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The Killer Angels

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There is Chamberlain, a professor of rhetoric, questioning everything, his thoughts, his actions, a true believer in the cause of freedom and Union, though he is constantly trying to define those things. C., he hopes to draw the Union army into battle and inflict a crushing defeat, which will bring an end to the war.

The younger Shaara tells of how his father’s book was rejected over a dozen times, was a commercial flop but won a Pulitzer Prize only to see no increase in its profile following the award.L. Doctorow's 'The March', for example; it's about a massive military convoy and its swelling ranks of thieves, whores, and freed slaves, all following General Tecumseh Sherman's trail of destruction. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, the college professor turned Colonel who joins the army out of a sense of idealism and devotion to the concept of freedom. Shaara also takes us into the minds of Union men like General John Buford who arrived at Gettysburg and realized the importance of deploying troops on the high ground against a superior Confederate force.

Shaara depicts Lee as being the most loved man on both sides, but I don’t learn quite enough about why this is so.

At Thoroughfare Gap he had held against Longstreet, 3,000 men against 25,000, for six hours, sending off appeal after appeal for help which never came.

This is one of those books that will sit with me for a while, and one that reminds me that even when justified—and I have a much higher threshold for justification than most rulers/countries over the course of human history—war is an awful, horrific, terrible thing that indelibly transforms the lives of all those involved, whether directly engaged in the battle, the family members of those combatants, or the civilians whose homes and towns are destroyed in the process. He also mentioned that when Chamberlain led his charge downhill, the Confederates were already retreating. Lee really jumped the shark with this one by sending in Pickett's division on day 3 -- what a useless slaughter. Lastly: 'Tree of Smoke', Denis Johnson's modern masterpiece set amid the chaos of Southeast Asia before and during the Vietnam war. The book depicts the three days of the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War, and the days leading up to it: June 29, 1863, as the troops of both the Union and the Confederacy move into battle around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and July 1, July 2, and July 3, when the battle was fought.Only recently has a real concerted effort been made to upgrade the facilities there led in a large part by Bob Kinsley.

It will give the careful reader a good understanding, or a good way to work through to an understanding, of the events of these three days in 1863. The action in both novels occurs through the experiences of the same characters used by Michael Shaara in "The Killer Angels. The story is character-driven and told from the perspective of various historical figures from both the Confederacy and the Union.Jeb Stuart did let Lee down by not showing up at Gettysburg until the third day because he was riding around the east flank of the Union army with his three best brigades. The friendship between General Lewis Addison Armistead from North Carolina (who would serve in the Confederate Army) and General Winfield Scott Hancock (who would serve for the Union Army) is beautifully illustrative. The narration hovers above the killing fields of Gettysburg like the recording angel itself, examining without judgement the horrors and triumphs, looking into the hearts and minds of the now legendary officers whose fates were decided there. It is no exaggeration to claim that the experience of immersing oneself into this book will give any curious reader inspiration to want to know more about the Civil War. Then after that I asked this fella what rights he had that we were offendin’, and he said, well, he didn’t know, but he must have some rights he didn’t know nothin’ about.

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