Killer Angels Book Review Essay

Between the days of July 1, 1863 and July 4, 1863, the Civil War’s outcome was decided. These four days have been known as the Battle of Gettysburg, the turning point of the war. In The Killer Angels, Michael Shaara brings us a vivid image of what the battle was like. Shaara’s work is very impressive. He is able to capture how things were during the Civil War. The fate of the country was resting on that war so the novel adds a great deal to the reader’s mind.

Shaara was able to bring to the reader a little of the war. The book also gives you a feel for some of the important characters of the battle, including Lee, Longstreet, Pickett, Buford, and Hancock. The most inspiring figure in the book, however, is Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. He led the 20th Maine regiment of volunteers who held the Union’s left flank on the second day of the battle. The Killer Angels gives us an idea on how war affects people.

The characters could have been anyone. The author focuses in on universal emotions, not great figures. For example, everyone has always heard of Grant and Lee because of their importance. But few have heard stories about the common soldier. The book centralizes on the actions of the common soldier, even though it is from the leader;s point o view. Emotion in the story affects even generals. Several times in the book you can see that they feel for those lost in battle.

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Usually, generals are often portrayed as being larger than life. Shaara adds a human touch to them. One conclusion that could be drawn from the book is that the Confederates quick start had some effect. Outnumbered, the Union forces managed to hold until afternoon when they were overpowered and driven back. In the confusion, thousands of Union soldiers were captured before they could rally on Cemetery Hill.

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Killer Angels Book Review Essay
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