wide berth.
Martin sees Gabriel, standing near the crowd at the
recruiting table. Martin walks up to him.
Father, I've lost respect for you.
I thought you were a man of
When you have children, I hope
When I have children, I hope I don't
hide behind them.
Martin looks closely at Gabriel.
Do you intend to enlist without my
They lock eyes for a moment, then Gabriel turns from his
father and walks away, joining the crush around the
recruiting table. Martin stands alone in the middle of
the chaos. The FIFES AND DRUMS continue to play. Martin
doesn't hear them.
Is he as imprudent as his father was
at his age.
Martin turns and sees Lee standing next to him, looking at
Unfortunately, so. In other
measures he is his mother's son, but
in prudence, or lack thereof, he is
I'll see to it that he serves under
me. I'll make him clerk or a
quartermaster, something of that
They shake hands. Then Lee walks over to the soldiers.
CAMERA CRANES UP as Martin takes a last look at Gabriel,
then heads off through the crowded square, moving against
the tide of men headed toward the recruiting table.
CRANE UP ENDS ON TABLEAU of the sunlit city of Charleston.
Bustling streets filled with civilians, Patriots streaming
into the Assembly Square and fluttering flags -- the South
Carolina state flag and numerous "Don't Tread On Me"
EXT. CHARLESTON - DAY
The same view of the city which has radically changed:
TWO YEARS LATER
The sky is cloud-filled and dark. The flags have all been
replaced by Union Jacks. Redcoats march in lock-step
unison where excited Patriots and civilians ran. A fleet
of British ships is visible in the harbor. Defensive
emplacements, bristling with cannons, surround the city.
... and I apologize for not having
written in such a long time.
EXT. CHARLESTON STREET - DAY
A detachment of Redcoats marches past coldly staring
As you must know, the fall of
Charleston has been a severe blow to
EXT. CHARLESTON SQUARE - DAY
LORD GENERAL CORNWALLIS haughtily turns from American
General Lincoln, forcing Lincoln to present his sword of
surrender to one of Cornwallis' subordinates.
With the sting of that loss made all
the worse by Cornwallis' humiliation
of our General Lincoln at the
EXT. CHARLOTTE'S HOUSE - CHARLESTON - DAY
Charlotte supervises her slaves as they pack a line of
A letter from Aunt Charlotte
informed me that she closed her home
in Charleston before the city
EXT. CHARLOTTE'S PLANTATION - DAY
A backcountry plantation. More substantial than Martin's
but not opulent. Charlotte, her hands dirty, tends a
vegetable garden with a pair of female slaves, while
several male slaves harvest rice in the paddies beyond.
... and moved to her plantation near
you on the Santee.
EXT. SLIGHT RISE - FRESH WATER PLANTATION - LATER
Martin stands at his wife's grave, finishing reading the
What little news we get from the
North is disheartening, offering us
little solace in these dark times.
I pray for a turn of fortune for our
cause. Then, as now, your loving
A soft wind blows. Martin turns his head, listening for a
faint voice, but hears nothing. He folds the letter,
takes off his glasses, boxes them, and heads down the hill
toward the lights and laughter coming from the house
INT. MARTIN'S BEDROOM - DUSK
A trunk lid opens. CAMERA PULLS BACK to reveal Thomas in
Martin's closet. He lifts out some blankets, uncovering a
trove of Martin's old military gear -- a worn battle coat,
a box of medals, a military sword, rusted into its
scabbard, and the tomahawk seen in the opening sequence.
Thomas puts on the coat which hangs off his narrow
shoulders. He stands in front of a mirror, appraising
himself. He picks up the tomahawk and hefts it.
Martin steps into the room and stops. Thomas grimaces,
expecting him to be angry but Martin simply shakes his
head, takes the tomahawk, and gently removes the battle
Not yet, Thomas.
Martin looks closely at his son, giving him the courtesy
of really thinking about the answer.
But it's already been two years and
that's two more years. The war
could be over by then.
Martin offers his hand. They shake. Martin puts the coat
and the tomahawk back in the trunk and closes the lid.
INT. FRESH WATER PLANTATION - DAWN
All is quiet. A dawn mist hovers close over the ground.
Some sparrows feed at the base of the oak tree near the
gravesite. DISTANT THUNDER. Low and rolling. The birds
INT. MARTIN'S BEDROOM - DAWN
Another roll of the DISTANT THUNDER. Martin awakes. He
gets out of bed and pulls on his clothes.
EXT. FRONT PORCH - MARTIN'S HOUSE - DAWN
Martin steps out to his front porch and listens. He knows
the sound, the DISTANT STACCATO BOOMS OF CANNON and the
PATTERING WAVE OF THOUSANDS OF MUSKETS FIRING.
One by one he is joined by his children. Thomas, Nathan
and Samuel listen analytically. Margaret and Susan press
close against their father.
Abigale and Abner join the family on the porch. Abigale
gathers Susan and William to her skirts. Joshua, Jonah
and Mica step out of the slave quarters and listen.
William looks curiously at the cloudless sky.
Is it going to rain?
That's not thunder.
The SOUND BECOMES DEEPER, MORE OMINOUS. They all notice.
Six-pounders. Lots of them.
How far away?
Four, five miles.
Just east of it.
We could go stay at Aunt
Charlotte's. She's west.
No, there'll be skirmishers on the
roads. We're safer here.
Thomas appears at the doorway with a pair of muskets. He
gives one to Nathan and offers the other to his father.
Put those away.
But father, they might come this
Put those things away!
INT. WORKSHOP - DAY
Martin works the lathe, trying to concentrate. Susan
watches from her perch on the woodpile. A distracted
Martin slips, CUTTING HIS FINGER. The BLOOD, landing on
the spinning dowel, makes a quick, bright red, circle
around the wood. Martin continues working.
EXT. BARN - DAY
The SOUND OF A CRASH. A horse runs out of the barn,
dragging a tenacious Samuel who is holding onto the
horse's neck. Joshua and Jonah step out of the barn,
admiring the boy's grit. Samuel's grip fails and he lands
in the dirt. Seeing that he's unhurt, Joshua and Jonah
laugh lightly as the horse runs off down the hill toward
the river. Joshua stands Samuel up and brushes him off.
You go on and get him, there, boy.
Samuel grabs a rope and heads down the hill to get the
ON THE RIVERBANK
As Samuel approaches the horse he see it skittishly
approaching then retreating from the water. Then he sees
the cause -- the water in the river has a pale, pink hue.
Samuel stares at it, trying to figure out what it is.
ON THE PORCH
Abigale sees Samuel beyond the yard wall and snaps at
Look where your brother is... your
Papa said you stay close by this
house... you bring him up here,
Margaret heads after Samuel. Abigale re-enters the house.
He doesn't respond. William trails after Margaret.
Samuel, get up to the house...
Papa's gonna be mad...
Then she sees it, too. The pale pink is turning redder
and redder. And then the BODIES. First one, then more,
many more. Torn apart. Missing limbs. Those with wide-
open wounds, are already drained of blood. Others are
still seeping, leaving trails of deep red in the paler red
of the surrounding water.
Samuel, Margaret and William stand frozen, appalled and
MARTIN steps out of the workshop and sees the children at
the river. He can't see what they're looking at.
Irritated, he walks toward them.
Then, as he nears the river, he sees the color of the
water and the bodies that have hypnotized his children.
He quickens his stride, speaking calmly but firmly,
careful not to frighten them.
Up to the house, now. All of you,
come on. Now.
EXT. MARTIN'S HOUSE - NIGHT
Quiet. Dark. Martin stands on the front porch, looking
out into the night, listening, hearing nothing. He
glances up at the NORTH STAR.
BEHIND THE HOUSE, A FIGURE IN THE DARKNESS, carrying a
musket, moves from shadow to shadow.
INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT
Margaret and Samuel and William talk, their voices low.
They're going to come.
We're going to have to fight them
Father will do that.
They'll probably kill us men and do
Lord knows what to you women.
A SOUND. They all stop. Something moved behind the
kitchen. Margaret silently eases the others out of the
SUDDENLY IN FRONT OF THEM, A BLOODY FIGURE
Big. Hulking. In uniform. Margaret SCREAMS. William
and Samuel CRY OUT. The figure moves toward them...
Martin, on the porch, hears the scream, races into the
house... sees the figure... Martin reaches under his vest
and DRAWS A HERETOFORE UNSEEN PISTOL... cocks and aims in
a fast, practiced motion... he's just about to fire
THE FIGURE MOVES INTO THE LIGHT... Martin sees...
Gabriel is wounded, battered and dirty, carrying a musket
and a dispatch case. He sways. Martin catches him and
eases him to a seat. Abigale frantically looks at his
The battle, were you there?
Abigale, get bandages and water.
Thomas, the porch.
They hurry off. Martin checks Gabriel's wounds.
Have you seen any Redcoats?
Not yet. What happened?
Abigale brings water and linen to Martin who expertly
cleans Gabriel's wounds and applies field-dressings as
It wasn't like Saratoga. There, we
stayed in the trees, but this time
Gates marched us straight at the
Redcoats. They fired two volleys
into us and we broke like straw. I
was given these dispatches... I saw
Virginia Regulars surrender... as
they laid down their weapons the
British Green Dragoons rode into
them and hacked them to bits...
killed them all, over two hundred
They had surrendered?
Gabriel nods. Martin's stunned. Gabriel tries to rise.
I have to get these dispatches to
You're in no condition to ride.
I can't stay here... it's not safe
for any of you and I must get to...
Gabriel passes out. Martin catches him and carries him to
a day-bed. They hear HEAVY MUSKET FIRE, VERY CLOSE.
Martin hurries to the door and looks out into the night,
the children cluster around him, seeing a strange sight.
A SKIRMISH IN THE FIELD BELOW THE HOUSE
Pitch black. Then a MUSKET FIRES, creating a FLASH OF
LIGHT that illuminates a tableau of soldiers, about three
dozen Redcoats and as many Patriots.
The strobe of the musket shot provides targets for an
ensuing VOLLEY OF SHOTS in every direction. Then
darkness, punctuated by SCREAMS OF PAIN, CONFUSED
HOLLERING and the RUSTLING OF ARMED MEN IN MOVEMENT.
Then the pattern repeats itself: A MUSKET FIRES,
illuminating a tableau of targets for another MURDEROUS
VOLLEY OF SHOTS.
Margaret, take William and Susan
down to the root cellar. Thomas, go
to the back porch. Nathan and
Samuel, the side windows. Keep out
They hurry off. Martin steps into the house and opens his
gun cabinet. He extracts two pistols and a pair of
muskets. Then he steps back to the front door. He waits
EXT. LOWER FIELD - FRESH WATER PLANTATION - DAWN
First light. The morning mist lies low over the field.
Martin warily approaches the scene of the battle. He
carries a Pennsylvania rifle, has another slung over his
shoulder, and has a pair of pistols in his belt.
As Martin nears the field he sees, appearing out of the
mist, a nightmarish vision. Young Redcoats and
Continentals are scattered on the ground, dead and
wounded. Many have been hideously torn apart by the
massive musket balls. Blood is everywhere. Martin
hurries back toward the house.
EXT. MARTIN'S HOUSE - FRESH WATER PLANTATION - DAY
The porch and yard have been turned into a field hospital.
There are about two dozen wounded, a few more Patriots
than Redcoats. Joshua, Jonah and Mica unload the last
wagon-load of injured men. Abigale, Thomas, Nathan,
Samuel and Margaret help Martin tend the soldiers.
William and Susan watch from inside. Abner stands on the
edge of the yard as lookout.
Gabriel, stronger though still weakened by his wounds,
helps, treating a Patriot's arm wound, retying a
tourniquet, stanching an ugly flow of blood. Thomas sees
and swoons, then grows embarrassed when Gabriel notices.
EXT. MARTIN'S HOUSE - AFTERNOON
Triage completed. Margaret and Samuel give water and
food. Martin kneels next to a CONTINENTAL SERGEANT and a
COUPLE OF PRIVATES who are less severely wounded than the
Martin nods, uncomfortable with the thanks.
Sergeant, there are seventeen
wounded men here. Seven Redcoats
and ten Patriots, counting my son.
That puts me in a difficult
The Continental Sergeant knows what's coming. The
Privates and Martin's younger children don't. A troubled
Gabriel, overhearing, does know.
You three are the least severely
wounded. I have to ask you to leave
and find care elsewhere.
The Privates are stunned at the request. The Sergeant
looks at Martin's children and nods.
He struggles to his feet and jerks his head for the two
Privates to do the same.
Come on, boys.
Nathan, Samuel and Margaret are confused.
But they're wounded.
There are rules, even in war.
Martin's children are not convinced. Gabriel steps over
in front of Martin as the Sergeant and the two Privates
gather themselves to leave.
We'll be safe this way.
Even now you won't pick a side?
Martin glances at his younger children then turns back to
Gabriel points to the more seriously wounded of the
You stay, I'll go.
No. His wound is less severe than
Gabriel hesitates. The Private tentatively steps up.
He's right. I'll go.
Gabriel backs down. Martin hides his relief and turns to
the Sergeant and the Privates.
Your best chance is in Bennington,
seven miles east, along the river
The wounded men nod grimly and start off down the road.
Martin, Gabriel and his children watch them go. A
troubled Gabriel heads over to help the remaining wounded.
EXT. FRESH WATER ROAD - DAY
A dirt road runs along the edge of the swamps. Beautiful
country. Peaceful. The GROUND BEGINS TO SHAKE. A
THUNDEROUS SOUND rises, louder and louder. HORSES HOOVES.
From around a bend, a detachment of cavalry gallops:
British GREEN DRAGOONS. The finest light calvary in the
world. Hard, strong men. Excellent horsemen. Their
mounts are powerful, muscled and perfectly cared for. The
Dragoons themselves are all hardened veterans, marked with
the blood and dirt of a recent battle. Tired and
Armed to the teeth, each with a flintlock carbine, a brace
of pistols and a sword. Some carry lances. Flags
And at their head, the most imposing man of all, LT.
COLONEL WILLIAM TAVINGTON. "The Butcher." Aristocratic.
Strong. Dark. A powerful horseman on the best mount of
the entire troop. Decorated. Imperious. No temper, just
hard, cold authority. His men struggle to keep up with
Behind them, two dozen LOYALIST MILITIA CALVARY. Nasty,
local men. Civilian clothes. Riding at their head, AMOS
GASKINS, grizzled, lower-class, wearing ill-fitting
AROUND A BEND
The three wounded Patriots who just left Martin's farm
hear the horses coming, stand on the side of the road,
raise their arms and a white cloth of surrender.
The Green Dragoons rein in. Tavington stops in front of
the three men. He motions for one of his men to lower his
weapon. Then he speaks calmly, quietly, to the wounded
First Virginia Regulars under
Who cared for your wounds?
With a lace table cloth?
Tavington turns to his second-in-command, MAJOR WILKINS.
Tavington rides off. Wilkins and several other Dragoons
calmly FIRE THEIR PISTOLS, killing the three Patriots.
The troops ride off, thundering past the bodies.
EXT. FRESH WATER PLANTATION - DAY
Martin, his family and freedmen continue tending the
wounded. REDCOAT INFANTRY appear out of the woods,
heading toward the house. Three dozen men. Scouts and
flank units covering the main body. Martin gathers his
family around him, stands and waits.
Joshua, Jonah and Mica stand among the wounded. Abigale
makes her way to Martin and the children, gathering the
younger ones closer to her.
The Redcoats warily eye the wounded and Martin's family.
A young REDCOAT LIEUTENANT motions his men to check out
the house and barn, then does a silent count of the
These men are of my regiment. Thank
Martin nods. ONE OF THE REDCOATS emerges from the house
carrying Gabriel's dispatch case.
Rebel dispatches, sir.
Gabriel steps up.
I carried those. I was wounded,
these people gave me care, they have
nothing to do with the dispatches.
The SOUND OF HORSES HOOVES. All turn and see:
TAVINGTON and the GREEN DRAGOONS thundering down the road
toward the house. It's an impressive, frightening sight.
They rein in their horses, stopping in the yard, enveloped
by their trailing cloud of dust.
Tavington surveys the scene, then speaks to the young
Lieutenant, have a detachment take
our wounded to our surgeons at
Camden crossing. Use whatever
horses and wagons you can find here.
He hands the dispatch case to Tavington.
We found this, sir.
Tavington opens it and quickly scans the contents.
Who carried this?
(to Lt. re: Gabriel)
Take this one to Camden, he's a spy.
He will be hung.
Martin quickly steps between Tavington and Gabriel.
Colonel, he's a dispatch rider and
that's a marked dispatch case.
Tavington ignores Martin and continues speaking to the
Fire the house and barns. Send the
slaves to Acworth... enlist the
young ones. Leave the rest of the
Abigale is appalled. Joshua steps up.
We're not slaves, we're freedmen...
Then you're freedmen who will enlist
in the King's army.
Martin grows distraught...
And the Rebel wounded?
The Redcoat Lieutenant and several of his men are shocked
by the order. Martin is, also, but he's more concerned
with Gabriel. He pushes past some Redcoats and stands at
Tavington's mount, looking up.
A dispatch rider with a marked case
cannot be held for spying.
Tavington finally pays attention to Martin. He looks down
at his anguished face and offers the barest of smiles.
