Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
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, Killer Angels, the reader is given a much better perception and understanding of what actually happened during the war. Killer Angels, by Michael Shaara, is a realistic historical depiction of the great battle of Gettysburg, which left 50,000 Confederate and Union soldiers dead, wounded, or missing.
The novel is set up in chronological order of events that took place during the four days of the bloody and decisive battle of the Civil War. The tale is told from an alternating north and south perspective. In this manner, readers can have a good mental picture of how each event came about. It even shows maps for a better understanding of each step the North and South took. It is clear where each of the battles were taking place and why the generals try to use the land for their own advantage. It was very interesting to read about the different strategies and tactics the generals utilized in the attempted destruction of their enemies.
The well-deserved rave reviews that litter the front and back covers drew me to it, but Shaara's powerful writing style and stunningly human characters drew me into it. Shaara has an amazing ability to portray the major players of the battle, whose real personalities must have since been lost over a century of historian analyzation, as real people. Shaara portrays the terrible butchery of the four days' fighting through the vividly rendered thoughts and emotions of such great men as General Robert E. Lee, Major General John Buford from the South and from the North, Brigadier General Lewis Armistead, and Colonel Joshua Chamberlain.
The main generals for the South were Lee and Longstreet. For the North there was Buford...