I just watched this movie last night. It was only about the 45,654,987,556,045,638,475,629 time I've seen it.
The DVD extra with some of the cast was great. I especially liked Roscoe Lee Brown's comments. I liked the comments on how he was surprised by Bruce Dern slapping his face. It was not scripted, as you can tell by that twitch in Brown's eye. Classic. I did not hear him mention Dern calling him "nigger" though, nor had I heard the word used in any othe Wayne films.
The Word "nigger" was used a few times in the film, even by the kids. Odd how we never see it anymore. Not as a modern real life racial thing, but I'm sure that word was thrown around like a new Frisbee in the post Civil War years. Yet not in Westerns anymore. Hell, even Archie Bunker and George Jefferson used it.
I'm not attempting to start a shitstorm here, I'm merely posting an observation.