We're not going to hold him, we're
going to hang him.
Tavington draws his pistol and points it at Martin.
Gabriel tries to intercede but is held back by a burly
Oh, he's your son. You should have
taught him about loyalty.
Colonel, I beg you, please
reconsider. By the rules of war, a
dispatch rider with a marked case...
Tavington controls his shifting mount, keeping his pistol
trained on Martin's face.
Would you like a lesson in the rules
Martin doesn't answer. He looks up at Tavington coldly,
taking his measure, waiting to see if he's going to pull
Tavington walks his horse a couple of steps and shifts his
aim, pointing the pistol among Martin's children.
Perhaps your children would.
The children are terrified. Thomas is more angry than
frightened. Martin quickly steps between the pistol and
his children and speaks quietly to Tavington.
No lesson is necessary.
Tavington sees the terrified expressions on the faces of
Martin's children. He smiles at the effect. Then he
holsters his pistol.
Martin and his children watch as one of the Redcoats ties
Gabriel's hands. Thomas is beside himself.
Father, do something.
Thomas grows increasingly agitated. He sees that his
father is going to do nothing. He gauges the distance
between Gabriel and the cover of the nearby woods.
Then suddenly, Thomas SPRINGS. He RUNS, THROWING HIMSELF,
into the two Redcoats holding Gabriel, KNOCKING THEM DOWN.
Gabriel is too shocked to take flight. A few of the
Redcoats, including one of the ones knocked down, shake
their heads with sad laughter at Thomas' ineffectual
gesture. One of them grabs Thomas by the scruff of the
neck and yanks him to his feet.
TAVINGTON sees the commotion. Without pausing he DRAWS
HIS PISTOL AND FIRES, HITTING THOMAS IN THE BACK.
THOMAS is thrown to his knees by the shot. Stunned,
confused, he looks down and sees the massive exit wound in
MARTIN, horrified, catches Thomas as he falls, easing him
to the ground.
GABRIEL CRIES OUT. THE OTHER CHILDREN are stunned to
silence. Abigale SOBS.
The REDCOATS are frozen in place. Tavington's GREEN
DRAGOONS are impassive, having seen worse.
MARTIN holds his son, looking at the huge,
incomprehensible wound. He knows that Thomas is already
dead, though his body still moves.
MARTIN'S stunned agony turns to fury. He rises, his eyes
trained on Tavington, then stops as...
TAVINGTON raises a second loaded pistol and a DOZEN GREEN
DRAGOONS raise pistols and carbines, aiming them at
Martin, Gabriel and the other children.
MARTIN FREEZES, torn between his fury and fear for his
children. He locks his eyes on Tavington.
TAVINGTON calmly baths in Martin's anger. Then, with a
hard yank of the reins, he jerks his horse's head around
and utters a sharp command to Wilkins.
Tavington spurs his horse and rides off without looking
back. His GREEN DRAGOONS THUNDER after him.
MARTIN'S CHILDREN begin to cry. Margaret tries to revive
Thomas' lifeless body, gently caressing his cheek.
Thomas, please, Thomas...
A sobbing Abigale tries to pull her from Thomas' body.
Come, child, come...
The Redcoats watch in silence. MARTIN LOOKS TO GABRIEL
who is stunned, torn between shock and overwhelming guilt.
Martin turns to the Redcoat Lieutenant.
The Lieutenant wavers, but a look after the departing
Tavington stiffens his resolve.
I have my orders. Sergeant!
The Redcoat infantrymen scatter, some to get horses and
wagons from the barn, others to torch the buildings.
MARTIN stands among the children, all of whom look to
Martin with pleading eyes, waiting for him to do
Papa, look what they did to
Father, they're going to take
With stone-faced fury, Martin watches the Redcoats do
With leveled muskets, Redcoats motion Joshua, Jonah, Mica
and Abner off. As they turn to Abigale, she rises up
protectively, putting herself in front of the family.
I'm not leaving these children...
you can shoot me, you damned
One coarse-looking Redcoat raises his musket to oblige.
Martin intercedes with icy silence, motioning for Abigale
to go. Reluctantly she moves away from the children at
From the barns, they hear the sounds of MUSKETS FIRING and
the SQUEALS OF THE LIVESTOCK being killed.
Other REDCOATS TORCH THE HOUSE, BARN AND OUTBUILDINGS.
The FLAMES RISE.
The Redcoats bring out Martin's wagons and carriages and
begin loading the Redcoat wounded.
The Redcoat Lieutenant and several of his men walk among
the Patriot wounded who start to struggle to their feet,
begging for mercy. The Redcoats quickly OPEN FIRE, as if
to get it over with.
The WOUNDED PATRIOTS CRY OUT. More SHOTS. Then SILENCE.
GABRIEL, his hands bound behind him, looks to his father
with a combination of resoluteness and fear.
Father, you can't let them take
Martin and the children watch as a detachment of Redcoat
infantry forms up and move out, leading Gabriel on a
tether. Gabriel looks back but a hard jerk on the rope by
one of the Redcoats turns him around.
The remaining Redcoats, cavalry, finish firing the
buildings, mount up and head off, upriver, with the
freedmen in the wagons.
THE INSTANT THE REDCOATS ARE OUT OF SIGHT, MARTIN speaks
firmly to his weeping children.
MARTIN STRIDES to his front door and ENTERS THE BURNING
INSIDE, FIRE EVERYWHERE. Picking a route between the
flames, Martin walks to his bedroom gun cabinet. He opens
it and pulls out weapons -- a Pennsylvania rifle, two
muskets, two pistols, a long-bladed knife.
Then he ducks into the closet, opens the trunk and takes
out the TOMAHAWK...
Martin carries it, the guns, powder horns and ammunition
pouches back toward the door.
Martin walks OUT OF THE BURNING HOUSE. Without breaking
stride, he throws muskets to:
They catch the weapons.
Margaret, take William and Susan to
the river shed. Hide there. If
we're not back by dawn, go upriver
to the Richardson's house. They'll
take you to your Aunt Charlotte's.
Nathan, Samuel, and I are going to
But what about Thomas?
Leave him. Take care of William and
Martin runs off toward the woods, Nathan and Samuel
follow. Margaret hesitates, then herds William and Susan
toward the river. The house is enveloped in flames.
EXT. WOODED PATH - AFTERNOON
Martin runs, breathing hard, keeping a punishing, steady
pace. Nathan and Samuel run behind, less winded than
their father. Martin makes up with cold fury what he
lacks in youth.
EXT. WOODED HILLSIDE - AFTERNOON
Martin runs up to the crest of a wooded hill. Slows.
Crawls the last few feet. Nathan and Samuel just behind
him. Looks over the hillside.
A path runs through a glen, about fifty feet below.
Martin's eyes dart, absorbing the terrain, looking for
advantage. He points.
Nathan, there. Samuel, there.
The boys go where they're told.
I'll fire first. Then, Nathan, kill
whoever is standing closest to
Gabriel. Samuel, kill the last man
in the line.
They stagger under the weight of the orders. Martin
notices but continues.
After that, Samuel, load for Nathan.
If something happens to me, put down
your weapons and run as fast as you
can, that way, downhill. Hide in
the brush by the river, then make
your way home, get the others and go
to Aunt Charlotte's.
The boys hesitate. Martin looks at them firmly.
NATHAN & SAMUEL
Martin disappears into the underbrush.
DOWN THE PATH
The dozen Redcoats approach. Leading Gabriel on the rope.
AHEAD OF THEM
Martin waits in the thick undergrowth.
On the hillside, Nathan and Samuel grip their muskets and
exchange a frightened, troubled look.
The REDCOATS enter the glen.
MARTIN waits and waits. Then, picking his moment, he
FIRES, killing the Redcoat Lieutenant with a shot to the
NATHAN AND SAMUEL INSTANTLY FIRE, dropping the last
Redcoat in the line and the one holding Gabriel's rope.
THE REDCOATS STOP in confusion...
GABRIEL kneels, out of the line of fire.
The REDCOAT SERGEANT takes command...
FORM BY TWOS! BACK-TO-BACK LINES...
MARTIN KILLS the Sergeant with a shot to the throat...
Samuel finishes reloading, swaps muskets with Nathan who
FIRES, DROPPING ANOTHER REDCOAT.
Martin FIRES, killing the Corporal, the last man of
Martin ducks to the side as a VOLLEY OF REDCOAT MUSKET
FIRE tears into the spot marked by Martin's rifle smoke...
FROM THIS MOMENT ON, MARTIN NEVER STOPS MOVING. He
strides rather than runs, staying just inside the brush,
offering only glimpses of himself. He changes his pace
and direction repeatedly, ducking and weaving, firing and
loading while moving. He never gives the Redcoats a
stationary target, especially one marked by billowing
smoke from his flintlock. It's an Indian tactic and it
The Redcoats TRACK HIM WITH THEIR BARRELS, about to
fire... Martin suddenly STOPS DEAD, REVERSES DIRECTION,
several REDCOATS FIRE AND MISS.
Six Redcoats left. Some primed, some reloading. A
REDCOAT draws a bead on Martin who drops to the ground and
FIRES, killing him.
Another REDCOAT aims at Martin. GABRIEL BULLS INTO HIM,
causing his shot to go awry...
As the Redcoat turns on Gabriel, Martin kills him with
Samuel, WEEPING as he loads, hands a primed musket to
Nathan who FIRES...
The Redcoats turn their attention to THE SPOT MARKED BY
Martin SEES THE REDCOATS AIMING TOWARD THE BOYS. He
instantly STRIDES OUT INTO THE OPEN, drawing the Redcoats'
attention from his sons...
Martin FIRES BOTH HIS PISTOLS, killing two Redcoats...
One Redcoat finishes reloading... Martin rushes him,
shoves aside the barrel and SLAMS him in the face with the
butt of the musket...
This is a VICIOUS, SAVAGE MARTIN, killing with the same
stunning brutality seen in the opening sequence...
Martin drops his own expended rifle and CATCHES THE
REDCOAT'S LOADED MUSKET before it hits the ground shoves
that musket into another Redcoat's belly and FIRES...
Two Redcoats left, neither finished loading...
MARTIN CHARGES, drawing his TOMAHAWK, ignores a GLANCING
BAYONET WOUND to the neck, HACKS a Redcoat open...
Splattering himself with BLOOD...
The final Redcoat, an athletic but cherubic-face young
man, tries to duck into the woods but Martin leaps in
front of him, blocking his path.
Martin's sons, all with spent weapons, watch as the
Redcoat grabs a dropped SWORD and squares off with Martin
who is armed only with the TOMAHAWK.
The Redcoat SLASHES... Martin dodges the blow, ducks under
another SLASH and in an unusual but practiced motion,
STRIKES UPWARD WITH THE TOMAHAWK, nearly severing the
Then, without pausing to offer quarter, Martin raises the
tomahawk and butchers the Redcoat with a quick series of
Martin's sons are stunned at their father's savagery...
Samuel weeps. Martin, battle-focused, checks the Redcoats
bodies, unaware of his sons' eyes on him.
EXT. FRESH WATER PLANTATION - DAY
CAMERA TRACKS past the smoldering remains of Martin's
house to a CLOSE SHOT of several of THOMAS' LEAD SOLDIERS
lying in the dirt. Martin's hand reaches INTO FRAME and
picks up the soldiers. WIDEN TO REVEAL Martin, picking up
Thomas' body. Martin's children watch as he carries
EXT. HILLTOP - FRESH WATER PLANTATION - DAY
Martin puts the last shovelfuls of dirt on Thomas' grave.
Near tears and unsure of what to do next, he turns to
Elizabeth's gravestone. The soft wind blows.
He turns and sees his children looking up at him. With an
extreme effort of will, he holds in his own tears, gathers
the children around him, allowing them to cry.
EXT. BENNINGTON OVERLOOK - DAY
Martin and his children, walking from their home, stop at
the overlook, seeing the Santee River valley spread out
before them. The SMOKE from two dozen farms rises.
The Morgans, the Halseys, Williams,
The smoke from the separate fires joins together high in
the sky, forming what looks like stormclouds. They walk
EXT. CHARLOTTE'S FARM - NIGHT
Martin and his children wait in the cover of the woods.
They see a pair of shadowed figures coming toward them
from the house, Gabriel and Charlotte.
Father, it's safe.
Martin hustles the children out of the woods.
INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT
Charlotte sits, holding a sleeping Susan. The other
children lie awake on pallets. Martin, still streaked
with dried blood and sweat, tucks William and Margaret
Martin moves on to Nathan.
Father... I killed those men...
You did what I told you to do. Do
not blame yourself.
I'm glad I killed them... I'm
Martin isn't. He turns to Samuel who's cried-out. Martin
reaches out to touch him but Samuel recoils from Martin's
blood-streaked hand. Martin sighs and tucks him in.
INT. CHARLOTTE'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
CLOSE SHOT: A drink is poured. PULL BACK to reveal
Martin downing the drink, pouring and drinking another.
Behind him, Charlotte prepares water and bandages at a
THE SOUND OF HORSEMEN. Gabriel walks in, tired. He
I never should have come. It's why
he's dead... it's my fault...
Gabriel turns to Martin, as if waiting for reassurance.
Martin, lost in his own grief and guilt, says nothing.
They stand in silence for a long moment, then Gabriel
Gates is at Hillsboro with the
Continental Army. I'll leave in the
morning to join him.
Martin nods. Gabriel leaves Martin alone with Charlotte.
She pours water into the washbowl and motions for Martin
to sit. She begins cleaning away the blood and tending
his wounds. She looks after Gabriel.
That poor boy...
How did I let this happen?
Neither you, nor Gabriel could have
I should have known... once I would
have... I used to be wary... and
today I watched my son killed before
my eyes... your sister civilized me
and I damn myself for having let
You have done nothing for which you
should be ashamed.
INT. CHARLOTTE'S BARN - MORNING
A drained Gabriel finishes saddling his horse. He leads
the horse out to:
EXT. BARN YARD - CHARLOTTE'S PLANTATION - MORNING
A surprised Gabriel sees Martin, standing next to a
saddled horse, with Charlotte and the other children
Where are you going?
We have some dispatches to deliver.
Gabriel simply nods, already carrying too much weight to
respond strongly. Martin turns for goodbyes. He embraces
Nathan and Samuel, then Margaret, William and Susan.
When will you be back?
I don't know, William.
Martin winces. Margaret puts her arm around William.
No, not tomorrow.
Martin kisses them both, then moves on to Susan, trying to
coax a word out of the silent four-year-old:
She just looks at him.
Just one word? Goodbye? That's all
Susan shakes her head. He sighs, rises and turns to
Charlotte. They embrace. Martin mounts up and heads off
with Gabriel. Susan, unnoticed and unheard, whispers:
Martin and Gabriel ride away.
EXT. CAMDEN ROAD - DAY
Martin and Gabriel ride past the signs of a small
skirmish. Bodies. Abandoned wagons. Dead horses. A
EXT. CAMDEN HILLSIDE - DAY
Martin and Gabriel ride to the crest of a hill. A vista
spreads out before them. They see an awesome sight -- A
MASSIVE SLASH OF RED approaches a MASSIVE SLASH OF BLUE.
A battle is taking place about five miles away. Gabriel
starts to spur his horse but Martin GRABS GABRIEL'S REINS
and YANKS, restraining him.
No, it's too late.
Gabriel struggles with his mount, but Martin holds fast.
Gabriel stops, turning to the scene unfolding before them.
At this distance, the moving slashes of color are
beautiful. The slash of red stops. Martin and Gabriel
hear only a GENTLE WIND and some nearby SONGBIRDS. Then,
from a black mass on the side of the red slash, a silent
eruption of white smoke.
EXT. CAMDEN BATTLEFIELD - DAY
The NOISE OF CANNONFIRE AND SCREAMS IS DEAFENING as DOZENS
OF CANNONBALLS hurtle through the Continental lines...
Each eighteen pound steel ball cuts it own insane path
through the walls of blue-uniformed men, leaving a trail
of SCREAMING MEN, severed limbs, torn flesh and blood...
One cannonball -- crushes a skull, cuts three men nearly
in half, smashes straight through a wagon, slams into a
tree, killing four more men with a shower of splinters...
Another cannonball, fired low, bounces along the ground,
shattering leg, after leg, after leg, after, leg...
Another cannonball, careens madly, changing direction with
each bounce, passing harmlessly past scores of terrified
men, miraculously touching none...
Then, something hideous: A CANNON FIRES CHAIN SHOT, a
pair of cannonballs linked by chain... cutting a six-foot-
wide path of bloody and mutilated men through the ranks...
A bank of CANNONS FIRE... the roar of the cannons is
drowned out by the SCREAMS...
EXT. CAMDEN HILLSIDE - DAY
Martin and Gabriel see the blue slash silently quiver. A
moment later the SOUND OF THE CANNONS, RUMBLES UP THE
The RED SLASH STOPS moving. It darkens as thousands of
Redcoats raise their muskets and the front rank kneels
into firing position.
Martin's eyes dart. He knows what's coming.
Break for the trees... break for the
A MASSIVE ERUPTION OF WHITE SMOKE billows from the red
EXT. CAMDEN BATTLEFIELD - DAY
Every single man in the Patriot front rank takes a massive
musket ball into or through his body...
Those in the second rank who are not killed by the balls
passing through the men in front, are blinded by a shower
of blood, flesh and shards of shattered bone...
