The Killer Angels – Analysis The novel “The Killer Angels” written by Michael Shaara is all about the war scenario of Gettysburg and the author had made sure that the readers get a real idea of happening of a battle in his book. The Battle of Gettysburg occurred in 1863 where the General Robert Lee after string of victories moves forward to with his confederate army to invade union territory…
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Soon Lee and Longstreet move towards Gettysburg. In this novel, the Author is left with a difficult takes as unlike other stories, he has attempted to put down a real life even narration of the battle with dramatic projection of the real life characters. This novel is more parallel to historical plays of Shakespeare. Shaara writes the novel with the help of letters and memoirs of the soldiers but there is no way of understanding what these officers thought or said. In the first two chapters, the three important characters of the novel are introduced who are Lee, Longstreet andChamberlain.The character of both Lee and Longstreet are contrasting hence they have conflicts in the way the battle should be fought. Lee is a gentleman, who is old and is a classic soldier of early era who is brilliant in the type of tactics he was taught. On the other other hand, Longstreet is a person with visionary, a man who is aware of the changing nature of war as machines and warfare’s become more important. The different perception of war forms the backbone of difficult relationship between these two men. However, Longstreet fined it difficult to argue with Lee as he is his commander. Still conflict arises between the two as Longstreet can never accept the way in which Lee leads the battle. Longstreet being stubborn recommends Lee to fight the battle defensively and request Lee to fight the union army on a different battle field rather than terrain which can put the confederacy at loss. The novel does showcase that conflict is there between Lee and Longstreet and Longstreet might not have acted differently as he is speaking for the goodwill of the army. He knows the tactics of war and wants to put his visions into action. The main character in the novel, who is Chamberlain, is a colonel. The story has portrayed well Chamberlain where the author tells his background life. Chamberlain had a fascinating life as he was a professor who left the college to fight and proved him to be an excellent soldier by the end of the war. Chamberlain was an unusually educated and thoughtful man compared to other soldiers. The unfortunate part in this novel is that after all the effort; the confederate army lost the battle of Gettysburg. Here for the failure, less needs to be blamed as he left too much in the hands of the commander. Lee and Jackson were good partners and they could have won the battle but this was not the case with Longstreet and Lee. In the war, Lee underestimates the power of Union army positioned in the Cemetery Ridge which demolished the confederate army completely as they try to cross the field.Morevoer. Lee had no idea about the movement of the union army and the geography of the surrounding area. For the very same reason, strategic planning was difficult for Lee specifically because he is in Unfamiliar Northern territory. Lee attempts to completely destroy the Union army but fails leaving the union with almost all of its batteries. Lee also underestimates the positioning of Union army. The union army attacks the advancing confederate soldier s killing and wounding sixty percent of them. All these reasons led to the failure of Confederate in the Gettysburg battle. The sources portray that the confederate lost eh war because of their
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, and also showcased Confederate General Longstreet’s preference for a defensive battle, a seldom-used more modern approach to warfare from this era, in order to give his outnumbered forces its greatest offensive ability.
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