The Killer Angels – Michael Shaara

Killer AngelsThis Pulitzer Prize winning novel tells the story of the Battle of Gettysburg which occurred on July 1, 1863, and ended with 51,000 men dead, wounded or missing.  It provides the definitive look at what the Civil War was like for soldiers on both sides.  Instead of focusing on strategy and statistics like other books, it captures the hearts and minds of the soldiers themselves, depicting the horror and glory that is war. Shaara focuses on four main people, real historical figures, and moves back and forth between them:  Commander of the Confederate army, General Robert E. Lee; his second in command, General James Longstreet; Union Colonel Joshua L. Chamberlain who was instrumental in winning the fight on Little Round Top; and Union cavalry officer John Buford, Jr. who held against superior infantry attacks until reinforcements arrived.  An excellent read all around.  Interestingly, Shaara’s son, Jeff, writes commendable books about the civil war as well.

 

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