Chaos... no advance... no retreat... nothing to do but
EXT. CAMDEN HILLSIDE - DAY
Martin and Gabriel see the blue line start to break up.
The SOUND OF THE BRITISH MUSKETS reaches them like the
pattering of rain. The SMOKE OF INEFFECTIVE, SCATTERED
VOLLEYS erupts from the Patriot lines. The red line holds
Send them to cover! Goddamn you!
But the blue line stays in the open field.
EXT. REDCOAT COMMAND POSITION - DAY
Cornwallis, his eyes scanning, taking in every detail of
the battle, sits on horseback with his staff officers,
including Tavington. With speed, efficiency and
surprising calmness, he gives orders to waiting riders.
Second Foot, wheel right, advance
Cornwallis points. The riders gallop off to deliver the
Second Brigade, Horse, charge at
(another rider goes)
Colonel Tavington, have at their
With pleasure, sir.
Tavington smiles grimly and gallops off to join his men.
EXT. CAMDEN HILLSIDE - DAY
Martin and Gabriel watch as fast moving green and red
masses move quickly onto the battlefield. Cavalry.
Father, we have to do something...
Martin shakes his head, still holding Gabriel's reins
EXT. CAMDEN BATTLEFIELD - DAY
The British cavalry THUNDERS into what's left of the
Patriot lines. Redcoats and Green Dragoons, armed with
sabers, hack and slash at the wounded, disoriented
One Patriot dismounts a Redcoat only to have another
Redcoat cut him open from behind...
Behind the cavalry, Redcoat infantry, including a BRIGADE
OF AFRICAN REDCOATS, advancing at a run, bayonets
One after another Patriot is knocked to the ground and
trampled by the cavalry. The SCREAMS CONTINUE...
EXT. CAMDEN HILLSIDE - DAY
Martin and Gabriel see tiny bits of blue moving in every
direction, away from the masses of red and green.
It's already over.
Martin turns his horse and heads down the hill, toward the
rear of the Patriot lines. Behind them, the colors swirl
and dance silently on the distant field.
EXT. AMERICAN ENCAMPMENT - NIGHT
A nightmare. SCREAMS OF AGONY. A few hundred battered,
Patriot survivors treat their wounded and prepare to move
Martin and Gabriel ride into camp, passing nervous
sentries. They dismount and walk past a field surgery
which is surrounded by pools of blood and amputated legs
Gabriel notices something, stops and picks up a tattered
flag, Old Glory, covered with blood and mud and nearly
torn to bits. A battered, WOUNDED CONTINENTAL limps by,
seeing Gabriel trying to piece the flag together.
Don't bother, it's a lost cause.
Gabriel considers the words, then sees Martin near HARRY
LEE, who is at a make-shift command post, barking orders,
trying to pull things together. Gabriel stuffs the flag
into his haversack and hurries over.
Lieutenant, detail men for
outriders. We move out as soon as
the wounded are ready.
The Lieutenant rushes off. Lee notices Martin and
Gabriel. He jerks his head for them to follow him into:
LEE'S COMMAND TENT
Dark. Once out of sight of the men, Lee loses his command
bearing. Exhausted, he leans on his campaign table.
I'm sorry I wasn't here for this.
There's nothing you could have done,
Gates is a damned fool.
I begged him to stay in the cover of
the trees but he insisted the only
way to break Cornwallis was muzzle-
to-muzzle. Too many years in the
Where is he now?
Last anyone saw, riding hard,
northeast, his staff a hundred yards
behind, trying to catch up.
Who's in command?
I am, I think.
What are my orders?
Lee gives Martin a tired smile.
Why the change of heart?
Green Dragoons came to my home,
killed my son, Thomas. It was
Lee winces and looks at Martin with silent sympathy.
then, taking his cue from Martin's hard expression, Lee
steps over to his campaign table and ROLLS OUT A MAP.
We're a breath away from losing this
war. In the North, Washington is
reeling from Valley Forge, running
and hiding from Clinton and twelve
Here in the South, Cornwallis has
broken our back. He captured over
five thousand of our troops when he
took Charleston and today he
destroyed the only army that stood
between him and New York.
So now Cornwallis will head north,
link up with Clinton and finish off
Unless we can keep Cornwallis in the
South until the French arrive... a
fleet and ten thousand troops.
Fall, six months at the earliest.
And you're sure the French are
A VOICE speaks up out a dark corner of the tent.
JEAN DELANCEY steps out of the shadows. He's about
Martin's age and wears a French major's uniform.
Benjamin Martin, Major Jean
DeLancey, French Seventh Light Foot.
DeLancey nods coolly to Martin.
I know him by reputation.
Gabriel notes the comment. Martin ignores it. DeLancey
stabs the map with his finger.
The bigger problem is not if or when
my countrymen will arrive, but
where. Our Admiral de Grasse will
not sail north of your Chesapeake
Bay for fear of early storms.
So you're going to try to keep
Cornwallis in the South until then.
Not me, you and Major DeLancey. I'm
going north with every Continental
I can find to reinforce Washington
or he won't last six weeks.
Martin turns to DeLancey.
How many men do you have?
DeLancey motions to himself. Martin turns back to Lee.
You expect Cornwallis to be held
here by militia?
Held, slowed down...
They're not soldiers, they're
farmers. And you're asking them to
hold a tiger in their backyard.
They'd be better off letting it move
They'd be better off, but the cause
How many men does Cornwallis have
under his command?
Four thousand infantry and around
six hundred cavalry...
... including the Green Dragoons
Martin and Lee lock eyes. Martin nods. Lee quickly
I'm giving you a field commission as
He hands the order to Martin.
I'd like you to transfer my son,
here, into my command...
Sir, no I...
Colonel Lee, I believe I can do more
good detailed to you...
Martin and Lee simultaneously turn to Gabriel with a
double-barreled glare. Gabriel backs down.
EXT. AMERICAN ENCAMPMENT - EVENING
Martin, Gabriel and DeLancey stand watching Lee and his
Continental regulars move out. Gabriel turns to Martin.
I've been doing this for two years.
I'm the best scout in the
Continental Army, the best horseman,
the best shot, the best scavenger.
Is that so?
Yes, sir. I could be of better
service with the regulars.
Martin looks at Gabriel closely. DeLancey listens.
Where'd you learn all those things,
My father taught me.
He teach you humility?
He tried. It didn't take.
Well, he did teach you every deer
path and swamp trail between here
and Charleston, which is why he
asked for your transfer.
Not to keep an eye on me?
Martin mounts up, having lost patience with Gabriel's
personal concerns. He turns to DeLancey.
Can you ride?
DeLancey looks at Martin with a tolerant expression that
says, with perfect clarity, "What the fuck do you think?"
DeLancey mounts up. Martin shrugs.
We put out the word. We'll start
along the south side of the
We'd cover more ground if we split
Martin holds his temper.
It's safer if we stay together.
So I was right?
Martin sighs, his anger dissipating. He rolls his eyes.
Alright, Corporal, you take
Bennington, Harrisville, Acworth and
the farms along Black Swamp. Major
DeLancey and I will take the north
side of the river. We'll meet at
They mount up.
... be careful.
Martin shakes his head at Gabriel's pigheadedness and they
ride off. As they go, Martin turns to DeLancey.
You have children?
DeLancey, stone-faced, pointedly does not answer. Martin
notes that and shuts up. They ride on.
EXT. BRITISH FIELD HEADQUARTERS - CAMDEN - DAY
A massive British army field encampment. Large
detachments of Redcoats march through endless rows of
tents. Some are battle-worn, others are fresh troops
TAVINGTON and his GREEN DRAGOONS, covered with dirt and
sweat, ride in. Tavington and Wilkins peel off,
dismounting in front of an elegant mansion that has been
commandeered for British headquarters. They stride in.
INT. CORNWALLIS' HEADQUARTERS - CAMDEN MANSION - DAY
British officers, clerks and aides work. They're in good
spirits. Tavington and Wilkins enter. LORD CORNWALLIS, a
proud man, comfortable with command, coldly notes one of
his officers slapping Tavington on the back.
Tavington rolls out a map for Cornwallis. The officers
Colonel Tavington, this is not an
We have better coming on the
trailing supply convoy from
A useful place for our maps.
Tavington swallows his anger.
I'm sorry, sir. It won't happen
See that it doesn't. Gentlemen,
celebration is premature. We have a
difficult campaign ahead of us. We
are in predominately hostile country
and we cannot rely on forage. As we
move north, the bulk of our supplies
will reach us by sea, through
Charleston, which will give us a
long and vulnerable supply line, one
that can only be secured if the
locals are loyal to the crown.
Nonetheless, and I speak
specifically to you, Colonel
Tavington, we must remember that
this is a civil war...
Tavington proudly holds Cornwallis' look.
These colonials are our brethren and
when this conflict is over, we will
be reestablishing commerce with
them. Surrendering troops will be
given quarter and unwarranted
assaults on civilians will cease.
Wilkins shifts uneasily. Tavington isn't cowed.
I expect this war to be fought in a
vigorous but civilized manner.
Cornwallis looks at his other officers.
Have I made myself clear, gentlemen?
Cornwallis shifts his eyes back to Tavington who was not
among those who spoke. Tavington pointedly pauses a
moment, then says:
Cornwallis turns his attention back to the map. His men
gather around. Tavington seethes.
EXT. CORNWALLIS' FIELD HEADQUARTERS - CAMDEN - DAY
Tavington and Wilkins walk out.
Hmmm, that was unpleasant.
Did you know that Lord Cornwallis'
father was a tenant on the estate of
Wilkins laughs uneasily. Tavington rides off. Wilkins
INT. CHURCH - PEMBROKE - DAY
REV. OLIVER, a stern and sturdy man of the cloth,
addresses his flock, among whom are Mr. and Mrs. Howard;
Anne; and DAN SCOTT and ROB FIELDING, decent craftsmen.
Gabriel slips in and sits in the rear pew.
... and so those of us who call
ourselves Patriots must ask
ourselves first, how best we might
serve the Lord, knowing that service
to Him is rendered here on earth.
Ask yourself if it is possible to
forsake righteousness in the pursuit
of justice and freedom...
And end up like those men outside?
All eyes turn to Gabriel.
Your liberty is in jeopardy, more
dire than that which threatens your
HARDWICK skeptically shakes his head and jerks his head
out toward the hanging bodies.
If King George can hang those men
out there, he can hang any of us.
If enough of you come with me and
serve in the Patriot militia, you
won't have to be afraid of King
I do fear King George and know of no
reason why I should test him.
A light, female voice speaks out:
Liberty, that's the reason.
They all turn to see Anne. A few of the men roll their
eyes at her earnestness. Gabriel looks at her
appreciatively. Her father is surprised but guardedly
proud as she continues.
If we let the Redcoats take away our
God-given rights, then we serve
neither God, nor ourselves, we serve
only King George.
Silence. Rev. Oliver locks his eyes on Anne who withers a
I'm sorry, Reverend...
Don't be. I couldn't have said it
Rev. Oliver takes off his clerical robe, revealing a South
Carolina militia uniform.
As I was saying, we must ask
ourselves how best we might serve
here on earth.
A moment. Dan Scott stands. Another moment. Rob
Fielding stands. Another moment. Hardwick stands.
Gabriel nods, pleased, then steals a quick, appreciative
glance at Anne.
EXT. BRADFORD CROSSROADS - NIGHT
Martin and DeLancey ride slowly into town which is little
more than a crossroads -- an inn, a trading post, a livery
stable and a few shacks and tents. The people they pass
shoot suspicious glares at them. As they stop in front of
the Boar's Head Inn and Tavern, DeLancey looks around.
What sort of recruits will you find
INT. BOAR'S HEAD TAVERN - NIGHT
Dark. Smoke-filled. Ominous. A dozen coarse, heavily
armed, grizzled men drink at rough-hewn tables in the
filthy tavern. Among them are BROTHER RANDOLPH, a Native-
American; DANVERS, a one-armed hard-looking man; and
OCCAM, a strong-looking, gently-eyed African.
Martin and DeLancey walk in and stop at the door, met by
cold, hard glares from every man in the place. DeLancey
speaks quietly to Martin, unheard by the patrons:
You are sure this is the right place
Martin steps forward and calls out loudly:
GOD SAVE KING GEORGE!
Every man in the place rises, glaring viciously at Martin
and DeLancey. Martin turns to DeLancey.
We're in the right place.
INT. BOAR'S HEAD TAVERN - LATER
Martin sits at a table, writing out enlistment scripts.
The rough men are gathered around, drinking, smoking,
No scalp money, but you can keep or
sell back to me the muskets and gear
of any Redcoat you kill. Twenty
shillings a kit.
Brother Joseph nods, takes a script. JOHN BILLINGS, a
big, grizzled man about Martin's age steps up to the
You expect to hold Cornwallis with
Martin looks up with a thin, familiar smile.
John Billings... been some time.
Trust you and Harry Lee. Remember
that damned overland you two thought
up in '62 to hit Fort Louis?
Billings nods and takes a drink. He trades bottle for
script with Martin who drinks as Billings signs. ROLLINS,
a huge, beast of a man sits with his feral, red-haired,
freckle-faced, six-year-old son at his side. Rollins
spits a huge hocker of tobacco juice onto the floor.
Twenty shillings kit bounty...
that's like to get me near rich.
Danvers steps up, takes the bottle from Martin and drinks.
My brother got hanged down to
Acworth. A pissant Redcoat
lieutenant said he'll kill me if I
cut him down... he's all swelled up.
(holds up his stump)
I ain't no good to you, but you can
have my negro, here, fight in my
Occam is startled to hear that.
Bring him back if you can, if not,
so long's you make them pay.
Martin nods and drinks, as do the others, including
EXT. SNOW'S ISLAND - SANTEE SWAMPS - NIGHT
A CACOPHONY OF BIRDS AND INSECTS. Swamp maples and
willows form a canopy over moss-covered mounds and pools
of plant-choked water. Gabriel leads several men, riding
along a dry path that snakes through the swamp. They
cross a narrow land bridge onto a wooded island where
Martin and a dozen-and-a-half coarse-looking men are
CLOSE SHOT: Several of Thomas' brightly painted LEAD
SOLDIERS MELT in a cast-iron pan.
Gabriel steps up behind Martin and watches as he pours the
lead into a bullet mold.
This war is about more than Thomas.
How many did you get?
Martin glances at the new arrivals as Gabriel looks over
at the knot of coarse men Martin got. Occam sits apart
from the coarse men, gripping a Bible. Gabriel doesn't
That's not the sort we need.
That's just the sort we need.
Martin closes the lid of the bullet mold and dips it into
a bucket of water which HISSES and STEAMS. Billings and
If you're here only for revenge,
you're doing a disservice to Thomas
as well as yourself.
How old are you?
You know how old I am.
God help us all when you're forty.
Martin takes the still hot bullets from the mold and puts
them in a pouch attached to his weapons' belt. Gabriel
shakes his head and heads off to tend his horse.
What about me? Am I one of that
You're the sort that gives that sort
a bad name.
Billings considers that and takes a drink.
Put away the bottle. We move out in
EXT. SWAMP ROAD - DAY
A raised road through the dark swamp. Only mottled
sunlight pierces the canopy. INSECTS BUZZ.
A British supply train of several dozen wagons, a herd of
horses and accompanying Redcoats makes its way down the
In the darkness of the swamps on either side of the road,
shadowed figures, obscured by the mud, water and foliage,
All is still... a BIRD SCREECHES...
BOTH SIDES OF THE ROAD ERUPTS IN MUSKET FIRE...
Perfectly aimed SHOTS... fired by unseen men hidden deep
within the swamp...
First the REDCOAT MEN OF RANK FALL, a captain, a
lieutenant, two sergeants... then the corporals...
Then, the SLAUGHTER of the privates begins...
They try to gather themselves for a volley but the
WITHERING CROSSFIRE is relentless...
A few Redcoats get off SHOTS to no effect and those who
fire are immediately targeted and KILLED...
It's a battle with ghosts, that cannot be won by the
Down to a dozen Redcoats, most with spent muskets...
No chance... they ABANDON THE WAGONS AND FLEE, back down
Only to find their way suddenly BLOCKED by...
MARTIN AND A PHALANX of the roughest of his men, standing
directly in their path in the middle of the road...
Martin raises his tomahawk and CHARGES, followed closely
by Billings, DeLancey, Brother Randolph and others...
They wade into the terrified Redcoats, FIRING at POINT
BLANK range, HACKING at them with tomahawk and sword and
At the wagons, Gabriel, Rev. Oliver, Scott and others
scramble up onto the road...
Watch, stunned, at the viciousness with which Martin and
his cohort SLAUGHTER the Redcoats...
Two Redcoats left... about to throw down their weapons...
DeLancey and Billings race up to them and HACK THEM TO
DEATH, DeLancey using his sword, Billings his massive
Gabriel and Rev. Oliver are appalled.
Too late... the REDCOATS FALL... ALL DEAD...
SILENCE... everyone stops where they stand, catching their
breath... surveying the scene through a hovering cloud of
Father! Those men were about to
Billings laughs. DeLancey shrugs.
Perhaps. We shall never know, shall
That angers Gabriel, Rev. Oliver and the civilized men
That was murder!
Martin looks around at the carnage.
