I recently finished reading The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara. I stumbled upon this book on a dusty bookshelf in my house, but I know it came from my Grandma’s house. Shaara details the fictionalized accounts of several top generals from the battle of Gettysburg. Robert E. Lee, the most well known of the novel, accompanied by James Longstreet, Lawrence Chamberlain, John Buford and a half dozen other lesser troops.
The book details the days of June 29, 1863 through July 3, 1863, sharing the intimate details from the perspective of several major characters. More than a typical war story of blood and guts, cowardice and valor, Shaara discusses the emotions in play as the men wearing blue and the men wearing grey prepare to take up arms against each other one another. Not only were they fighting an opposing army, they were fighting against the very men they had fought beside on behalf of the United States of America. In a poignant moment, a mans final thoughts are of a man he once fought beside, but moments ago lead his men in attack against. Amid undertones of loyalty, legacy and purpose, a question of what the war was really all about shines through. We see conflict in personality and strategy between men and their superiors and the comradarie that complicates it all.
Copyright 2011: Reads of a Ragger. All rights reserved. No unauthorized use permitted; all derivative works must have prior approval.