A remarkable story of a soldier, Harvard student William F. Bartlett, who stretches the bounds of human resilience in “Shot to Pieces.” His determination to triumph in battle is legendary. Hit again and again by Confederate rifle and cannon fire, Bartlett resolutely returns to battle despite myriad injuries. Even after losing his leg from the knee down, this brave soldier leads his troops with an untiring spirit. Returning to battle and later captured at the Battle of the Crater, he survives starvation and disease in prison to return to his home. Bartlett is later honored by both the North and South for his devotion to duty.

With fellow Harvard students, William F. Bartlett joins the Union’s 20th Massachusetts regiment. In the opening sequence, Confederates deal the Harvard Regiment a blistering defeat at the Battle of Balls Bluff.  Scouting the Federal picket line at Yorktown, Bartlett’s left knee and lower leg are “shot to pieces” by Confederate gunfire. In an especially accurate depiction, the surgeon amputates from the knee down. At home, gaining a wooden leg, Bartlett recuperates with Agnes Pomeroy, a Massachusetts businessman’s daughter. Friendship blossoms into romance.

A Confederate ball shatters Bartlett’s wrist at Port Hudson while buckshot penetrates his foot, requiring surgery. His regiment musters out on September 1st, 1863. Despite Agnes imploring, “Don’t go, you’ve done enough!” Bartlett rejoins the Army continuing to fight saying, “It will be a bloody day. I believe I am prepared to die.” At the Battle of the Crater, another Confederate victory, Bartlett is captured. He fights starvation and disease in prison to stay alive for the woman he loves. Highlights of the film include battles and authentic Civil War medical and surgical procedures, all true to the facts of Bartlett’s life. This docudrama inspires young and old alike with its action-packed story of courage and devotion to duty, immersing the viewer in the smoke, gunfire and pathos of America’s Civil War.

Program Details

LENGTH: 1 x 80 Minutes
FORMAT: Special
ASPECT RATIO: 16 x 9 Anamorphic Widescreen
SUPPLIER: Inecom Entertainment Company

Michael Kraus, Narrator/Co-Writer

Michael Kraus is one of the world’s leading authorities on Civil War military history. Kraus has served the film industry as Military History Advisor for Miramax Films’ 2004 film Cold Mountain and Military Coordinator for New Line Cinema’s 1993 film Gettysburg. Kraus’ career includes working as a historian for several A&E television Civil War Journal episodes and as the Northern Commander of many Civil War 125th Anniversary reenactments.

Michael began reenacting in 1966. In 1970, he joined Sherman’s Bummers, the first ultra authentic reenactment unit in the country. In 1975, Kraus became a charter member of the “Irish Brigade”, which exists today as the 116th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Company I, with Kraus as its captain.

Kraus also has provided historical consulting for a variety of other films about the Civil War and has contributed to numerous books and publications about the war between the states, including The 100th Pennsylvania Roundhead Regiment 1861-1865; Echoes of Battle; The Atlanta Campaign; Advance the Colors; Voices of the Civil War; Fredericksburg; Seccessionville; Assault on Charleston; and What Death More Glorious as well as to the periodicals Military Images and America’s Civil War.

David M. Neville, Co-Writer:

David Neville is an independent military historian and consultant whose area of expertise includes the Civil War, the Indian Wars and the Korean War. Neville serves as publisher of and a writer for the prestigious journal, Military Images. He has also contributed to a number of books, including Killed in Action and A Vast Sea of Misery, Those Honored Dead, Union Colonels and Waiting for Jacob. Neville is currently writing a history of the graduates of the United States Military Academy who served at the battle of Gettysburg.


“He [Bussler] re-creates battles, prison conditions, primitive medical procedures and life on the ‘home front’ with scrupulous fidelity… Extremely well done… these days we could all do with a little of William Bartlett’s courage and sense of duty.” – Ed Hulse, Video Business

“With a barrage of bad reviews and dismal box-office returns, Gods and Generals may have put a damper on fans of the Civil War genre. However, the new DVD Shot to Pieces should give devotees a different look at the period, as it looks at the war from the point of view of General William J. Bartlett. Civil War re-enactors recreate the battles that Bartlett participated in, most notably the Battle of Ball’s Bluff and the Battle of the Crater (where Bartlett is captured). The title, part of the Civil War Life movie series, is an interesting companion piece to Gods and Generals and Ken Burns’ Civil War documentary, as viewers follow Bartlett’s struggles throughout the war and his realization during his final years (he died at the early age of 36) that both sides should be considered a unified group of heroes.” – E! Entertainment Radio DVD News

“This is a remarkable story about a soldier in the midst of battle whose determination is an inspiration to all. Highly recommended.” – Library Journal

“[The] medical interpretation in the production [is] a great success. I was quite impressed with the authenticity of the [amputation] scene.” – George Wunderlich, Executive Director, National Museum of Civil War Medicine

“This is one real (unlike the movies) story that (like the movies) ends on a relatively happy note… An informative film that is interesting for its depiction of the [Civil War]… will be appreciated by history buffs.” – Entertainment Today

“This is the film to watch for an authentic telling of the war that immerses you into the smoke, gunfire and war that had to divide America so that we could become one.” – Eve Contreras, Los Angeles Film Magazine

“Gods and Generals isn’t the only new movie to parade Civil War heroes across the screen. The more modest Shot to Pieces, just out on DVD and video, puts a Massachusetts war hero, William F. Bartlett, front and center.” – Boston Herald

“Coming on the heels of the current Gods and Generals is this Civil War action drama.” – Sacramento Bee

“Focuses on the character of William Bartlett, a Harvard student who fights at the battles of Ball’s Bluff and Yorktown, sustaining serious injuries at both.” – Staten Island Sunday Advance

“The action never stops and the re-enactments are great!… captures the heart, bravery and boldness of a great officer.” – review on amazon.com

“Created by historians who care about proper clothing and following the absolute correct formats of those they are portraying.” – review on amazon.com

“Excellent re-enactments and fighting await you in this 80-minute story about a man that defied many odds during the Civil War.” – review on amazon.com