A delicate distinction...
He sees that his brigade has divided into two hostile
... but in the future wounded and
surrendering British soldiers will
be given quarter.
I piss on your delicate
The men all stop.
A British man-of-war made no such
"distinction," when it fired on a
packet carrying my wife and
All eyes turn to DeLancey.
I stood on a bark, two hundred yards
off, watching as they were burned
You have my sympathy, but the order
Piss on your sympathy. Who are you
to give such an order? I know what
you and your men did at Fort Charles
to my countrymen.
Gabriel notes the comment.
I'm the commanding officer of this
brigade. This is militia, not
regular army. Every man here comes
and goes as he pleases, but while
he's here, he follows my orders.
DeLancey calmly leans down and uses the coat of the man he
just killed to wipe the blood from the blade of his sword.
I serve at my pleasure. I do not
serve under you.
He grips his sword. All eyes shift to Martin for his
response. Martin, holding his bloody tomahawk, locks eyes
with DeLancey. A tense moment.
A COMMOTION OF BARKING DOGS AND YELLING MEN draws their
attention. The stand-off breaks. DeLancey nods.
And it is my pleasure to give
quarter to wounded and surrendering
British soldiers... for the time
That's good enough for Martin. He strides over toward the
wagons where he finds Billings cowering before TWO HUGE
GREAT DANES, standing guard at one of the wagons.
Shoot them! Shoot the damn things!
Rollins prepares to do so.
Put that pistol down!
They followed us from the bridge.
They won't let anyone near the
Martin steps forward, speaking softly but firmly to the
Stay... stay... stay...
The dogs waver between obeying Martin and ripping out his
Don't you growl at me!
The dogs decide to obey. Martin lets them sniff his hand,
then firmly pats them.
Now let's see what's in this wagon.
Several of the men check out the wagons. Billings eases
past the dogs. Scott opens a large case and finds it
filled with bottles.
Rum, French Champagne, Madeira,
No wonder they were guarding it.
Gabriel opens a trunk and finds it filled with powdered
wigs, all perfectly coifed and stored on head-shaped wig-
stands. Rev. Oliver opens one of several identical cases
and finds it filled with papers.
My heavens, personal correspondence
of... Lord Cornwallis.
Martin grabs some papers, scans them, then finds matching
cases on nearby wagons.
These four wagons must be his.
And the dogs, too, I'll wager.
I say we drink the wine, shoot the
dogs, and use the papers for musket
His journals, letters, maps,
Scott calls from another wagon.
Colonel, we got a wagon full of
officer's uniforms and more powder
and muskets here.
Ignoring Scott, Martin grabs another handful of the papers
and starts to read.
EXT. SNOW'S ISLAND ENCAMPMENT - NIGHT
CAMERA MOVES through the encampment as Martin's men take
inventory of the British wagons. The coarse men are
drunkenly celebrating: drinking Cornwallis' champagne and
fine wine; trying on his magnificent dress uniforms;
wearing his wigs askew; sniffing his perfumes; playing
catch with a crystal vase.
Gabriel sits at a different campfire, ham-handedly trying
to repair the TATTERED OLD GLORY with a needle and thread.
The civilized men and DeLancey take inventory, casting
side-long glances at the coarse men. DeLancey is mostly
interested in the weapons.
... two-hundred-sixty-six Brown Bess
muskets, forty-one casks of powder,
Rev. Oliver writes it down.
We have enough arms for an army.
Now all we need is an army.
Rollins, clutching a bottle of champagne, wearing a
powdered wig askew, staggers over, jerking his head toward
That's his job... French army,
sometime 'fore this is all over,
In time, trust me, in time.
Martin sits apart from the men at Cornwallis' ornate,
folding campaign desk, reading Cornwallis' journal,
surrounded by Cornwallis' field gear which includes
furniture, music boxes, oil paintings and an elaborate
folding commode. Martin's old boots stand empty while he
wears a new, distinctive pair, apparently from Cornwallis'
baggage. The TWO GREAT DANES sit nearby, eyeing Martin
EXT. SNOW'S ISLAND - DAWN
The men are beginning to stir, gathering around the
campfires, cooking, using pots, pans and other gear from
the stolen British wagons.
Martin hasn't moved. He still reads Cornwallis' journal.
Finally, he looks up, sees that it's dawn, stretches and
walks over to a campfire where Billings, DeLancey and Rev.
Oliver cook. The dogs follow at a distance.
Gabriel sews, having made a bit, but only a bit, of
progress with the badly damaged Old Glory.
I've just been inside the mind of a
genius. Lord Cornwallis knows more
about war than I could in a dozen
Cheerful news to greet the morn.
His victories at Charleston and
Camden were perfect, strategically,
tactically, logistically. But he
has a weakness.
They all turn to Martin.
Lord Cornwallis is brilliant. His
weakness is that he knows it.
Pride is his weakness.
The men consider that.
Personally, I'd would prefer
Pride will do.
BEGIN MONTAGE: Series of shots as follows:
-- A VOLLEY OF MUSKET FIRE erupts from some thick
underbrush, cutting down half of a squadron of Redcoats
on the march. The surviving Redcoats FIRE BACK into
the trees at unseen targets to little effect.
-- Martin rides with about fifty men.
-- A British supply convoy makes its way through the
woods. Suddenly, Martin's men appear, rising up from
the ground as if by magic, having been camouflaged by
leaves and brush. They OPEN FIRE on the convoy escort,
which holds for a moment, then flees.
-- Martin rides with about seventy-five men.
-- Cornwallis finishes reading a dispatch and furiously
flings it across the room.
-- Martin rides with about one hundred men.
-- A Redcoat nails a wanted poster to a post. It reads:
"Reward Offered: For the capture or death of the rebel
known as 'The Swamp Fox'".
-- Snow's Island. Martin and his men do an inventory of a
large haul of stolen British supply wagons. The booty
includes dozens of BRASS MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS, some of
which Martin's men BLARE in celebration.
-- A column of wounded Redcoats limps into a village, past
the watchful eyes of some townsmen, among whom are
DRAKE AND CHRISTOPHER. The two Americans exchange a
-- Martin rides with about one-hundred-fifty men. Among
them, now, are Drake and Christopher.
-- The wanted poster is torn off the post. PULL BACK to
reveal Martin, crumpling it up and throwing it onto the
-- Martin, Gabriel, and some of the other men watch as the
flaming supports of a BURNING WOODEN BRIDGE collapse
into a river.
-- A seething Cornwallis stands at the same spot, looking
at the charred, now cooled, remains of the bridge.
Cornwallis angrily mounts up and rides off. His
contrite staff officers mount up and follow.
-- Snow's Island. Martin sits with his muddy feet on
Cornwallis' campaign desk, reading Cornwallis' journal,
with Cornwallis' Great Danes at his side.
EXT. CAMDEN PLANTATION - NIGHT
A gorgeous plantation built on the edge of a river. A
ball is beginning on the terraced lawn. Beyond, on the
banks of the river, Cornwallis' army is encamped. Two
ships are docked. One, the YORK, is being unloaded. The
other, the BRISTOL, waits.
At the house, a line of OPULENT CARRIAGES discharges well-
dressed passengers. Ladies in their finery. Patrician
husbands. Redcoat and Green Dragoon officers in
magnificent dress uniforms.
INT. CORNWALLIS' PERSONAL QUARTERS - EVENING
A valet scurries. A distressed, half-dressed Cornwallis
looks at his reflection in a full-length mirror.
Tavington watches, hiding his amusement. A SECOND VALET
hurries in with an elaborate dress coat.
Finished, sir! I took it in at the
back... added wider epaulets... a
court sash here... cross braiding to
the waist... lion buttons... looped
gold braid on the cuffs...
Cornwallis examines the coat.
A horse blanket.
It's really quite nice, sir.
It's a nice horse blanket.
Where did you get that braiding?
The nervous Valet grips the coat and stumbles over his
answer. The other valet begins powdering Cornwallis' wig.
Colonel Tavington, why am I here?
For the ball, sir? I believe you
find them amusing.
Why, after six weeks, am I still
here to attend a ball in South
Carolina. By now, I should be
attending balls in North Carolina.
Our supply line, sir?
Excellent guess, Colonel.
First my personal baggage, then half
the bridges and ferries between here
and Charleston burned, a dozen
convoys attacked. Colonel, if you
can't secure our supply line against
militia, how do you expect to do so
against Colonial regulars or the
French when they come?
Sir, they're not like regulars, we
can't find them and we don't know
when or where they're going to
How impolite. And who leads these
clever, secretive fellows?
We don't know, sir. He's called,
the Commander by some, the Swamp Fox
Colonel, I'm a civilized man but I'm
finding to difficult to remain
civil. Secure my supply line.
Cornwallis gazes at his half-dressed reflection.
Somewhere in the wilderness a well-
dressed Colonial stands, looking at
his magnificent reflection in the
still waters of a rustic pond,
thumbing his nose at me.
Give me that horse blanket.
EXT. CAMDEN PLANTATION HOUSE - NIGHT
CORNWALLIS steps to a CURTAIN-EDGED DOORWAY, attended by
his staff officers. He looks out at the ball, lit by
hundreds of candles, torches and lanterns which bath the
scene in soft, golden light.
Among the guests is a patrician, his face unseen, standing
casually within earshot, looking the other direction,
wearing a distinctive pair of boots.
Two of Cornwallis' subordinate officers walk by with
lovely Colonial women on their arms. Both of the officers
wear dress uniforms that put Cornwallis' slap-dash
creation to shame. Cornwallis deflates, then sees the
ships being unloaded.
Major Halbert, our supply ships are
docked. Why am I wearing these
Cornwallis shoots a glare to Halbert.
I, uh, understand and it has the
loveliest creations for you from the
finest Charleston tailors.
The finest Charleston tailors, how
Cornwallis notices the BRAIDING ON THE CURTAIN next to
him. To his horror, it matches the braiding on his dress
coat, and worse, a two-foot portion of the curtain's
braiding is missing. Cornwallis grimaces and skitters
away from the curtain in as dignified a manner as he can
As he goes he comes face-to-face with the patrician who
turns, revealing Martin. They have an instant of eye
contact before Cornwallis moves on. Cornwallis senses
something familiar about Martin's boots and looks back
curiously, then continues off.
MARTIN steps over to a low balustrade and looks out at the
docks, seeing the York tied up on the right side of the
dock. He lifts a lantern and places it on the right side
EXT. CAMDEN RIVER - NIGHT
SPYGLASS IMAGE of Martin placing the lantern. The
spyglass is lowered and we see Billings in a small rowboat
with several of Martin's men including Gabriel, DeLancey,
Rev. Oliver, all dressed in Redcoat uniforms. Billings
points to the ship on the right, the York. They row in
Some sentries on the ship glance at them, see their
uniforms, then move on.
The rowboat pulls up alongside the ship, now unseen in the
shadows below the curve of the hull. Gabriel takes a leg
up from Rev. Oliver and pulls himself into an open cannon
port. DeLancey hands him a gunpowder cask. Gabriel
disappears inside the ship.
EXT. CAMDEN PLANTATION HOUSE - NIGHT
Cornwallis speaks with some staff officers and loyalist
civilians, among whom are Simms and the spectacular MRS.
TALBOT, and her toady of a husband, MR. TALBOT.
No! The beasts took your dogs, as
Fine animals, a gift from His
Majesty. Dead now, for all I know.
Is there no decency?
Cornwallis sadly shakes his head.
And the rebels still bedevil your
Cornwallis puffs up a bit.
A minor irritation... merely
militia. I have already...
A MASSIVE EXPLOSION LIGHTS UP THE NIGHT as the York erupts
in a huge FIREBALL. British officers, including
Tavington, RUSH OVER.
Simms turns to an astonished Cornwallis.
A minor irritation?
Cornwallis looks out at the fireball with silent fury.
EXT. CAMDEN RIVER - NIGHT
Martin's men row away from the burning ship. A SECONDARY
EXPLOSION bursts from the York in the background.
EXT. CAMDEN PLANTATION HOUSE - NIGHT
More British officers and Loyalist civilians crowd the
balustrade, watching the York. Yes ANOTHER EXPLOSION on
the York sends up a FIREBALL which arches over the docks
and disappears into the open hatch of the Bristol. An
instant later, the BRISTOL EXPLODES.
CORNWALLIS sees that and nearly explodes himself. He
turns to Tavington and barks:
Colonel Tavington, to horse. See if
you can run down these insolent
Tavington hurries off the balcony, passing an oblivious
Loyalist women who steps out from the house, sees the
fireball and smiles gleefully.
Oh, fireworks! Lovely!
Martin, with a thin smile, walks unnoticed past a seething
Cornwallis and disappears into the shadows.
EXT. PEMBROKE - DAY
Martin and his brigade ride into Pembroke. Townspeople
greet them. Gabriel scans the crowd as he dismounts,
looking for someone.
EXT. ANNE'S HOUSE - EVENING
CLOSE SHOT: A hand knocks on a door. PULL BACK as Mr.
Howard, Anne's father, on his crutches, opens the door and
finds Gabriel standing there with a bouquet. Anne, behind
her father, looks up from cooking, embarrassed and pleased
to see Gabriel.
Mr. Howard. I've come to call on
Mr. Howard looks Gabriel up and down, keeping him on the
spit for a moment. Then he nods for Gabriel to enter.
INT. KITCHEN - HOWARD HOUSE - NIGHT
Gabriel holds his hands out for Anne's mother to wind her
yarn while Anne sits nearby, searching for conversation
under the watchful gazes of her parents.
Is it getting warmer?
Yes. I think it is. I think it
will be an early spring this year...
unless it's late.
Silence. Anne self-consciously pours tea for her parents
and her guest. She serves her parents first, then
Thank you, Anne.
He takes a sip. Savors it and nods appreciatively.
It's very good.
I'm pleased that you like it.
He smiles, revealing a mouth full of black teeth.
INT. ANNE'S BEDROOM - HOWARD HOUSE - NIGHT
Gabriel lies stiffly on one side of Anne's bed while her
mother carefully sews him into a body-sized "bundling
bag," a courtship ritual of the period.
With Anne looking on, embarrassed, her mother finishes the
last few stitches, completely enclosing Gabriel, with only
his head sticking out of the heavy, canvas bag.
Anne's mother gathers up her sewing kit and joins her
husband who looks on sternly from the doorway.
You needn't worry, father.
Anne's parents leave them alone, taking their candle,
plunging the room into near darkness.
Gabriel stiffly lies back on the bed. Anne stiffly lies
next to him. Silence. They look at the ceiling. They
both choke back titters of laughter. Then the dam breaks.
They laugh together at the craziness of the ritual.
INT. ANNE'S PARENT'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Dark. Anne's parents lie in bed listening. Through the
wall they can her the MURMURED JABBERING of Gabriel and
Anne talking and laughing a mile a minute in the adjacent
bedroom. They exchange a look. Mr. Howard is worried.
Don't worry. I sew better than my
Less than reassured, Mr. Howard eases down into his bed
with his wife.
EXT. PEMBROKE VILLAGE SQUARE - DAY
Martin's men water their horses and take supplies from the
townspeople while Martin, with the two Great Danes at his
side, talks with Mr. Howard.
... four baskets of apples, salt
pork, sweet potatoes, jerky, hard
tack, salt and powder, gun and
We can't pay for this...
You pay me what you can, when you
Martin thanks him with a handshake. They see, on the
other side of the square, Gabriel and Anne talking
intimately, apart from everyone. Howard smiles and gives
a little rough laugh.
He reminds me of you before you got
old and ugly.
No, he takes after his mother...
Howard is taken aback by the gentleness of Martin's words.
... the younger ones barely remember
her but Gabriel spent more time with
Elizabeth... she taught him well,
guided him, she was his North Star
... Gabriel's already a better man
than I could ever hope to be...
You ever told him that?
Martin looks at Howard as if he were crazy. Then he
shakes himself out of it and adopts a coarse, joking tone.
What do you mean, old and ugly?
You got me beat on both accounts.
The hell I do.
Martin mount up, grateful to leave the sincerity behind.
Gabriel and Anne sees Martin and his men starting to ride
off. He grabs Anne by the arm, pulls her behind a tree
and gives her a goodbye kiss... a real kiss.
Then, leaving Anne breathless, he RUNS TO HIS HORSE,
MOUNTS WITH A DRAMATIC LEAP and GALLOPS OFF, taking his
place at his father's side.
Martin looks over. Gabriel smiles, revealing his
blackened teeth. Martin looks at the teeth curiously as
they ride away.
ANNE and the other townspeople watch them go. Anne
smiles, revealing her own teeth, blackened from Gabriel's
EXT. CHARLESTON ROAD - DAY
Martin his men sit on their motionless horses in the
middle of the road. They hear a SOUND APPROACHING, then
see two British wagons round a curve with a guard of only
SIX REDCOATS, commanded by a REDCOAT SERGEANT. The
Redcoat Sergeant signals stop.
Halt. Look alive, boys.
The young Redcoat privates nervously UNSHOULDER THEIR
Sergeant, this road is closed.
Those wagons now belong to the
Ready arms! By twos!
Martin's surprised by the Sergeant's order.
Sergeant, there's no reason for you
and your men to die. Just leave the
wagons and go.
