Sting of Victory (1916)

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This Essanay five-reeler takes place in Civil War times and features Henry Walthall in a dual role as aristocratic Southerners David and Walker Whiting. When the war breaks out, David frees his slaves and fights on the side of the Union, while Walker becomes a Confederate soldier. He and the rest of the Whiting family, including sister Edith (Anne Leigh), bitterly resent David's defection to the North, especially when -- their slaves gone -- the family falls on hard times and is forced to borrow money from Thomas Spicer (Richardson Cotton), a professional moneylender. He encourages a relationship between Edith and his son, George (Jack Dale), but Edith isn't interested, even after her sweetheart Jack Spencer (John Lorenz) dies in battle. At war's end, David, now a colonel, returns home as military commander of the district. He pays off his parents' debt and saves his sister from Spicer. But when the moneylender is found dead, and circumstantial evidence points towards Walker, it appears that David will have to try his own brother, a fate he is spared only when a former slave confesses to the murder. In spite of everything David does for his family and his people, they refuse to forgive him his defection; worst of all, his former sweetheart, Ruth Tyler (Antoinette Walker), rejects him in favor of his brother.