The Killer Angels

The Killer Angels

Most people think of the Civil War as a
military battle between the North and South. Without studying the subject,
they do not appreciate the facts that make up this historical event. When
one reads the novel, The Killer Angels, the reader will have a much better
perception and understanding of what actually happened during the war.

The Killer Angels, which is written by Michael Shaara, tells the epic story
of the great battle of Gettysburg, which left 50,000 Confederate and Union
soldiers dead, wounded, or missing.

The tale is told from the alternating points
of view from several of each side\'s significant participants. The book
moves back and forth from the North and South perspective.

Shaara portrays the terrible butchery of
the three days\' fighting through the vividly ren-dered thoughts and emotions
of men such as General Robert E. Lee, Major General John Buford from the

South and from the North, Brigadier General Lewis Armistead, and Colonel

Joshua Chamberlain. This is a tremendously moving novel, guaranteed unforget-table.

The book instills in one\'s mind what a battle fought during the Civil War
was actu-ally like to be apart of for the soldiers.

The setting for the book takes place in

Pennsylvania, where the Battle of Gettys-burg is fought. The author provides
many detailed maps of both army\'s positions.

Throughout the book, the reader is shown
the pain, difficulty, anguish, and other dilemmas the armies face leading
up to the final confrontation. In the beginning of the book we learn about
the North from a spy for the South. His job was to scout the North\'s position
as well count the number of troops. He reports to General Robert E. Lee
and recalls what he saw. The spy\'s information proved useful to the Confederates\'
at the beginning of the Battle of Gettysburg. The fight at Gettysburg is
a series of battles. At first the South gains ground but eventually the

North secures the better field position and crushes the Southern forces.

The author makes it clear that it is General

Robert E. Lee\'s poor judgment and de-cisions that causes the South to lose
the Battle of Gettysburg. Lee even credits himself for the South\'s failure,
as quoted in the book, "No blame can be attached to the army for its failure
to accomplish what was projected by me. . . . I alone am to blame, in perhaps
ex-pecting too much of its prowess and valor . . . could I have foreseen
that the attack on the last day would fail, I should certainly have tried
some other course . . . but I do not know what better course I could have
pursued" [The Killer Angels, Ballantine Books, page 349.] General Lee wanted
to attack the Union troops at Gettysburg, even though the North had the
better ground, more supplies, and thousands of more troops. Lee\'s mind
was already set and he did not want to change it. Overall, Lee was a good
general, but during this particular battle, he did not make the best of
decisions, which in the opinion of the author led to the Confederate troops
losing the war. In conclusion, I recommend The Killer Angels to anyone
who is curious or inter-ested about finding out what the Civil War was
like. The book provides an accurate and detailed description of the war.

On the cover of the book, General H. Norman Schwarzkopf is quoted as saying
that the book is "The best and most realistic historical novel about war

I have ever read."