Martin sighs and lets loose with a PIERCING WHISTLE. The
underbrush parts and more of Martin's men show themselves,
MUSKETS LEVELED at the outnumbered Redcoats.
This is the King's highway and I
advise you and your men to make way.
(to his men)
Prepare to fire.
Martin exchanges a look with Rev. Oliver who, like Martin,
doesn't want to kill these men. Seeing no other option,
Martin turns to give the order, then stops, hearing a
FAINT BARELY DETECTABLE, RUMBLING SOUND...
A moment later Brother Joseph hears it as well... HORSES
HOOVES, LOTS OF THEM, growing louder by the second,
THUNDERING toward them from the road behind the British
Then, the SOUND OF MORE HORSES, coming in fast on both
It's a trap...
The canvas sides of the British wagons are THROWN UP and
DOZENS OF REDCOATS, armed with muskets, spill out...
Martin's unmounted men run to their horses, LEAPING into
Then GREEN DRAGOONS appear, galloping down the wooded
slopes on both flanks, astonishing horsemen, weaving
through the trees without slacking their pace, SWORDS
DRAWN, PISTOLS PRIMED...
A THUNDEROUS VOLLEY ERUPTS from the Redcoat infantry,
KILLING several of Martin's men...
Martin's men FIRE BACK from their BUCKING MOUNTS, most of
their shots going awry...
Behind the British wagons, a huge detachment of GREEN
DRAGOONS appears, TAVINGTON among them...
MARTIN SEES THE DRAGOONS BUT NOT TAVINGTON HIMSELF...
MARTIN AND HIS MEN spur their mounts, taking off down the
road in the opposite direction...
The FLANKING BODIES OF DRAGOONS gallop out of the woods,
JOINING THE MAIN BODY, riding in hard pursuit...
EXT. WOODED ROAD - DAY
Martin and his men GALLOP down the road. The much larger
body of Green Dragoons THUNDER after them.
EXT. BLACK SWAMP ROAD - DAY
Martin and his men ride along a raised road that drops off
into Black Swamp on either side...
They ROUND A CURVE AND STOP, reining back their horses in
confusion as they see:
FIFTY GREEN DRAGOONS heading straight toward them...
THE DRAGOONS OPEN FIRE from both directions, KILLING
several more of Martin's men, WOUNDING others...
Martin's men FIRE BACK as best they can, caught in the
CHAOS OF BUCKING AND FALLING HORSES and WOUNDED AND
Martin and his men head off both sides of the road INTO
ON THE ROAD a dozen-and-a-half of Martin's men are
surrounded by Green Dragoons... they surrender...
The rest of the Green Dragoons, including Tavington, spur
their horses into the swamps, racing after Martin...
EXT. BLACK SWAMP - LATE AFTERNOON
MARTIN AND HIS MEN RIDE HARD along a circuitous, barely
visible trail that is covered with shallow water. Several
of the men are badly wounded, barely clinging to their
saddles. Other men share mounts.
They get to a fork, SPLIT UP. As they disappear into the
swamp, the sounds of their horses are swallowed up in the
LOUD BUZZING OF SWAMP INSECTS and the CRIES OF THE SWAMP
A moment later, Tavington and the vanguard of Dragoons
ride up. Tavington signals stop at the fork...
Looks... nothing. Listens... nothing. Chooses a path,
the one Martin took. Rides off, the Dragoons following...
EXT. SWAMP MORASS - EVENING
Tavington and fifteen of his Dragoons struggle through a
nearly impassable morass of swamp-grass, reeds and
The exhausted Dragoons are wet, covered with mud, and
bleeding from swamp briars. The horses are spent and
Tavington struggles harder than any, but finally even he
has had enough. He reins back his horse.
Tavington glares into the impenetrable darkness of plant-
choked water and swamp...
Enough of this. There are other
ways to run down a fox.
Tavington yanks on his reins, turns his horse and starts
back the way they came. His grateful men turn their
horses and follow.
IN THE UNDERGROWTH, Martin and about ten of his men, calm
their horses. Several of the wounded men are on the
ground, being tended by Gabriel and others.
They can hear, but not see the Dragoons. Then, through
the thick undergrowth, MARTIN CATCHES A GLIMPSE OF
Gabriel sees his father lock his eyes on Tavington...
Martin quickly opens his weapons pouch and pulls out one
of the bullets he made from Thomas' lead soldiers.
Walking to his horse, Martin loads...
Martin mounts, scanning the terrain, planning a route...
As Martin spurs his horse to ride after Tavington, Gabriel
grabs the bridle. He YANKS HARD, stopping Martin's horse
dead. THE HORSE BUCKS, nearly throwing Martin...
That's him. Tavington.
MARTIN SPURS THE HORSE which tries to respond but is
JERKED BACK AGAIN by Gabriel. Martin angrily turns on his
Damn you! Let go!
Gabriel looks up at his father, never loosening his iron
grip on the bridles but speaking softly, almost
Martin looks down at Gabriel, then over at Rev. Oliver and
the wounded men... one bleeds from an ugly neck wound,
another is unconscious... their shared mounts are nearly
Martin takes a last look in the direction of the departing
Tavington. He drops the reins, giving control of the
horse to Gabriel, and sighs with more anger than
You should have let me kill him.
At the expense of your men? Or when
he killed Thomas at the expense of
Or perhaps tomorrow at the expense
of our cause.
Martin is silent. Then he dismounts and heads over to
help the wounded. Gabriel watches his father for a
moment, then joins him with the wounded.
EXT. FORT CAROLINA - DAY
A REDCOAT SENTRY sees a lone figure on horseback ride out
of distant woods. It's Martin, carrying a white flag and
a dispatch case, trailed by the two Great Danes. The
sentry calls to the Commander of the Watch.
INT. CORNWALLIS' HEADQUARTERS - FORT CAROLINA - DAY
A temporary HQ has been set up in a grand commandeered
plantation house. Cornwallis stands uncomfortably while a
incompetent-looking, provincial tailor measures him and
marks alterations on a partially completed uniform. Major
Halbert enters and hands Cornwallis Martin's dispatch
General, a rider is outside. He
claims to be the commander of the
rebel militia. He has a pair of
Great Danes with him.
A surprised Cornwallis takes the message and reads it.
It seems our Swamp Fox wants to have
a formal parley.
Cornwallis smiles confidently.
EXT. FORT CAROLINA - DAY
The gates are opened and Martin rides in, trailed by the
Great Danes, flanked by half-a-dozen Redcoat cavalry.
Redcoats and Green Dragoons stop in their tracks. All
eyes are on Martin as he is escorted to the plantation
From the far side of the assembly yard, Tavington watches
Martin curiously, not recognizing him.
INT. CORNWALLIS' HEADQUARTERS - DAY
Major Halbert ushers Martin in. The Great Danes follow
sniffing, sensing something or someone.
Lord Cornwallis will be with you
Major Halbert gives Martin a derisive glance and leaves.
MARTIN ALONE, EXCEPT FOR THE DOGS, allows himself a
fleeting smile. Then he looks around the room. He notes
a rocking chair. Curious, he hefts it. Too heavy. He
puts it down, sits and rocks.
The dogs walk over to him. One of the dogs lays its head
in Martin's lap. He scratches it behind the ears. The
other dog wants to play. Martin stands. The dog jumps
up, putting its front legs on Martin's shoulders and licks
his face just as Cornwallis walks in. Cornwallis is taken
aback by the display of affection, but overjoyed to see
The dogs just look at Cornwallis. He holds out his arms,
waiting for them to rush to him. They look up at Martin
who nods to them.
The dogs run to Cornwallis and nuzzle him in a friendly
but not enthusiastic manner. Cornwallis pats them
vigorously, too vigorously for the moderate level of joy
the dogs are showing at their reunion.
My boys... my boys... you seem to
have been well fed. Thank you for
My pleasure, sir.
Please forgive me for keeping you
Thank you, Colonel... I'm afraid I
don't know your name.
Colonel will do.
As you wish.
TAVINGTON ENTERS with four Dragoons, all armed...
Martin and Tavington lock eyes. Martin searches for some
sign that Tavington recognizes him. There's none.
Colonel... Colonel William
Martin, like ice, looks Tavington up and down. Then he
slowly turns and looks at the four Dragoons, two on either
side of Tavington. Martin measures the odds and finds
With a supreme effort of will, Martin forces himself to
turn from Tavington to Cornwallis and the matter at hand.
Shall we proceed?
Let us. Unless you object, I would
like to deem this meeting a formal
negotiation and, as such, there are
certain customary practices.
Perhaps I could explain them to
I'm familiar with how a formal
negotiation is handled.
I served in His Majesty's army in
the French and Indian War.
Oh. Very well, then. Would you, as
the initiating party, like to begin?
Unless you would like to claim
Cornwallis is surprised. He exchanges a look with
You are familiar with how these
things are done. In fact, I would
like to claim aggrieved status.
Very well, proceed, sir.
First, you have in your possession
certain belongings of mine,
including clothing, private papers,
furniture and personal effects of a
non-military nature which I would
like to have returned to me.
I will do so as soon as possible.
Cornwallis is surprised.
Please accept my apology for not
having done so sooner.
Apology accepted. Now, on the
matter of the specific targeting of
officers during engagements, this is
That one is a bit more difficult.
Certainly you must know that in
civilized warfare, officers in the
field must not be accorded
inappropriate levels of hostile
And what are inappropriate levels of
Colonel, imagine the utter chaos
that would result from un-led armies
having at each other. There must be
gentlemen in command to lead and,
when appropriate, restrain their
Restrain them from the targeting of
civilians, including women and
That is a separate issue.
I consider them linked.
I beg to differ. One is a command
decision on your part. The other
represents nothing more than the
occasional over-exuberance of field
officers attempting to carry out
their duty in difficult
As long as your soldiers attack
civilians, I will order the shooting
of your officers at the outset of
And my men are excellent marksmen.
Very well, let us move on to...
You have eighteen of my men. I want
I do have eighteen criminals under
sentence of death, but I hold no
If that's your position, then
eighteen of your officers will die.
Nineteen, if you hang me with my
Martin steps to the window, checks the view. A wooded
hillside is visible in the distance. Martin reaches into
The Dragoons move on him...
Martin extracts not a weapon, but a spyglass, which he
hands to Cornwallis.
In the clearing, just down from the
crest, to the left of the dark
Cornwallis looks through the spyglass.
VIEW THROUGH THE SPYGLASS
Though difficult to see clearly through the shimmering
haze, Cornwallis can just make out a row of bound Redcoat
officers, with Patriot soldiers holding muskets at their
CORNWALLIS turns coldly to Martin.
Their names, ranks and posts?
They refused to give me their names.
Their ranks are nine lieutenants,
five captains, three majors and one
fat colonel who called me a cheeky
fellow. Their posts? We picked
them up here-and-there last night.
Cornwallis glares at Martin.
You are not a gentleman.
Martin can't help but laugh at the insult.
If your conduct is the measure of a
gentleman, I take that as a
Get my men.
Cornwallis turns to Colonel Huntington.
Arrange the exchange.
Colonel Huntington leaves to do so.
Thank you, General. I'm sure your
officers will thank you, as well.
Martin salutes Cornwallis who doesn't return the salute.
THEN MARTIN TURNS TO TAVINGTON. He walks up to him and
looks him in the eye.
You don't remember me, do you?
Tavington examines Martin's face, finding him familiar,
but unable to place him... then Tavington remembers...
Ah, yes, that boy.
Tavington calmly holds Martin's glare.
Ugly business, doing one's duty.
Yes, ugly business, doing one's
Martin takes a step closer to Tavington, then speaks very
softly, very slowly, very clearly.
If you are alive when this war is
over, I'm going to kill you.
Martin locks his eyes on Tavington to make it perfectly
clear that he means what he says. Tavington tries to
cover his reaction but it's apparent that he's taken aback
by Martin's icy words.
Martin turns and walks out. The two Great Danes start to
follow, but Cornwallis SNAPS A COMMAND:
THE DOGS FREEZE, looking after Martin, who doesn't turn
back. The dogs reluctantly sidle over to Cornwallis'
EXT. ASSEMBLY YARD - FORT CAROLINA - DAY
Redcoats glare at Martin who sits, mounted, waiting. His
eighteen men are led out of the prison blockhouse and
directed to waiting horses. Surprised to be freed, they
CORNWALLIS AND TAVINGTON step out onto the front porch of
Cornwallis' headquarters and watch as Martin and his men
ride toward the gate.
THE TWO GREAT DANES, watch Martin from Cornwallis' side.
Cornwallis motions to the Redcoat Sentries to OPEN THE
GATES. They do so and Martin and his men, without
hurrying, ride out.
Then, just as the gates are closing behind him, Martin,
without turning around, lets loose with a PIERCING
THE TWO GREAT DANES INSTANTLY RACE AFTER MARTIN, making it
through the gates just as they're closing.
CORNWALLIS, seeing his dogs run after Martin, SPUTTERS,
then turns and storms back into his quarters.
TAVINGTON, still off-balance from Martin's parting
statement, watches Martin ride away. Then he turns to
Major Wilkins who stands nearby.
Take a detachment and go get our
Wilkins hurries off.
EXT. HILLSIDE CLEARING - ABOVE FORT CAROLINA - DAY
Major Wilkins and a detachment of Green Dragoons ride up
the wooded slope toward the bound Redcoat officers that
Cornwallis saw through the spyglass. As the Dragoons ride
out of the trees into the clearing they stop dead, seeing
THE "REDCOAT OFFICERS" are not real -- they're nothing
more than SCARECROWS IN REDCOAT UNIFORMS. There's no sign
of Martin or his men.
INT. CORNWALLIS' HEADQUARTERS - FORT CAROLINA - DAY
CLOSE SHOT: One of the "Redcoat Officers," stuffed with
straw is thrown onto Cornwallis' desk by Tavington.
Cornwallis looks at the scarecrow, then turns to
This fox believes himself clever.
Cornwallis grows eerily calm and turns to Tavington.
Colonel, how can we end this
Difficult, sir. This is, as you
pointed out, a civil war.
Cornwallis takes a moment, then speaks simply.
Civility is a secondary virtue. It
is superseded by duty.
I understand, sir.
Tavington smiles grimly and strides out.
EXT. FRESH WATER PLANTATION - DAY
Tavington and Wilkins wait while Green Dragoons and
Loyalist militia search the remains of Martin's house and
barn. Gaskins, filthy from the ashes, walks up to
No one's been here for months.
But now we have a name for our
Colonel... Benjamin Martin. And with
a name will come a family.
EXT. CHARLOTTE'S PLANTATION HOUSE - NIGHT
A thick ground fog surrounds Charlotte's house. The soft
lights of candles glow in the windows. All appears
Then, the SHADOWED FIGURES of THREE DOZEN GREEN DRAGOONS
appear out of the mist, silently approaching the house on
INT. CHARLOTTE'S PLANTATION HOUSE - NIGHT
A fire crackles in the fireplace. A curtain blows in the
open window. THE DOOR BURSTS OPEN. WINDOWS BREAK. Green
Dragoons pour into the house, muskets brandished. No sign
of occupants. Tavington and Wilkins stride in.
The Dragoons THUNDER UP THE STAIRS... Tavington watches
the search... the parlor... nothing... The kitchen... food
The dining room... the table is set, half-eaten food is on
the plates, abandoned in mid-meal. TAVINGTON WALKS INTO
THE DINING ROOM, touches some of the food, gauging its
They can't be far. Check the
outbuildings and the woods.
The Dragoons race outside.
EXT. CHARLOTTE'S PLANTATION HOUSE - NIGHT
A TORCH BURNS. A dozen Dragoons light torches off of it
and fan out to search. The thick fog turns the torches
into diffused, floating balls of light, turning the
Dragoons into ghost-like apparitions.
CAMERA FOLLOWS ONE OF THE TORCHES, carried by a
particularly rough-looking Dragoon who skirts the edge of
the underbrush closest to the house. As the torch moves,
its flame sends long shadows and shafts of light into the
In the brush, TWO FACES, GABRIEL AND CHARLOTTE, dark,
motionless, watching the search. Behind them, MARTIN'S
OTHER CHILDREN, Nathan, Samuel, Margaret, William and
Around them, SEVERAL MORE OF MARTIN'S MEN, weapons ready.
Gabriel, where is father?
AT THE FRONT OF THE HOUSE, the torches converge,
illuminating Tavington who gives the unheard order. The
torches fan out and begin SETTING FIRE TO THE HOUSE, BARNS
MARGARET grips Charlotte's arm. The rough-looking Dragoon
gets closer, about to discover them... Nathan, looking the
other way, doesn't notice, being more concerned with:
Gabriel, where is father...?
SUSAN'S EYES GROW WIDER... the others notice, turning
their heads to see what she sees, which is:
A hundred yards away, on his rearing horse, lit by the
flickering light of the burning house, surrounded by a
dozen of his men. Martin FIRES HIS PISTOL into the air,
drawing the attention of the Green Dragoons.
Several Dragoons FIRE, missing their marks. The others,
including Tavington, race to their horses and mount up,
giving chase as Martin and his men, turn their mounts and
IN THE UNDERBRUSH, Charlotte, Gabriel, the children and
the handful of Martin's men watch as Martin draws off the
Green Dragoons. Then, Gabriel motions and they all ease
back, disappearing into the brush.
