Cold Mountain - Summary

In 1791, William Bartram published Travels Through North and South Carolina. Nearly seventy-five years later, that book and Inman (Jude Law) are constant companions as the Confederate soldier flees the horrors of war and makes his way home to North Carolina’s Cold Mountain.

In the years he’s been away, Inman endures unspeakable hardship. Like others initially excited about fighting for strongly held beliefs, he experiences pangs of loneliness, horrors of battle and the seemingly never-ending-demands (and deprivations) of war. Inman wonders if he will ever return home to the mountain and to his sweetheart, Ada Monroe (Nicole Kidman).

Continuing south, Inman ponders the battle of Petersburg, where he received a near-fatal injury. Does he know the background of that disastrous undertaking? Is he aware that 111,000-113,000 Union soldiers had been assigned to combat 47,000-51,000 Confederate defenders?

Does he realize that the "Battle of the Crater" (as the 1864 engagement came to be known) was engineered to so demoralize the South that its leaders would surrender, thereby ending the war? Could anyone have contemplated, during the Union’s planning phase, that this fighting would actually lead to the “worst human behavior of the war?”

Getting closer to Cold Mountain, Inman encounters members of the Home Guard whose job (among other things) is to return deserters to their fighting units. He does not know (until later) that the same Home Guard has caused great anguish for Ada, her helper (Ruby Thewes played by Renée Zellweger) and other women left behind on Cold Mountain.

In this story behind the movie, virtually visit the real Cold Mountain. Use the official civil war records to learn what happened at the battle of the crater. Examine Southern artifacts such as Confederate currency and schoolbooks. And learn about the Home Guard and “cave dwellers” who did their best to avoid getting caught (or worse).

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5183stories and lessons created

Original Release: Dec 01, 2003

Updated Last Revision: Nov 09, 2016

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Cold Mountain" AwesomeStories.com. Dec 01, 2003. Aug 25, 2019.
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