The Killer Angels

Posted on April 8, 2022

Author: Michael Shaara
My Rating: 4/5

I liked this book. It was the first book I’ve read about the Civil War. I didn’t feel like it was one-sided and it seemed to explain a few things to me about the war and how people were thinking at the time. Especially the South’s point of view. Having not known anything about him, it was interesting to read about General Robert E Lee and how admired he was. James Longstreet was another admirable character from the South, who seemed to just continually get his spirit beat down… which I guess is what war is.

But, the obvious hero of this story is Colonel Joshua Chamberlain.

This is a different kind of army. If you look at history you’ll see men fight for pay, or women, or some other kind of loot. They fight for land, or because a king makes them, or just because they like killing. But we’re here for something new. I don’t … this hasn’t happened much in the history of the world. We’re an army going out to set other men free.

It was fun to read about the Battle of Gettysburg and how the soldiers thought and how they fought. Joshua Chamberlain was a former college professor who volunteered for the war. He was inspirational to his men and he was a tough soldier. When the Confederate soldiers were coming up the hill trying to out flank the Union, and Chamberlain was left with no other choice, he ordered his men to “fix bayonets” and charge down the hill toward the Confederate soldiers. It worked.