EXT. SHANTY TOWN - NIGHT
A compound of rude shacks, built of scraps of lumber and
rough-hewn logs, stands on the side of the Magpie River.
Martin's men wait with the children while Charlotte and
Gabriel, flanked by Aaron and Abigail talk with several
stern-looking, middle-aged, black FREEDMEN.
Joshua looks on, a shattered man, now with one arm and a
terrible facial scar. He wears the remnants of a British
army field jacket.
The conversation, which is out of the children's earshot,
is testy, with one of the middle-aged freedmen
Martin's stone-faced children look around, appraising
their surroundings, registering the poverty of the shanty
THE DISCUSSION BETWEEN THE GROWN-UPS ends with a guarded
exchange of handshakes. Gabriel, Charlotte, Aaron and
Abigail rejoin the children and Martin's men.
It's all set.
They follow Aaron, down an alley to A SHACK. Small.
Barely standing. The children stop in their tracks,
knowing this is to be their new home.
Charlotte sees their hesitation. She walks up to the
little structure, examining it with a critical eye. She
looks in the doorway, seeing a single room, a dirt floor,
wax-paper instead of glass in the windows, a rude,
chimney-less fire-pit against the back wall. She smiles.
This will do very well.
She turns to Aaron and Abigail.
Charlotte walks inside without looking back. The children
hesitate, then follow her inside.
INT. SHACK - SHANTY TOWN - NIGHT
The children help Aaron and Abigail make beds out of
armloads of hay. OUTSIDE, Charlotte and Gabriel talk
It's him, the one they talk about,
the Swamp Fox.
I knew... the bits and pieces we
heard, a veteran, fought in the
French and Indian War, knows the
swamps, it had to be him.
They won't stop looking for you and
We'll be alright, here, for now.
How is he?
Gabriel searches for an honest answer.
I don't know... I'm his son.
Gabriel steps over to his saddlebags, opens his pack and
pulls out a stack of letters which he hands to Charlotte.
These are for you and the children.
They sense someone behind them.
Why didn't father come?
Gabriel is astonished to hear words coming from his
heretofore silent sister. Charlotte nods, smiling.
Speaking for months now.
Why didn't he come?
He wanted to, Susan, but he couldn't
leave his men.
He left us.
I know he did and he's sorry. He'll
come back as soon as he can.
Susan says nothing. Gabriel continues, hopefully.
There are some letters here from
him. Some are just to you.
I don't care. I hate him.
You don't hate him.
Yes, I do.
Gabriel kneels down and embraces her.
She stands coldly with her arms at her sides.
I hate him and I hope he never comes
EXT. SMALL FARMHOUSE - SUNSET
Tavington lounges in the grass on a slope in front of a
farmhouse, looking out at a lovely sunset, absentmindedly
picking at the petals of some wildflowers. A HIDEOUS
SCREAM pierces the calm.
Tavington analytically evaluates the tenor of the scream,
then rises, passing several Green Dragoons who wait with
their horses in front of the farmhouse.
I believe they are almost ready.
IN THE FARMHOUSE
Blood is smeared on one wall, where half-a-dozen corpses
lie in a jumbles mass on the floor.
In the parlor, Tavington walks past more bodies, including
a dead woman who lie protectively but ineffectually over
the bloody bodies of her two young children, both under
In the kitchen, Tavington finds Wilkins and some Green
Rob Fielding, one of the craftsmen in Martin's force, is
tied, spread-eagle to the table, showing the terrible
effects of PROTRACTED TORTURE. Wilkins is apologetic as
Tavington walks into the room.
I'm sorry, sir. He died.
Tavington sighs, irritated.
Very well, get one of the others.
Several Green Dragoons step into an attached woodshed
where Billings sits, bound. They roughly grab him and
drag him into the kitchen.
Damn your eyes. Do your worst.
I intend to.
They tie Billings to the table.
EXT. MARTIN'S ENCAMPMENT - DAY
An astonished Martin talks to Gabriel.
She talked? Susan talked?
Full sentences. As if she had been
speaking all along.
And I wasn't there for it...
The cloud passes quickly.
Tell me everything she said, word
She said... she loves you and misses
you but she understands why you
can't be there with her.
She said that? Oh, my Lord, she said
Isn't that something.
Martin shakes his head at the thought, smiling to himself.
Gabriel, uncomfortable with the lie. They turn as REV.
OLIVER GALLOPS up, reins back his lathered horse and
speaks to them without dismounting.
Billings and Rob Fielding are dead,
tortured, Tavington has a list of
our men, most are on it. A regiment
of dragoons is going to the homes on
the list, burning them, killing
whomever resists, women and
children, as well.
Seven homes along the Black River so
Rollins hears and doesn't pause. He rushes to his horse,
mounts up and rides off. Martin and the other men mount
up and ride off fast after him.
EXT. BLACK RIVER ROAD - DAY
Martin and his brigade catch up to Rollins and ride on
EXT. ROLLINS' FARM - DAY
The small farm. Very rudimentary. The house smolders.
No sign of life. Gabriel, Occam and a few other men
warily ride the perimeter of the cleared area around the
Martin, at the head of the rest of the brigade, waits next
to an increasingly frantic, Rollins. They see Gabriel
wave, signaling all clear.
MARTIN, ROLLINS AND THE OTHER MEN RIDE to the house.
Rollins is the first to see THE BODIES. Horrified, he
reins back and dismounts, almost falling.
His young SON, WIFE, an OLDER MAN and WOMAN, lie dead in
the dirt. Martin's men silently watch Rollins' agony.
Weeping and confused, he moves in a mad, staccato manner,
as if he were a marionette, whose strings were being
jerked by a drunken puppeteer, repeatedly drawn back to
the body of the boy.
Martin DeLancey and Rev. Oliver dismount and move toward
him. Rollins sees them coming. He hardens and strides to
his horse, pulling his FLINTLOCK PISTOL from his saddle
holster. Rev. Oliver reaches out to embrace Rollins.
It's not time for vengeance, it's
time to mourn and...
ROLLINS PUTS THE PISTOL TO HIS HEAD AND PULLS THE TRIGGER,
BLOWING HIS BRAINS OUT.
Every man freezes in place. For a long moment no one
moves, no one speaks. Then Martin pulls himself together
and addresses the men:
Five day furlough for all men.
Occam, Dan, Reverend, spread the
word. Any man who doesn't come back
won't be thought a coward or
uncommitted to the cause. Attend to
The men mount up. DeLancey stands alone as Martin,
Gabriel and the rest of the men ride off. He sighs and
heads over to tend to the dead.
EXT. SHANTY TOWN - NIGHT
Dark. Shadowed. No one visible. Martin and Gabriel,
wary, slowly ride among the shacks. Their HORSES HOOVES,
the only sound.
EXT. SHACK - SHANTY TOWN - NIGHT
Gabriel waits in the shadows, covering, as Martin cocks
his musket, checks his pistols and walks slowly toward the
He warily checks every shadow. No one anywhere. Then a
SOUND -- A SQUEAL OF LAUGHTER, immediately followed by:
It's him! I told you it was him!
MARTIN'S CHILDREN RACE OUT OF THE SHADOWS to Martin. He's
practically bowled over as Margaret, Nathan, Samuel and
William fling themselves into his arms.
CHARLOTTE STEPS OUT OF THE SHADOWS, watching the reunion
as Martin covers the children with kisses, trying to hug
all of them at once. MARTIN AND CHARLOTTE LOCK EYES over
the heads of the children.
Charlotte smiles. Then Martin notices SUSAN peeking out
from behind Charlotte's patched and mended skirt. He
kneels down and opens his arms to her but she doesn't
move. He smiles to her and speaks softly:
She looks coldly at Martin, tightens her grip on
Charlotte's skirt and retreats further behind her. Martin
looks to Charlotte who nods with guarded reassurance.
Then his attention is drawn away by the demanding embraces
of his other children.
INT. SHANTY - NIGHT
POURING RAIN. The ceiling drips. Martin lies, awake,
with his children huddled against him, sleeping in one of
the few dry spots. They're covered with tattered quilts.
On the other side of the children, Charlotte is also
awake. She and Martin exchange a long, silent look in the
darkness, over the heads of the sleeping children.
EXT. SHANTY TOWN - RIVERSIDE - DAY
Freedmen go about their business: several dry fish,
others repair a repeatedly patched roof, one tends a few
scrawny cows. Martin walks the perimeter of the shanty
town with Nathan and Samuel. They listen carefully.
There's a good place to post a
watch. Work out a schedule. Short
watches, especially at night.
If you can catch some mockingbirds
you can make cages and put them
along there for alarms...
Martin stops, looks at the boys closely and grows unsure
as he realizes that he's with his sons, not his soldiers.
He tousles their hair but continues nonetheless...
Let's find someplace for you to
cache extra weapons...
The boys follow, gazing at their father, not seeing his
EXT. SHACK - SHANTY TOWN - DAY
Dark. Shafts of light shine in through the holes in the
roof. Martin, standing in the shadows, senses someone
coming. He freezes.
A figure rounds the corner. It's... William. MARTIN
YELLS William SQUEALS IN DELIGHT, then chases his father
around the corner, tagging him. They laugh. Martin
covers his eyes and William dashes off to hide.
EXT. RIVERSIDE - SHANTY TOWN - DAY
Nathan, Samuel, Margaret and William play in the water
with the Great Danes. Martin sits on the side of the
river with Susan who avoids looking at him. Using the
knife we've seen him use in battle he cuts slices off an
apple and eats them.
Very good. Sweet.
He cuts a slice and offers it to her. She doesn't take
it. He puts the slice between them. After a long moment
she picks it up but as she's about to eat it, she stops,
seeing something on it. She puts it back.
Martin looks at the apple slice and sees a dark red
splotch on it. He looks at his knife and realizes that
it's dried blood.
Off-balance, he turns to Susan who stares straight ahead,
a thousand miles from Martin.
EXT. SHACK - SHANTY TOWN - DAY
Mr. and Mrs. Howard help Martin, Charlotte and the
children unload food and other supplies from a wagon.
Gabriel and Anne talk quietly nearby. Suddenly, Gabriel
throws back his head and LAUGHS LOUDLY. He kisses Anne.
Then, taking her hand, the two of them walk over to Mr.
Father, Gabriel has something he'd
like to speak with you about.
INT. SHANTY CHURCH - NIGHT
The church is little more than a shack, slightly larger
than the other shacks. The pews are crates, stumps and
stools. Abigale, Abner, Joshua and half-a-dozen of the
freedmen sit with Anne's parents. Rev. Oliver stands at a
rough-hewn altar. Before him and Anne and Gabriel.
Martin, the best man, stands next to Gabriel.
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here
in the sight of God to join this man
and this woman in holy matrimony...
MARTIN feels every word, looking straight ahead but
knowing that he's standing next to his son.
EXT. SHANTY CHURCH - NIGHT
In front of the church, the bride and groom say goodbye to
the wedding party. Anne talks quietly with her parents.
Martin and Gabriel talk nearby.
You could have told me this was
I would have if...
If I thought you would have
Martin looks at Gabriel, sad that Gabriel thought he
wouldn't have understood. With effort, Martin finds a
smile and offers it to his son. Gabriel awkwardly smiles
Anne joins them. Martin embraces her, a bit stiffly and
gives her a fatherly kiss.
I'm sorry we didn't give you more
He glances at Gabriel.
I'm very happy for you.
Martins takes the "North Star" amulet from around his
This was Gabriel's mother's. She
would have wanted you to have it.
Gabriel watches his father put the amulet around his
wife's neck. He nods in silent thanks to Martin. Abigale
You come on, now. I got a pretty
spot picked out just down the river,
private as can be.
They all watch as Abigale leads Gabriel and Anne off.
Martin and Charlotte stand next to each other.
It's a good measure of a woman that
she'll have her honeymoon under the
For richer, for poorer, in sickness
and in health, 'til death do they
They nod in agreement, pointedly not looking at each
INT. SHACK - SHANTY TOWN - NIGHT
Again Martin's children sleep, huddled up against him. On
the other side of them, Charlotte lies awake. They look
at each other. Martin smiles. She snaps at him, angrily
I'm not my sister.
I said, I'm not my sister.
I know that.
Of course, I do.
Very well, then.
She turns from him and stares at the ceiling. Martin,
tries to figure out what just happened. After a long
moment he gets it. Stunned at first, his gears turn.
After a very thoughtful moment he turns to Charlotte and
offers a tentative smile. She catches the smile and rolls
her eyes. The children sleep, unaware between them.
EXT. SHACK - SHANTY TOWN - DAY
Martin finishes tying his gear onto his horse. Gabriel,
already saddled up, speaks quietly to Anne. Mr. and Mrs.
Howard prepare their wagon.
Martin turns to his silent children. One after another,
they walk to him and embrace him -- Nathan, Samuel,
Gabriel embraces Anne tightly.
Very careful, no one must know about
us, no one...
She silences him with a kiss.
Martin sees Susan, standing next to Charlotte. He motions
to her but she doesn't move. Then he kneels down and
gently hugs her.
Just a little goodbye? One word?
That's all I want to hear.
Susan remains silent, standing with her arms at her sides,
not responding to the embrace.
Finally, Martin lets go of her. She just stares at him.
Martin stands and turns to Charlotte.
They embrace with a hug that wavers between chastity and
something more. Anne and Margaret notice and exchange a
surprised, knowing look. Martin and Charlotte break
Martin mounts up. Gabriel reluctantly does so as well.
They turn their horses and start to ride away. As they're
about to round a curve and disappear, SUSAN CRIES OUT:
With halting steps, then faster and faster, she runs down
the path toward Martin.
Papa, don't go, I'll say anything.
Martin stops, turning in his saddle to see Susan running
after him, her eyes filled with tears.
Please, Papa, I'll say anything you
Martin yanks his reins, turning his horse.
Just tell me what to say! Tell me
what to say!
Martin spurs his horse straight toward her, GALLOPING
toward the running, crying child.
Please, Papa, please don't go.
MARTIN RIDES TOWARD HER...
Charlotte, Anne and Martin's children watch as:
MARTIN LEANS OVER IN THE SADDLE without slowing down...
SWOOPING HER UP...
PULLING HER INTO HIS LAP...
She sits astride the saddle, facing him, her arms wrapped
around him, pleading, the words tumbling from her, as fast
as she can get them out...
... I'll talk to you, I'll say
anything you want, just tell me what
you want me to say, I'll say
anything, I promise, please, Papa,
Martin envelopes the sobbing wisp of a girl, holding her,
covering her with kisses, letting her cry, fighting his
He reins back the horse, stopping in front of the
He pleadingly looks to Charlotte who steps up to the
horse... to take Susan...
Martin gives Susan a final embrace.
I'll come back... I promise...
Martin hands the still crying Susan down to Charlotte...
Martin, in agony, averts his eyes, yanks his reins, and
spurs his horse...
As he rides away the children take off after him, running.
Susan seeing the others running after Martin, struggles
out of Charlotte's arms, and runs after them as well...
Martin rides, now joined by Gabriel, faster and faster,
leaving a trail of dust...
The children slow, then stop, one after another, watching
as they ride away.
EXT. PATRIOT ENCAMPMENT - ACWORTH - EVENING
Grim. The most rudimentary of the encampments we've seen.
Rain pours. Some of Martin's men huddle under lean-to's
and quickly rigged tents that offer only partial
protection from the cold rain.
Occam and Scott do their best to keep a wet-wood fire
going. Rev. Oliver tries to cook.
Martin and Gabriel ride up and dismount. Martin joins
Rev. Oliver who is sorting through Rollins' possessions.
How many came back?
About a hundred and twenty. Less
than a third.
Martin looks around.
Rev. Oliver shrugs and offers his palms to heaven.
Trust the French.
Just then DeLancey walks out of the woods carrying a
couple buckets of water, having overheard Rev. Oliver and
Yes, trust the French.
They look at DeLancey, questioning with their eyes why
he's still here. He smiles.
I would not desert. Where else do I
get the opportunity to kill English?
Perhaps even a few wounded ones when
you are not looking.
Thin smile. Martin takes a place at a campfire next to
Gabriel. They are out of earshot of the other men.
Gabriel is thoughtful, miles away. After a long moment,
I'm sorry, father.
I thought that you were hiding
behind your family when you were
simply standing in front of us,
protecting us. I was foolish to
think you were afraid.
I was afraid, I still am.
Afraid that you'd turn out like
There are much worse things than
Gabriel smiles, Martin doesn't.
When I went to war, it changed me.
And I didn't want that to happen to
Gabriel looks across the campsite, seeing DeLancey on the
When we took Fort Charles we took
prisoners. What we did to them, we
told ourselves was just and proper,
revenge for what they had done to
the families along the Black River.
That's what I was afraid of. I
didn't want you to ever tell
yourself something like that.
Gabriel nods, understanding Martin for the first time in
You needn't worry, father. You've
taught me well.
Martin and Gabriel sit in silence and share slight nods of
EXT. PEMBROKE - DAY
Anne and her parents ride into town on their wagon,
finding the streets strangely empty.
They sense someone behind them and turn to see HALF-A-
DOZEN GREEN DRAGOONS and a mounted Tavington. They're
initially frightened but Tavington speaks gently,
Everyone has been requested to
gather at the church.
I wish to address the whole village.
Tavington deferentially motions for the Howards to follow
his men. Uneasy, Mr. Howard snaps the reins and follows.
