The novel The Killer Angles, by Michael Shaara, gives a story like depiction of the American Civil War at the Battle of Gettysburg. In this novel we see the views of both Confederate and Union armies. The officers for both sides in this novel used to go to war with each other but are now on different sides according to their political views. In the end both armies realized the war had accomplished nothing but all the deaths of soldiers. During the novel, the armies are going to war against their opponents and not necessarily their enemies.
Despite the fact that the Confederate and Union armies were entirely concerned with defeating their opponent, many times they were fighting against relatives and friends. For instance, General Armistead says, “…will you tell General Hancock how very sorry I am”(P.350). General Hancock is a Confederate Major General while Armistead is a Union Commander. These two men were at one time friends. Again during the war, officers make a realization about the war. Longstreet realizes that Armistead and Garnett are dead and that Kemper was dying (P.358). Then he sees the true facts that this war had accomplished nothing but the deaths of great men.
Shaara’s theory was that the war accomplished nothing but deaths. This theory has been considered before by many men, most likely the men of the war. George Pickett knows the war is not just about slavery (P. 71). In the Battle of Gettysburg thousands of men died for almost nothing. Of course the main cause of the war was slavery, but other circumstances contributed to the cause of the civil war, such as the election of Abraham Lincoln.
This book contributes a detailed description and story of the Battle of Gettysburg. Many books about Gettysburg give a biography about the battle and the commanders, but this book makes the commanders and soldiers come to life. It shows actual feelings about the war. While most books give a narrative monologue of the battle. This book brings characters to life and gives a detailed description of the battle.
This novel has raised questions in my mind because I was unaware of the real battle; but it raises no new questions to society such as Hofstadter’s writings. This novel gives a very accurate description of the Battle of Gettysburg. This novel also shows the importance of each battle and each division in each of these battles. Moreover this novel shows the importance of strategic positioning. If the union army was not holding that advantageous position, it would have been very difficult to win the battle.
The Killer Angels, is a very remarkable novel that I enjoyed reading very much. This novel is worthwhile when reading about the Battle of Gettysburg during class. This book makes the battle come to life, which the class books can not do.