Most people think of the Civil War as a military battlebetween the North and South. Without studying the subject,they do not appreciate the facts that make up this historicalevent. When one reads the novel, The Killer Angels, thereader will have a much better perception and understandingof what actually happened during the war. The Killer Angels,which is written by Michael Shaara, tells the epic story of thegreat battle of Gettysburg, which left 50,000 Confederateand Union soldiers dead, wounded, or missing. The tale istold from the alternating points of view from several of eachside’s significant participants. The book moves back andforth from the North and South perspective. Shaara portraysthe terrible butchery of the three days’ fighting through thevividly ren- dered thoughts and emotions of men such asGeneral Robert E.
Lee, Major General John Buford fromthe South and from the North, Brigadier General LewisArmistead, and Colonel Joshua Chamberlain. This is atremendously moving novel, guaranteed unforget- table. Thebook instills in one's mind what a battle fought during theCivil War was actu- ally like to be apart of for the soldiers.The setting for the book takes place in Pennsylvania, wherethe Battle of Gettys- burg is fought. The author providesmany detailed maps of both army's positions.
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- Structure and Outline
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Throughoutthe book, the reader is shown the pain, difficulty, anguish,and other dilemmas the armies face leading up to the finalconfrontation. In the beginning of the book we learn aboutthe North from a spy for the South. His job was to scout theNorth's position as well count the number of troops.
Hereports to General Robert E. Lee and recalls what he saw.The spy's information proved useful to the Confederates' atthe beginning of the Battle of Gettysburg. The fight atGettysburg is a series of battles. At first the South gainsground but eventually the North secures the better fieldposition and crushes the Southern forces.
The author makesit clear that it is General Robert E. Lee's.