EXT. PEMBROKE VILLAGE SQUARE - DAY
Tavington and Wilkins, on horseback, watch as Green
Dragoons directs villagers into the church.
One of the Dragoons walks out of the general store with a
bowl of gumdrops. As he starts giving them to a few of
the children their parents waver, unsure of the gesture,
but they reluctantly allow the children to take the candy.
The townspeople are uneasy but they follow the orders of
the Dragoons, who, though carry muskets, are polite and
Into the church, please.
Colonel Tavington wishes to address
all of you.
Anne and her parents join the others.
Tavington sees the last of the townspeople enter the
church. He nods to the Dragoons near the door.
The Dragoons CLOSE THE DOORS, chaining them shut. The
DOOR IS POUNDED ON from the inside.
Open this door!
MR. HOWARD (O.S.)
By what right are we made prisoners?
TAVINGTON nods to several rough-looking Dragoons who
disappear into the blacksmith shop. They reappear a
moment later with FLAMING TORCHES and approach the church.
Several other Dragoons see what's about to happen and are
appalled. Wilkins rides over to Tavington.
The Dragoons with the torches stop around the church,
waiting for the final go-ahead from Tavington. The
POUNDING AND CALLING from inside the church grows louder.
Sir, there is no honor in this.
The honor is found in the end, not
the means. This will be forgotten.
The troubled Dragoons turn to Wilkins who struggles with
himself. Tavington calmly watches Wilkins' distress.
Finally, Wilkins accepts it. Weakly steadying his horse,
he takes his place next to Tavington.
The other Dragoons follow his lead and watch as the rough
Dragoons light the church on fire, heaving their torches
onto the roof, through the windows and under the raised
SCREAMS are heard from inside. The DOOR THUDS with the
shoulders of men trying to escape. The CHAINS HOLD.
Tavington watches, stone-faced, as the church goes up in
A WINDOW SHATTERS, with a chair heaved from inside...
SOME MEN TRY TO CLIMB OUT, but waiting Dragoons FIRE THEIR
MUSKETS POINT BLANK... KILLING THREE MEN, driving the
The SCREAMS FROM INSIDE THE CHURCH grow louder...
The FLAMES AND SMOKE RISE...
EXT. WOODS - PEMBROKE OUTSKIRTS - DAY
SILENCE. A dark forest of old growth trees. No
underbrush. Martin and a couple dozen of his men,
including Gabriel, Rev. Oliver, and DeLancey ride warily
on a carpet of pine needles toward a thin column of smoke,
visible over the treetops in the distance.
With hand signals, Martin directs his men to fan out.
They do so, weaving through the dark forest, weapons
EXT. PEMBROKE - DAY
Martin and his men slowly ride into Pembroke. The remains
of the church smolder. The town is deserted, no one, dead
or alive, is visible.
Unsure what they have found, Martin and his men spread out
and dismount, warily checking out the buildings, looking
for some sign of life.
Rev. Oliver and a few other men head for the charred
remains of the church.
Side-stepping some still-hot, charred beams, Rev. Oliver
looks through the rubble...
Then he sees the bodies...
THE CAMERA CATCHES ONLY A FLEETING GLIMPSE of...
Dozens of charred, blackened bodies, intertwined with the
remains of the church...
Rev. Oliver staggers from the rubble...
One-by-one Martin and his men walk over and look into the
remains of the church...
Martin see several charred hands extended through a
shattered window, as if grasping for escape... one of the
hands is tiny, A CHILD'S HAND...
GABRIEL, on the other side of the square, sees Anne's
packhorses and looks around, growing increasingly frantic.
MARTIN, in the church, sees something among the charred
bodies. He reaches down and grasps the North Star amulet
he gave to Anne on the night of her marriage.
GABRIEL, hurries toward the remains of the church...
Martin walks out and intercepts him.
Don't go in there.
Is it her? Is Anne in there?
Don't go in there.
Gabriel sees the blackened amulet in Martin's hand. He
reels. Martin grabs him, keeping him from falling.
Martin holds Gabriel as he weeps.
EXT. PEMBROKE - LATE AFTERNOON
CLOSE SHOT: Martin's weapon's belt on the ground but the
tomahawk does not hang from it's loop.
Martin and his men tend to the dead. Some dig in the
small graveyard adjacent to the remains of the church.
Others carry out the grim task of pulling the charred
bodies out of the rubble. DeLancey hurries over to
Colonel, your son is gone.
Martin takes only an instant to process that, then he
grabs his Pennsylvania rifle and weapons belt and strides
toward his horse, speaking back over his shoulder.
How many went with him?
The Reverend, Scott, a few others...
Martin mounts up and rides off. DeLancey, Brother Joseph
and a dozen of Martin's roughest men quickly mount up and
ride after him.
EXT. OPEN ROLLING HILLS - LATE AFTERNOON
Tavington and a dozen Green Dragoons ride.
The Dragoons turn, seeing Gabriel and half-a-dozen
Patriots riding down hard on them...
The Dragoons pull their carbines and fire...
Gabriel and the Patriots take the shots, Rev. Oliver
falls, shot through the heart by Wilkins...
The horses of both sides bolt and scatter...
In a dance of galloping, frightened horses, firing and
reloading men, and obscuring smoke, the dozen-and-a-half
men and their mounts battle over the shallow, rolling
A pair of Green Dragoon lieutenants FALL...
More Dragoons take shots...
Then volleys from both sides... mutual destruction...
Down to a handful of men...
Only Gabriel left of the Patriots...
Gabriel draws a bead on Tavington...
FIRES... Tavington goes down...
Gabriel dismounts... the only man standing of all dozen-
He walks over to Tavington, drawing Martin's tomahawk from
About to finish Tavington off, when...
Tavington pulls a pistol from underneath himself and
Straight into Gabriel's chest...
EXT. WOODS BORDERING ROLLING HILLS - LATE AFTERNOON
Martin and his men BLAST OUT OF THE WOODS, weapons ready,
then rein back, stopping, seeing a tableau of death...
Bodies and blood spread over the fields... dead Dragoons,
dead avenging Patriots, dead horses, a few riderless
Martin looks around frantically... sees movement...
Gabriel, mortally wounded, crawling...
Martin leaps, half-falling out of his saddle. Throws
himself on the ground, holding Gabriel...
Sees his wounds, knows they're fatal... Gabriel knows,
too... He looks up at his father, trying to speak...
Martin holds him, cradles him, trying to soothe him...
GABRIEL DIES. Martin sees his own tomahawk on the ground
next to Gabriel. The life drains from Martin, lost in an
incomprehensible nightmare of overwhelming loss and
emptiness and guilt. Martin caresses Gabriel...
CAMERA SLOWLY CRANES UP revealing, over the shallow hill,
above and beyond Martin...
A DISTANT LINE OF BLUE
Thousands and thousands of Continental soldiers
Martin, small and unaware in the FOREGROUND, holds
Gabriel's body in his arms...
EXT. PATRIOT ENCAMPMENT - NIGHT
Mixed gatherings of militia and Continentals are clustered
around the campfires. More Continentals arriving all the
Some of the militiamen and regulars regale each other with
tales of their exploits but most are grim and tired,
A couple of Patriots play a MELANCHOLY TUNE ON FIFE AND
INT. MARTIN'S TENT - NIGHT
Dark. Shadowed. The sounds of celebration can be heard
outside the tent.
Martin sits on his camp chair. Gabriel lies on the
ground, carefully covered up to his chin with a blanket.
A single candle burns.
Lee enters. Stands silently near Martin.
He looks as if he's sleeping,
Yes, he does.
After another moment Lee moves toward Gabriel's body.
I'll help you bury him.
Don't touch him.
How many men have we seen die?
Two. Gabriel and Thomas.
Nothing will replace your sons but
if you come with us you can justify
I have a son. He was born two
months ago in Alexandria. I fight
for him. You have other children
for whom to fight.
Martin can't restrain his anger at Lee's words.
Lee sighs. He touches Martin on the shoulder and walks
out, leaving him alone with Gabriel's body.
EXT. PATRIOT ENCAMPMENT - MORNING
The Patriots, Continentals and Militia, are moving out.
Most of the tents have been taken down. Wagons are
rolling out. Companies of Continentals march off in good
MARTIN'S TENT still stands. His men finish packing up,
storing their heavy gear in wagons, tying their field gear
onto their horses.
EXT. PATRIOT ENCAMPMENT - DAY
The last of the soldiers move out, leaving their
smoldering campfires and refuse. The only tent that
remains is Martin's.
EXT. MARTIN'S TENT - DAY
Martin sits in his tent, gazing obliquely at Gabriel's
body which has grown ashen. A SOLITARY BIRD CRIES in the
EXT. REMNANTS OF PATRIOT ENCAMPMENT - NIGHT
A dark, moonless night. The sky is filled with stars. A
SOFT WIND BLOWS dead leaves along the ground. A few of
the leaves are blown through the opening of Martin's tent.
INSIDE THE TENT
Martin looks down, noticing the leaves, HEARING THE WIND.
A few of the leaves come to rest on Gabriel's haversack.
Martin sees a corner of Gabriel's Old Glory sticking out.
He looks at the flag for a moment. Then he stands and
OUTSIDE THE TENT
Martin watches the leaves skittering along the ground. He
listens to the wind.
Then HE LOOKS UP AT THE NIGHT SKY. The stars are bright.
His eyes are drawn to the Big Dipper and from there to the
Little Dipper and the...
Holding his eyes on the faint, but steady star, he
gradually reorients himself. He looks around at the
abandoned encampment. Then he looks into the tent and
sees Gabriel's body. The SOFT WIND BLOWS AROUND HIM.
Martin nods in response.
EXT. BURIAL GROUND - WOODED ENCAMPMENT - MORNING
Martin finishes burying Gabriel, putting the last
shovelfuls of dirt on the freshly turned earth. He stands
next to the grave, looking down, and says a silent prayer.
EXT. COWPENS ROAD - DAY
The AMERICAN FORCES are on the move, all heading in the
same direction. Continentals and militiamen fill the
road. Some on horseback, others in wagons, most on foot.
Among them, a mixed unit of Continentals and Martin's
brigade, at the head of which ride Lee and DeLancey.
Something catches Lee's eye and he turns back, seeing over
a shallow ridge that runs parallel to the road, an
American flag, Old Glory, just visible, the rider carrying
it hidden behind the ridge.
THE FLAG APPROACHES. One after another, the men see it
coming. The flag is Gabriel's, the repair almost
completed, trailing a single strip...
The men begin to sense who it is...
And then they see him... Martin, who rides up between Lee
and DeLancey. They exchange nods.
They ride on, passing a sign that reads, "Cowpens. 20
EXT. AMERICAN ENCAMPMENT - COWPENS - NIGHT
The campfires of the American army burn. Small groups of
uniformed Continentals and raggedly dressed militia
cluster around different fires. There's little mixing
AROUND ONE OF THE CAMPFIRES
The commanders: Lee, Martin, DeLancey, several other
officers and DAN MORGAN, a bull of a man around Martin and
Lee's age. Morgan, a Continental, is in command.
Benjamin, tell me about Cornwallis.
Gentlemen, as far as we know,
General Cornwallis is at
Bradleyville. Two thousand of his
infantry along with four thousand
Green Dragoons under Tavington are
between us and the river. They
outnumber our regulars two to one
and they have five times our
cavalry. Two thirds of our force is
militia. Unreliable at best.
We could pull back, try to slip away
Martin shakes his head.
You underestimate our militia, all
of you do.
I've seen our militia lines break
again and again. At Saratoga, at
Monmouth, at Cherry Hill.
The officers are silent in agreement. Martin shoots a
glare at Lee.
Tavington and Cornwallis have seen
the same thing. Use that.
Martin pulls Cornwallis' journal out of his haversack and
leafs through it.
I'll let Cornwallis tell you
himself, and he speaks for
Tavington, as well...
"... but it is this colonial militia
that is the most irksome. Not
worthy of my attention, but
demanding it; not worthy of British
blood, but taking it; and not worthy
of a soldier's honor, but sullying
it. Those nights of mine that are
not sleepless, are filled with
dreams of a cavalry charge on the
heels of fleeing farmers..."
Martin closes the journal.
Cornwallis and Tavington have even
less respect for citizen soldiers
than you do.
Morgan considers Martin's proposal.
EXT. AMERICAN ENCAMPMENT - NIGHT
Campfires receding into the darkness, each with a small
cluster of men. DeLancey watches as Martin talks with a
few men at one of the fires.
Martin leaves that campfire and joins another small
gathering of men at a different campfire. Lee and some of
the other officers can be seen talking with other clusters
of militiamen at other campfires.
Martin steps up to another campfire, this one near
DeLancey, who listens.
... so all we're asking is that the
front line of militia fires two
A MILITIAMAN shakes his head with misgivings.
Lot can happen in the time it takes
to fire two shots, 'specially
against British regulars.
Which is why I'm not asking for
Martin gives the men around the campfire a moment to
consider his words, then he rises and heads over to
another campfire and another small group of militiamen.
EXT. COWPENS - PRE-DAWN
Martin sits, sewing. He finishes the final repair on
Gabriel's flag. He appraises his handiwork. Though
stained and tattered, the flag is intact.
Martin stands on the crest of a shallow rise, looking out
at the British lines, barely distinguishable in the faint
light. Above him, stars are visible, but they're fading
in the light of the pre-dawn glow from the horizon.
Martin scans the disappearing stars, searching out the
NORTH STAR, but in the increasingly harsh light of this
day, he can't find it. He turns his eyes back to the
EXT. COWPENS BATTLEFIELD - DAY
The sun has risen but a heavy ground fog limits visibility
to a few dozen yards. Men move like ghosts.
THE CAMERA finds waiting squadrons of men but in the mist
there is no overview, just separate detachments:
An orderly regiment of CONTINENTAL CAVALRY, mounted,
waiting, steadying their horses.
Two long lines of blue-uniformed CONTINENTAL INFANTRY...
Massed squares of CONTINENTAL INFANTRY RESERVES...
The American Command, including Morgan, Lee and several
other officers, attended by riders and runners...
And, finally, MARTIN AND HIS MEN, who stand in the middle
of a long line of Patriot militia in the center of a long,
valley-line depression. Martin stands next to DeLancey.
They stand silently, unable to see anything other than
each other and the gently slope of the dew-covered grass
in front of them.
They're all grim. They know what's coming.
Then, the SOUND OF A SINGLE DRUM, heard but unseen, coming
from over the slope...
Then, MORE DRUMS, more and more, A COMPETITION OF DRUM
Martin's men listen, turning their heads, trying to
imagine what is happening on the other side of the rise in
front of them.
MARTIN turns to DeLancey.
How old were your daughters?
DeLancey looks closely at Martin and realizes, with some
surprise, that he's willing to answer. He speaks softly.
I had two daughters... Violette was
twelve... Paulette was ten. They
had green eyes.
You have my sympathy.
They stand silently next to each other.
EXT. BRITISH LINES - DAY
Tavington, surrounded by his officers, stands on a low
hill, trying, with the aid of a spyglass to catch the
first view of the battlefield as the morning mist begins
to burn off. Through the fog, he just makes out the
Unless I'm dreaming, I think I see
irregulars at their center.
EXT. LOW MEADOW - COWPENS - MORNING
Martin and his men wait.
A STRANGE SOUND. Soft, muted. The men turn their heads,
listening, their eyes shifting.
They hear the SOUND OF HUNDREDS OF BOOTS ON WET GRASS,
THE CAMERA WATCHES THE FACES OF MARTIN AND HIS MEN as they
listen to an unseen army approaching.
THEN, THEY SEE IT... A MASSIVE WALL OF RED appears over
the rise in front of them... hundreds of Redcoats, in
perfect formation, marching in lockstep, straight for
Martin sees the fear on his men's faces, but none of them
The BRITISH DRUMS GROW LOUDER AND LOUDER... it's almost
enough to drive a man to flight... almost.
The CAMERA explores the faces of Martin's men... all are
frightened but all are motionless.
Closer and closer, the British line approaches... The
American's don't move...
Then, the BRITISH LINE STOPS...
At a flurry of commands, the Redcoats ready their muskets,
Still, Martin and the Americans don't move... DEAD
Then, a single, thin voice calls out from the British
BRITISH VOICE (O.S.)
IN A THUNDEROUS, MASSIVE VOLLEY, three thousand British
muskets fire simultaneously... just as the entire line of
AMERICAN MILITIAMEN DIVE TO THE GROUND...
Many Americans are saved by the move but many, many others
are torn apart by the British musketballs...
THE AMOUNT OF SMOKE IS INCREDIBLE... it obscures
everything. Each musket spits out a billow of think white
smoke a dozen feet in front of it and hundreds of them
just fired. The massive, opaque white cloud quickly
spreads over the entire battlefield.
The astonished Redcoats instantly reloading...
The AMERICANS RISE, shoulder arms and FIRE A THUNDEROUS
VOLLEY into the British ranks.
Scores of REDCOATS FALL, but the line of well-trained
regulars remains intact as rear ranks fill in the front...
A RACE TO RELOAD... the Redcoats have a slight
headstart... Balls... wadding... tamp... prime the pan...
cock... as fast as they can possibly reload... a REDCOAT
DRUM BEATS "FIRE WHEN READY," a command repeated by the
The Redcoats win the race... RAISES THEIR MUSKETS... FIRE
A ROLLING VOLLEY...
