The Horse Soldiers (1959)

Stars John Wayne and William Holden

A Union Colonel and his men are behind Confederate lines, plotting an attack, but his mission is in jeopardy when a southern beauty overhears his plan.

The Horse Soldiers

Based on true events!

The Civil War rages on with the north suffering some devastating losses. The Union Generals determine they must conduct a daring and dangerous raid behind Confederate lines if they are to turn the tide of the brutal war before the frigid winter is upon them. The target: a railroad depot. And who better to lead the charge than a Colonel who, in civilian life, is a train engineer.

Union Colonel John Marlowe receives his orders: cross Confederate lines and destroy a crucial supply line at the railroad station in the town of Newton. Marlowe is game and his unit heads out. However, he is not pleased that an Army surgeon, Major Henry Kendall, is along for the mission. Marlowe lost his wife at the hands of two incompetent surgeons, and he has little regard for anyone in the medical profession. Marlowe is loyal to the Union cause. Kendall, having experienced the horrors of war in the trenches with severely injured and dying men, is torn between his duty to his country, and the feeling that the gruesome loss of lives is senseless. No surprise that Marlowe and Kendall don’t often see eye to eye. Also on the trek is another colonel who questions Marlowe’s every decision.

Marlowe’s men make their way toward Newton. In order to rest up and strategize their raid, they occupy Greenbriar Plantation, owned by Miss Hannah Hunter, a sassy southerner whose sympathies lie decidedly with the Confederate cause.

As Marlowe begins planning their attack and escape route, he realizes his men aren’t the only ones listening attentively. Hannah has overheard the entire plot. Marlowe knows the first thing she’ll do is report their mission to the Confederate soldiers, ensuring Marlowe and his men would not survive. To protect his soldiers and his mission, he makes a radical decision. He will take Hannah with him!