"The Killer Angels" By Michael Shaara

1501 words - 6 pages

I selected The Killer Angels by Micheal Shaara for many reasons. Number one isthat a good friend strongly recommended this book to me a few years ago and I neverfound the time to sit down and read it. My friend is a history buff and I did not take hisrecommendation too seriously at first, but then he became serious and persistent. He toldme it was the best historical book that he has ever read, and I must read it. I have alsoalways been fascinated with the sea battles of the Civil War, but never knew too muchabout the land battles. These reasons combined with the fact that I had to pick a bookbased on a topic that occurred prior to 1900, made it an absolute perfect opportunity toread The Killer Angels.Currently, Micheal Shaara, the author, is sixty-eight years old. He has writtennovels such as The Broken Place, The Noah Conspiracy, and For Love of The Game. Hewas born in Jersey City and graduated from Rutgers University in 1951. MichealShaara's first short stories were printed in Galaxy Magazine in 1952 and his first novelwas printed in 1968. Shaara has received high praise from famous people such as GeneralNorman Schwarzkopf and renowned magazines such as Newsday, Forbes, and Publisher'sWeekly.The Killer Angels takes the reader step by step through the whole story ofGettysburg. The content begins with the forward which sets the stage for the wholebattle. The forward informs the reader that the Confederates under the command ofGeneral Robert E. Lee are approaching from the south and have crossed the Potomac.This is the south's big attempt to attack the army of the north and destroy it. Lee is quitetired of this fighting and wants to end the war more than anything. He wants to confrontthe entire Union army, defeat it, and then move on to Washington and present a letter ofpeace ending the war, written by Jefferson Davis. Lee is very excited to end the fightingwith one huge battle after three long years of war, but Longstreet, Lee's right handgeneral is not so eager. When the word comes through, from a spy, that the Union armyis up ahead and Lee and his entire army is heading directly for them, Lee is elated. Theyare heading directly for a piece of ground called Gettysburg, which both sides see asexcellent fighting ground.As the spy reports the spotting of the Union army to General Longstreet, MajorGeneral Buford of the north spots the Confederates as the quickly march up a nearbyroad. Buford has a relatively small force, but decides to attempt to hold the high sectionof the road. Normally this would not be a problem for Buford, but he is worried becauseof the large Confederate force which is proceeding up the road and because he may not beable to hold out until back up arrives.Buford is attacked and manages to hold the position until reinforcements arrive toback him up. This engagement, which Lee never intended, was the spark which ignitedthe whole battle. General Lee specifically told all his generals to hold their fire and wait toattack until all...

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