SCORES OF AMERICAN MILITIAMEN FALL... but still the line
holds... second rank men fill the gaps, still loading...
Then, loaded, as one, the AMERICANS RAISES THEIR MUSKETS
AND FIRE A DEVASTATING VOLLEY INTO THE BRITISH RANKS...
decimating the Redcoats...
The Redcoats are staggered but then see the Americans turn
in DISORDERLY PANIC and FLEE... the surprised, grateful
Redcoats rally, some laugh...
ON A RISE BEHIND THE BATTLEFIELD, TAVINGTON, watches
through his spyglass, trying to get a sense of what's
happening through the spreading cloud of musket smoke. He
barks to his SIGNALMAN...
Fix bayonets... dispatch the Green
The Signalman raises his semaphore flags and snaps the
MARTIN AND HIS MEN are caught in the middle of the chaotic
THE BRITISH LINE advances at a quickstep, bayonets
fixed... from behind them, THE GREEN DRAGOONS appear, at a
full gallop, Tavington at their head...
It's an astonishing sight... total madness... hell... a
painting by Hieronymous Bosch...
The mass of the British infantry charges after the fleeing
Patriot militiamen... the Redcoat infantry grows
disorderly as it runs...
TAVINGTON AND THE BRITISH CAVALRY THUNDERS to the head of
the Redcoats, closing in on the fleeing Patriots. The
cavalry swords are drawn and raised for a slaughter...
THEN SUDDENLY, stepping into view from behind a low, grass
covered rise, a SOLID LINE OF BLUE APPEARS, rock solid...
It opens up, allowing the fleeing Patriots to pass through
it like water... then it closes again, becoming a solid
MARTIN, HIS MEN AND THE ENTIRE MASS OF FLEEING MILITIA
STOPS DEAD, turns and joins the blue American line...
A flurry of orders, then the BLUE WALL ERUPTS WITH A
VOLLEY of musket fire that stops the disorderly British
advance in its tracks...
Hundreds of Redcoats fall instantly...
Hundreds of Green Dragoons and their horses fall with
The effect of the volley is devastating... the American
timing is perfect...
Again, the amount of SMOKE is astonishing... visibility
drops to less than twenty feet in most places... drifting
smoke opens up glimpses of the battle here and there but
it is primarily a battle of sound... men simply follow the
men in front of them...
The Blue Continentals advance in an orderly manner from
both flanks onto the Redcoats, trapping them...
MARTIN FIRES one of his pistols... draws his tomahawk...
hacks... killing one Redcoat after another...
No remorse, no hesitation, no pity... his tomahawk sinks
into the stock of an upraised British musket and is pulled
from his hands...
Martin quickly kills the Redcoat with his pistol...
THEN, THROUGH THE SMOKE, MARTIN CATCHES A GLIMPSE OF
Martin freezes... his eyes locked on Tavington who is
fighting a pitched battle, making his way toward the
perimeter of the field, trying to escape back to the
Seeing nothing but Tavington, Martin hurriedly tears open
his weapons pouch and pulls out one of the bullets made
from Thomas' lead soldiers...
As he loads the pistol, his eyes still trained on
Tavington, DeLancey runs up...
COLONEL! OUR LINE!
Martin finishes reloading... distracted he turns to
DeLancey for an instant...
OUR LINE IS FALTERING...
Martin takes a quick glance at the Continental line,
An onslaught of Redcoats and a smaller number of Patriots
who are losing ground, their lines breaking up...
The PATRIOT STANDARD BEARER, a burly sergeant, sees the
Redcoat reinforcements and starts backing up...
MARTIN IS TORN...
He looks to Tavington, seeing him distracted, vulnerable
but too distant a target for the pistol...
DeLancey can't wait, he runs off...
Martin sees the Patriot line... beginning to retreat...
the Patriot Standard Bearer, carrying the Old Glory,
looses his nerve, joins the retreat...
Martin takes a last look at Tavington and turns away,
heading over toward the retreating Patriots...
Moving against the growing tide of retreat, shoving the
men, bumped by others, as more and more Americans join the
Then, Martin sees the standard bearing Sergeant passing...
Stop... hold the line!
The Sergeant tries to bull past, but Martin blocks his way
and GRABS THE FLAG from him...
The Sergeant holds on but a FOREARM TO THE HEAD from
Martin dislodges the flag from his grasp...
Martin holds the flag high and races back, against the
tide of retreating Patriots...
HOLD THE LINE! HOLD THE LINE!
Only Martin moves against the tide, then...
Several Patriots stop... then others...
Martin, single-mindedly tears through them, daring them to
follow, not caring if they do...
One Patriot takes off after Martin, then another...
The retreat slows... then turns...
The Patriot force, led by Martin, SLAMS INTO THE Redcoat
Hand-to-hand... some musket... some swords... many
bayonets and musket stocks...
Martin plants the flag in the dirt... and plants himself
right next to it...
He fires his pistol, killing a Redcoat... grabs a downed
sword... kills two more Redcoats...
The tide turns...
A pair of Redcoats back up from the Patriot vanguard...
then other Redcoats disengage...
Several Redcoats turn... stumbling away... a few run...
those who don't are killed by the men around Martin...
The Redcoats break into a full retreat, which turns into a
rout as another mass of Patriots bursts through the smoke
and joins the line...
The Patriots sees the retreating Redcoats intercepted by
another detachment of Patriots... the tide fully turned...
the battle is won...
A CHEER RISES from the Patriots... joyous in victory,
grateful for survival...
All cheer except Martin who, through the smoke-filled
chaos of the battlefield sees...
TAVINGTON, on a DISTANT RISE, on horseback, out of reach,
about to flee...
Tavington takes a final look at the battlefield, then
yanks his reins... his horse REARS UP as it turns...
Tavington spurs the animal and disappears over the rise...
EXTREME CLOSE SHOT: Martin, surrounded by CHEERING MEN,
watches Tavington go...
Martin does not see the flag waving at his side, nor does
he hear the CHEERS all around him...
EXT. YORKTOWN OVERLOOK - SUNSET
A hilltop road rises to an OVERLOOK. A long bedraggled
line of Patriots trudges up the hill, stopping on the
crest, looking at something we can't yet see.
Martin and DeLancey, in the ragged line of Patriots, walk
to the top of the hill. As they get to the crest they
stop, looking out, seeing:
A MAGNIFICENT TABLEAU laid out before them. YORKTOWN.
The British are trapped on a pair of peninsulas, one
jutting out from land, the other jutting toward the land
from a large island. In a semi-circle around the landward
peninsula, is a MASSIVE FORCE OF AMERICAN troops and...
THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF FRENCH TROOPS, flying SCORES OF
FRENCH FLAGS... the FRENCH FLEET is visible in the Harbor.
American and French CANNONS keep up a steady barrage on
the trapped British troops.
MARTIN AND DELANCEY look out at the grand and impressive
sight. DeLancey smiles and speaks quietly.
Vive la France.
A COMMOTION. The men on the crest of the hill excitedly
exchange whispers as they see a group of officers
Patriots, both militia and Continentals hurry over to
catch a glimpse of:
GEORGE WASHINGTON, surrounded by staff officers, American
and French, including Lee, Morgan, LaFayette, trailed by
messengers, runners and aides. Washington is tall and
powerfully-built, an imposing man, worthy of respect.
Washington and Lee stop in front of Martin and DeLancey,
who stand at the head of the remains of the South Carolina
militia, their tattered militia flag flying beside
Gabriel's tattered Old Glory.
WASHINGTON AND MARTIN
Stand face-to-face, looking each other in the eye. Martin
smiles slightly and shakes his head.
Your hair's gone gray.
I've earned it.
Washington holds out a small bag to Martin who smiles in
recognition of some private ritual. He reaches into the
bag and pulls out a walnut.
I wanted to greet you and the South
Carolina militia, myself. This
nation owes a lot to you.
Washington takes a walnut. They both CRUSH THE WALNUTS
SHELLS BETWEEN THEIR THUMBS AND FOREFINGERS, a prodigious
display of strength that both men take for granted.
As they eat the walnuts, Washington motions for Martin to
join him a bit away from all the soldiers and other
The two men step away, then speak quietly, looking out at
the tableau spread out before them.
I was sorry to hear about your son.
I lost another a year ago, Thomas.
He was only fifteen.
I've had no sons to lose, nor
I lose the sons of other men.
They look out at the vista, knowing that they're looking
at the sons of thousands and thousands of other men.
Life was easier when we only had
ourselves to get killed.
Martin nods, then hardens a bit and turns to Washington.
Where do you need us?
We don't. Their forward redoubts
fell yesterday. They can't survive
our mortars and it's only
Cornwallis' damned pride that's
delaying the surrender.
Then let us join the center until
the surrender comes.
No. I want you and your men on the
north peninsula to block the escape
of secondary units.
Sir, my men would rather be at the
center for the surrender and...
You'll go where I tell you to go.
Martin nods, coolly respectful.
Martin turns to rejoin his men. Washington speaks after
Tavington and the Green Dragoons are
on the north peninsula.
Give him my regards.
Martin nods in thanks to Washington.
INT. CORNWALLIS' HEADQUARTERS - YORKTOWN - PRE-DAWN
Cornwallis looks out from the third floor window of a
OUT THE WINDOW he can see the battlefield with his
besieged troops cowering in shattered defensive-works as
HUGE AMERICAN MORTAR SHELLS EXPLODE within the Redcoat
CORNWALLIS stares, as much astonished as angry. Behind
him, Colonel Huntington and Major Halbert nervously wait.
Sir, I beseech you, you must order
the surrender. There is no other
Cornwallis, in anguish, hears the words but cannot bring
himself to move.
EXT. YORKTOWN - DAWN
The BOMBARDMENT continues. American cannons and mortars
rain death onto the British position.
The Patriots, regulars and militia, wait behind their
Then, a single figure appears on one of the British
parapets. A DRUMMER BOY, no more than ten-years-old. He
begins to beat the drum, but it is unheard beneath the
SOUNDS OF THE BOMBARDMENT...
A British officer steps out next to the boy and raises a
In the American lines, a few men see the white flag. As
the artillery units notice, the bombardment slows, then
It gradually sinks in. In the American lines, some cheer,
some laugh, many simply take a deep breath... then the
CHEERING GROWS LOUDER AND LOUDER AND LOUDER...
SPYGLASS IMAGE: The British drummer boy and the Redcoat
officer with the white flag. The spyglass is lowered,
EXT. NORTH PENINSULA - DRAGOON CAMP - YORKTOWN - DAWN
Tavington compresses the spyglass and turns to a couple of
his officers, standing next to him.
Quickly, we can slip out to the
north and make our way to our forces
in New York. This isn't over, yet.
They hurry off.
EXT. WOODS - NORTH PENINSULA - YORKTOWN - DAWN
Dark. Eerie. A light rain falls through a heavy ground
fog in an old-growth forest.
The SOUND OF HORSES HOOVES on the soft ground. TAVINGTON
and his two officers, appear out of the trees,
A SUDDEN, UNSEEN MUSKET SHOT drops one of the officers.
Tavington and the other officer glance back and ride on.
ANOTHER MUSKET SHOT drops the other officer. Tavington
looks back, sees that he's alone, scans the woods as he
rides, seeing no one.
Tavington SPURS HIS HORSE harder...
ANOTHER SHOT. Tavington's HORSE FALLS... spilling
Tavington onto the ground...
Tavington tries to get his bearing... struggles to his
Reaches for his pistol... it's not there... searches the
ground around him... can't find it...
A SLIGHT SOUND... Tavington turns quickly, sees nothing...
ANOTHER SOUND... he turns again... nothing...
Growing more nervous by the second, Tavington searches for
a weapon. He sees his carbine on the other side of the
As he start for it, he hears something behind him, turns.
Turning back to the carbine, Tavington suddenly finds
FACE-TO-FACE WITH MARTIN...
Martin raises his pistol and coldly FIRES, shooting
Tavington in the shoulder...
Tavington spins and falls...
Martin calmly and grimly starts to reload, pulling one of
Thomas' lead soldier bullets out of his weapons pouch and
dropping it into the barrel...
Tavington struggles to his feet...
Martin says nothing as he methodically reloads.
Please, I beg of you, I'm wounded...
Martin finishes reloading, and without pause, raises the
pistol and FIRES, this time into Tavington's thigh...
Tavington falls, crying out in pain...
Damn you! Have you no honor? I am
Martin pulls another of Thomas' bullets from his pouch and
starts reloading again...
Tavington's terror grows. He struggles to his feet,
desperately searching for some escape...
He sees the carbine, but it's too far and on the other
side of Martin...
Take pity! I beg of you!
Tavington sees that Martin is almost finished loading...
Please... do not fire... THE WAR IS
Even as those words leave his mouth, Tavington remembers
Martin's cold promise... horrified, he realizes what he's
Martin raises the pistol and SHOOTS TAVINGTON IN THE
Tavington falls back to the ground, dead. Martin looks
down at him...
Ugly business, doing one's duty.
MARTIN stands silently over Tavington's body and gives
himself a moment of bitter triumph.
EXT. YORKTOWN FIELD - DAY
A massive ceremony, carefully orchestrated, laid out on
the cleaned up battlefield. The French and American
armies, fifteen thousand men between them, stand in
perfect formation on either side of the field, forming an
avenue for the British army which marches out of it's
At the head of the avenue, WASHINGTON AND HIS STAFF stand
A musical band of Continentals, thirty men strong, loudly
plays a tune, "The World Turned Upside Down," a jaunty
British air with a melancholy undercurrent.
CORNWALLIS' ARMY marches between the assembled American
and French armies. Cornwallis is nowhere to be seen.
As the Redcoats reach the head of the assembly, they
truculently fling their muskets and other arms into a
massive and growing pile of weapons.
MARTIN AND DELANCEY stand among the South Carolina militia
watching from a distance as...
THE BRITISH OFFICERS STEP UP TO WASHINGTON AND HIS
OFFICERS. Hurried whispers are exchanged among staff
officers. Then Redcoat Colonel Huntington, draws his
sword and offers it to Washington who declines, motioning
to General Lincoln instead...
As Colonel Huntington hands his sword to General Lincoln,
A MASSIVE SHEER RISES FROM THE AMERICAN AND FRENCH
IN THE RANKS
With every other pair of eyes directed toward the
ceremony, Martin quietly and unnoticed, slips out the back
of the formation and walks away.
EXT. YORKTOWN - DAY
The surrender ceremony continues. Martin, on the fringe
of the field, finishes saddling his horse and prepares to
leave. Lee and DeLancey walk out of the crowd and join
Martin and DeLancey lock eyes for a moment. Martin offers
his hand and says, quietly, with a slight, ironic smile...
Vive la France.
DeLancey smiles. They shake hands.
Vive la liberte.
Martin mounts up.
Martin reaches down. They shake hands.
And congratulations on the birth of
Thank you. Maybe all of this will
buy him some peace.
I hope so.
As Martin starts to ride off, he reins back and stops,
speaking back to Lee over his shoulder.
Your son, what did you name him?
Robert. Robert E. Lee.
A good name for a farmer.
Lee nods. Martin rides off. Lee and DeLancey watch him
EXT. SHANTY TOWN - DAY
Martin's children and Charlotte sit by the river. Samuel
sitting on the lookout with his musket, suddenly stands,
Charlotte and the others notice. They're worried. Then
they see Samuel throw down his musket and tear down the
path, running as fast as he can, tumbling, then regaining
Charlotte and the others know who's coming...
The children take off running after Samuel...
Racing toward the road...
Charlotte hurries after them...
AND THEN THEY SEE HIM... MARTIN, riding at a full
The children cry out with tears of joy...
MARTIN see Susan... he gallops toward her...
LEANS OVER... without slowing, he SWOOPS HER UP into the
saddle... she wraps herself around him...
He reins back, stops and dismounts, just as the other
children reach him...
They throw themselves into his arms... embracing him...
Charlotte hurries up behind them... she and Martin lock
eyes and he is enveloped by the hugs of his children.
EXT. FRESH WATER PLANTATION - EVENING
Summer. The oak tree is covered with leaves. Martin's
house is partially rebuilt and habitable. The workshop
is already completed.
MARTIN'S CHILDREN, Nathan, Samuel, Margaret and William,
play in the tall grass in front of the house with the two
CHARLOTTE sits on the front porch, NURSING AN INFANT.
MARTIN walks out of his workshop, trailed by Susan. He
carries a just-completed rocking chair.
The chair is a work of art, thin and light, a spider-web
of perfectly turned wood, no nails, no glue.
He steps onto the porch next to Charlotte and places the
rocking chair next to her.
Two pounds, fourteen ounces.
He smiles and makes a minute adjustment in the chair's
position. Then he sits down, settles back and begins
rocking. Not a creak.
Martin and Charlotte watch Susan run out of the yard,
calling as she joins the other children.
Wait for me...
As the CAMERA CRANES UP, Martin and Charlotte disappear
beneath the overhang of the porch roof. Suddenly, the
SOUND OF A CRASH.
The CAMERA CONTINUES TO CRANE UP as Martin walks off the
porch, crosses the yard and enters his workshop. A moment
later, the SOUND OF MARTIN'S LATHE RISES.