Factual error: In the third chapter of the movie, as the Union soldiers run into the Crater, they are flying the fifty-star American flag which is not the correct flag for the time period. The flag, if it is counting all states, even Confederate states at that time, should have 35 stars. A star for West Virginia, which seceded from Virginia during the American Civil War, was added to the flag in 1863.
Factual error: Women of rural areas in 1864 did not shave their legs to the extent shown throughout the movie. For example, when Inman is seduced by the man's wife and when he's having sex with Ada, you'll notice both women are very clean shaven. Even if they had shaved, they didn't have such precise shaving tools back then. (01:11:45 - 02:15:45)BillyBlake
Factual error: In the scene where Inman encounters some runaway slaves on a road passing through a cornfield (the scene where he offers to buy an egg from them for a dollar), the road itself is a modern farm track rather than a road or track from the civil war period.
Factual error: At the Battle of the Crater, the Union troops charge into the crater as soon as the explosion ends. However, according to historians' accounts, upon reaching the crater, the troops suddenly halted, and only charged into the crater almost a half hour after the explosion.
Factual error: The Confederate works at Petersburg include columbiads (seacoast artillery). The actual Confederate battery at the crater had regular field pieces.
Factual error: When Inman is escaping the war and returning home, on his journey we see him cross several mountains which go above tree line. However, Virginia and North Carolina don't have any mountains that go above tree line.
Factual error: Inman appears to be hospitalized in some capital in late summer of 1864. The capital cannot be Richmond, which is under siege, so it must be Raleigh. In the hospital's yard are well-dressed ladies having tea and slaves picking cotton, both of which are highly unlikely in the final months of the war. Raleigh is quite a distance west of the North Carolina coast, and Cold Mountain is at least 250 miles almost due west of Raleigh. Yet, Inman went east to the coast. In the very next scene after wandering on the coast, he has somehow arrived in the mountains, which are less than 50 miles from Cold Mountain in Haywood County. Thus, the majority of his adventures had to have taken place in the last 50 miles of his quest, which is not what is implied by the plot.
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