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I love the fight scene between William Holden and John Wayne. But, I think that the scene in which cadets from the local military academy fight against the Union is loosely based on the Battle of New Market...but instead of 6 deceased VMI students, John Wayne orders the kids spanked. LOL.
I think the boys are a bit too young I think it more refernces the Battle outside Savanah Georgia with a little New Market tossed in. The Cadets at VMI Ranged from Ages 17 - 25 (most being 18 Class of 1864, one Cadet was 25, two were from the North NY & NJ and one was from Argentina) their Commander Lt. Colonel Scott Scipp was about 21 at the time of Battle, also they had a four peice Battery, but thats the only similarities the boys in the movie appear between the ages of 9 - 15 with their commander in his late 60's.