After reading about World War II, it struck me that at 31 years old, I finally find history interesting. Perhaps it was the way the material was presented compared to an 800 page text book, but I was yearning for more. After learning about WW1 and WW2, I decided I’d read about the Civil War. Why not start with a book taught in the high school curriculum called The Killer Angels.
The Killer Angels
First and foremost, I was supposed to read this book in high school and probably didn’t. I have no idea how I passed the tests but it must have been just enough because I have no memory of reading a single page throughout the book. It took me about 3 nights to read and I’m glad that I did. I have a better understand about the Civil War and specifically the Battle of Gettysburg. I came away with a few thoughts that may or may not be right.
- General Lee was the reason the South lost the Battle of Gettysburg. Not listening to strategic war plans and stubbornly attacking in a horrible position. He is responsible for the death of tens of thousands of men. People in the South still worship the man and this is why the North still look laughingly at the South.
- The whole war was fought over slavery but I got the feeling that it wasn’t the actual slavery the South wanted. It was their right to own the slaves. They were saying that the Gov’t can’t come into their backyard and tell them what they can and cannot do.
- I’ve been to Gettysburg 3 times in the last 3 years and never had any idea what occurred. Next time I go back, I’m going to be looking for Little Round Top and Cemetery Hill. Knowing how so many men lost their lives on those actual battlefields gives a different perspective.
- The fact that Americans fought Americans, and this occurred less than 200 years ago, is mind boggling. I still can’t grasp it. If the South would have won the war the country would be divided the same way East and West Germany were for all those years. This war would have prevented America from becoming a world power. I also find the idea that WWII was only 75 years ago.
- How Joshua Chamberlain spoke 7 languages at the age of 34 with the material available is amazing. I can’t even learn 1 properly.