In Ben Cameron, Griffith created a born leader who exerts his dominance in both public and family life. Indeed, little power is exerted by his father and his two younger brothers. Ben’s willingness to martyr himself to any cause defines his actions over the course of the film. He inspires others with his beliefs, whether he’s recounting outrages to a group of colleagues, commanding a troop in battle, or riding the lead horse in a daring rescue attempt. Henry Walthall portrays Ben as a man of principles, a trait largely unseen in the other characters. In moments alone, he wrestles with his inner struggles. The details in Walthall’s portrayal of Ben make his character stand out. From his quivering finger pointing out newspaper stories to his sudden collapse into convulsive tears over Flora’s body, Ben becomes a multidimensional figure. The richness of his character is magnified by his unconscionable racist agenda. His scenes with Flora are quite moving, and his bruised dignity as he walks the ravaged streets of Piedmont is extremely powerful. Ben’s well-defined humanity makes his vicious racism all the more painful to watch.