Loyalty In The Killer Angels

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Individual loyalties greatly affect entire communities, especially in the Civil War novel, ‘The Killer Angels’. One person’s choice to do something (or not do something) will inevitably affect the lives of those around them. As French philosopher, Jean-Paul Sartre once said, “We are our choices.” Each choice changes dozens of things, just as each cause has many effects. An example of this is General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, Confederate leader of the Civil War. He was influential and inspirational throughout his life. He was looked to as an example, even after death. Throughout ‘The Killer Angels’, Jackson was mentioned with honor and awe. His dozens of clever war moves and his dependability lead to his nickname, “Stonewall” Jackson. General…show more content…
Their loyalty to those above them impacted the outcome of the war. An example of this is when James Longstreet is continually devoted to Lee’s plans, even when he knows they are inadequate. Although Longstreet tries immensely to get Lee to see the flaws with his battle plan, he ends up fighting Lee’s battle anyways. Part way through, Longstreet realizes the impact of his decision. “But the facts stayed with him. The facts rose up like shattered fence-posts in the mist. The army would not recover from this day… All that was left now was more dying. It was final defeat. They had all died and it had accomplished nothing, the wall was unbroken, the blue line was sound.” At this point, Longstreet is confident in his predicament. On page 247, Longstreet restates his opinion of the war. “ ‘God in Heaven,’ Longstreet said, and repeated it, ‘there's no strategy to this bloody war. What it is is old Napoleon and a hell of a lot of chivalry.’" Although Longstreet’s strategic view of the war tends to be more pessimistic, he brings a good perspective and can see faults that no one else can. However, he continues to stay loyal to Lee, despite the differences in opinion. Longstreet had reasons to fight, and many reasons to fight this way. He continued to be loyal to Lee, even when he knew his plan would not succeed. He fought for the South, and the things he believed in, not just out of commitment to General
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