The Killer Angels The following are reading guide questions for Killer Angels; your responses are to be typed, and single spaced.
1. What was the purpose of Lee moving his Army of Northern Virginia into Union territory and why was so important that Meade’s Army of the Potomac track him?
2. How would you describe the relationship between General Robert E. Lee and General James Longstreet, commander of Lee’s I Corps? Should have Longstreet protested more vociferously Lee’s strategy on the third day of battle and is he wrong for obeying Lee’s orders?
3. Discuss Joshua Chamberlain and his countercharge on Little Round Top. How does a religion scholar and teacher become acclimated to a soldier's life—and be willing to take up arms and kill other men?
4. According to the novel, what role does the issue of slavery play as to the purpose of the war in general and this battle in specific?
5. Explain how the Armistead-Hancock friendship was symbolic of the larger war itself?
6. Compare and contrast the composition of both armies, including officers and men, and how this played out in the battle itself.
8. Historically, geography has always played a major role in determining the outcome of battles. Give three examples of how geography played a role in the outcome of the Battle of Gettysburg.
9. Explain why control of Little Round Top was so important to both the Union and Confederate forces in determining the outcome of the battle.
10. For both the Union and Confederate soldiers, to what extent does honor, glory, and chivalry play in the fighting. Be certain to give examples for both sides.
11. To what extent does Lee’s legendary status among his troops and his own over-confidence play in battle tactics at Gettysburg? Give three examples.
12. President Lincoln had a difficult time in the first two years of the war in finding generals who were aggressive, competent, and relentless. In what way was General Meade another disappointment for Lincoln and what reason(s) did Meade give for not pursuing Lee on July 4th.
13. Overall, who do you feel is the hero or heroes of this fictional account of Gettysburg? What makes a hero? And what prompts otherwise sane men to throw their bodies headlong into deadly flying projectiles? What motivated these men to put their limbs, literally, on the line?
14. How does Shaara portray both sides of this horrific conflict? Is he balanced, or does he seem to favor one side over the other? Which character(s) does he seem to admire most?
15. From your reading of The Killer Angels, what do you think was the main reason the Civil War was fought?
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