Killer Angels

This essay Killer Angels has a total of 2389 words and 11 pages.


Killer Angels
The Battle of Gettysburg brought the dueling North and South together to the
small town of Gettysburg and on the threshold of splitting the Union. Gettysburg
was as close as the United States got to Armageddon and The Killer Angels gives
the full day-to-day account of the battle that shaped Americaís future.

Michael Shaara tells the story of the Battle of Gettysburg through the eyes of
the generals and men involved in the action of the battle. The historical
account of the Battle of Gettysburg gives the reader a chance to experience the
battle personally and not the history book manner taught in schools. A
historical novel gives the facts straightforward and provides no commentary by
the people involved in history. The historical account of the Battle of

Gettysburg, as seen in Killer Angels, provides the facts of the battle as seen
through the eyes of Generals Robert E. Lee, Joshua Chamberlain, James Longstreet,
and John Buford. The feelings and inner-thoughts of each General and the
conditions of the battle are seen, heard, and felt by the reader in the
historical account. Shaara takes historical license with letters, the words of
the men, and documents written during the three hellish days of the battle.

Shaara avoids historical opinion and provides his own opinion towards the Civil

War and the people. The historical account of the Civil War, the Battle of

Gettysburg specifically, in Killer Angels conveys the attitude to toward war,
attitude towards the Civil War, and cause for fighting the war of General Robert

E. Lee, Joshua Chamberlain, James Longstreet, and John Buford. General Robert E.

Lee gained stoic and legendary status as the heart and soul of the South in the

Civil War, but many did not know his reasons and feelings for fighting the war.

War and the slaughter of others did not interest Lee and he felt compassion for
the Union. Lee had contradictory feelings towards war and says, "He was not
only to serve in it but he was to lead it, to make the plans, and issue the
orders to kill and burn and ruin...he could not do that" (Shaara 263). The

Civil War is not in the taste of General Lee, but feels it is his duty, and he
cannot just stand by and watch the war pass him by. Michael Shaara says of

Leeís reason for fighting the Civil War ", He found that he had no
choice...Lee could not raise his hand against his own. And so what then? To
stand by and do nothing? It had nothing to do with causes; it was no longer a
matter of vows" (Shaara 263). Shaara, through his commentary on General Lee,
explains that Lee did not want to fight the war but had to. Lee felt it was his
duty to fight for his fellow countrymen, but not for a cause, land, or slavery.

"So it was no cause and no country he fought for, no ideal and no justice. He
fought for his people, for the children, and the kin, and not even the land,
because the land was worth the war, but the people were," General Lee says (Shaara

263). General Lee fights for himself and has no choice but to fight, knowing in
the end that he might be wrong with his cause and pay the price someday. General

Lee is not a proponent of war, but he will serve his country with honor and duty
if necessary. A man of ideals and honor represent the character of Union Colonel

Joshua Chamberlain. Being a man of education, Chamberlain knows the demeaning
and repulsive nature of slavery and has come to fight to end it. Chamberlain
hates the whole idea of the Civil War and the death and destruction that goes
along with it. "I used my brother to plug a hole. Did it automatically as if
he were expendable," says Chamberlain (Shaara 304). He hates the idea that
men, including his brother, are dying out in the fight for slavery. The only
reason he believes in the Civil War is that if he the North did not fight
freedom would be tarnished and a great travesty would occur. Chamberlain is not
a man of war and blood and doesnít relish war and its qualities. The idea of
war in general to Chamberlain was ludicrous, as he once wrote "Man: The Killer

Angel". Chamberlain believes all other wars have been unnecessary expect for
the Civil War because it is a different kind of war. He says, "This is a
different kind of army. If you look at

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Topics Related to Killer Angels

American Civil War, Gettysburg Campaign, The Killer Angels, James Longstreet, Battle of Gettysburg, Gettysburg, John Buford, Joshua Chamberlain, Michael Shaara, Robert E. Lee, The Last Full Measure, Gods and Generals

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