The Killer Angels Why Did Soldiers Fight

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The Killer Angels: Why Did Soldiers Fight?
In late June of 1863, General Robert E Lee led the Confederate Army north into Pennsylvania to draw the Union Army into battle. Thus beginning the largest and deadliest battle ever fought on American soil. The 3-day Battle of Gettysburg, from July 1 to July 3 1863, would leave an estimated 50,000 dead, wounded, or missing on the battlefield. It ended with the retreat of the Confederate Army after the failure of General George Pickett’s last charge. The Civil War would last another two more years until General Lee’s surrender at the Battle of Appomattox Court House. Michael Shaara’s book, The Killer Angels, tells the story of the Battle of Gettysburg and gives great insight on why soldiers fought, their motivations, and how they face death. Each soldier had their own reasons to fight, but one common theme stands out overall, soldiers fight for freedom. During the war soldiers looked for motivation before and during battles, they often find that motivation from their officers. Officers’ actions and character provided soldiers with courage and purpose, to carry on during war. When faced with death on the battlefield, soldiers find their own ways of dealing with it. To understand all of this, first you need to …show more content…

Some came because we were ashamed not too. Many came because it was the right thing to do. All of us have seen men die. Most of us never saw a black man back home. We think on that too. But freedom . . . is not just a word” (Killer Angels 29-30) The north recognizes that they are fighting to free the slaves, but not just for slave’s rights, but for all men to have the right to be judged by whom he is and what he does, not who his father was (Killer Angels 30). Having a noble cause can get Soldiers to join the war but providing purpose and motivation is what keeps the soldier

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