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Long answer Analyze the mistakes made by the Confederates at the Battle of Gettysburg and the decisive tactics of the Union officers. from book Killer Angels: The Classic Nover of the Civil War By Michael Shaara - Essay Example

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This is when the Battle of Gettysburg was fought in Pennsylvania. The battle was the turning point of the Civil War in American. It had two main participants-the…
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Long answer Analyze the mistakes made by the Confederates at the Battle of Gettysburg and the decisive tactics of the Union officers. from book Killer Angels: The Classic Nover of the Civil War By Michael Shaara
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Analyze the mistakes made by the Confederates at the Battle of Gettysburg and the decisive tactics of the Union officers. From book Killer Angels: the Classic Novel of the Civil War by Michael Shaara
The novel The Killer Angels written by Michael Shaara covers a four-day phase (June 29, July 1 to July 3, 1863). This is when the Battle of Gettysburg was fought in Pennsylvania. The battle was the turning point of the Civil War in American. It had two main participants-the confederate and the union side. Robert E. Lee commanded the Army of Northern Virginia with Lieutenant General James Longstreet as his second in command. The Union side was commanded by Colonel Lawrence Chamberlain.
The confederates made several mistakes during their attacks on the union. General Lee evidently was not a brilliant military tactician as he thought that, just like in most previous battles, his Confederate army could win with a sequence of charges. On day two, he planned the first charge. Here, his troops were to make an uphill attack and attempt to take a ridge from the union army. The Federal troops having an uphill advantage drove the Confederate army into retreat. On the third day, Lee ordered a charge aimed at taking his troops across an open field more than a mile long. However, federal troops on the other side of the field released a continuous attack of artillery as the Confederates made their way across. The Federal army managed to wipe out most of the Confederate troops before they crossed the field halfway. When the remaining Confederates reached the Federal troops, their numbers were so small such that the Federal army had no trouble defeating them. A good commander would have rendered both charges hopeless. In both cases, the Federal troops had an added advantage, while the Confederates had no adequate protection. If Lee had seen this, he would not have structured the charges. Instead, he was excessively confident of his troops’ ability and this overconfidence led to his defeat.
Colonel Lawrence Chamberlain approaches the situation in a different way. He leads the union officers into using several significant counter-attack tactics which help them in the battle. On the second day of the battle, the union officers shelter themselves behind rocks and await the confederates. The fighting is vicious; Chamberlain successfully defends his place at the end of the Union line and forces the Confederate troops to retreat after ordering his troops to charge using fixed bayonets. On the third day, when Lee orders the Confederates to cross over an open field, the Union officers await them on the other side. When the Confederates start crossing the field, the Federal army releases a nonstop assault of artillery on the confederates. Here, they manage to wipe out half the troops before they even cross the field halfway. By the time the Confederates left behind reach the Federal troops, their numbers are so small the Union officers defeat them without any trouble (Shaara, 97).
Works cited
Shaara, Michael. The Killer Angels. New York: Ballantine Books, 2001. Print. Read More
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