Why was the Battle of Gettysburg a Turning Point? – Reflections from “The Killer Angels”

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The book “The Killer Angels” is a historic novel wrote by author Michael Shaara back in 1974. It’s about the Battle of Gettysburg that had taken place in the American Civil War which the book takes place about four days during that time. A battle was pursued between the Union and the Confederacy soldiers in a town called Gettysburg around the time of June 29th all the way to July 3rd of 1863. To be honest this book to me is a little if not completely boring. I get it its history and we should really learn about what has happened in our past with some of our greatest battles, wins, losses, and great things that came to be now.

However, with that said this great battle that happened that pushed America apart because of one little (but also majorly terrible) issue having to deal with one side of us not agreeing with the other is just stupid and it should have shown the people back then what they were doing was wrong and it was the worst path we could have taken. It should have bettered them in a way that they realized that what they did is wrong as human beings and the issue should have made us come closer and be better towards all humans no matter who they were. Unfortunately, we deal with these things even today as I write this to me it seems like we never did learn our lesson from history even though it gets taught to us throughout our entire lives.

The civil war ended many souls some good some bad but in general people died when they should not have had to. During this one battle America as a whole lost around 50,000 lives over just a couple of days not months or years, DAYS! That’s insane all because we couldn’t put aside our differences and come up with a plan and solve the problem of slavery and make life better not just for whites but for all living beings. This has repeated through history since probably the start of time because people can’t come to a decision that no matter what people matter, that doesn’t matter who they are either protect each other because this is all we got.

During this battle both leaders start off trying to figure out where the other troops are going to be, and the union leader discovered Confederate troops nearby Gettysburg and comes to the realization that this is where the battle most likely will end up taking place. Now with this info he does the smart thing and try to end up having the high ground with his troops of 2,000 men. Now if you’re an army and you have the high ground you have the tactical advantage because it’s better to have an elevated vantage point to have a view of any enemies that will be coming around you. You can survey the lower ground and see where all the other troops could be coming at you from. In doing this it will offer the army that is on the lower ground no advantage because you can’t tell how many troops there will be or what kind of weapons they might have.

Fighting on equal ground gives an equal chance to both armies but if you get the higher ground you most likely have one the battle. When soldiers are fighting uphill it could make the troops become exhausted quicker than the ones fighting downhill. Because of this decision it gave the union the advantage, along with this General Lee refused to take the advice of Longstreet who wanted to swing around and come between the union army. He wanted to destroy the union violently in a single blow which Longstreet really doesn’t think this is a good idea. To be honest Lee had not listened to Longstreet which probably cost him the victory all throughout the entire battle he didn’t listen to Longstreet ever which it might have made the difference if he had done so.

To me it seems like he had good ideas on how to cut the Union off most of the time and keep them from winning this battle. I am no military person, nor will I ever want to be one, but I do understand strategies and implement them in my life weather its school, work, or personal they help me run my life. Longstreet had some good ideas to help the Confederates win the battle, but he had a general that just didn’t care to listen to his input. Had he done so things may have changed in favor of them. Once again history comes into play though and the General of the Confederates clearly didn’t pay attention in school. If he had he would have figured out the high ground is the place to be in a battle and he had a great leader with him that he ignored each time he came up with a solution. What a great leader.

Not really all I know is this book is a great thing about history and people should read it and learn from the mistakes of our ancestors not just about war but listening to others and making decisions on what our future needs to be. Learning from all of these mistakes our former leaders have made about humanity is something we should all start taking advantage of in our lives. I don’t want people to continue on our current path of destruction ruining others’ lives because they are different or think differently from ourselves. There is a lot in our past to teach us more about how humans should evolve and make this place we live a better place for all but to me I don’t think people will learn from our mistakes of the past. It seems like we will continue on our road of destroying what we have at the moment even though we are taught so much in school. It won’t change a thing in life if we don’t act now and fix our timeline, so we can move on from our past and create a world worth living in.

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Why Was the Battle of Gettysburg a Turning Point? - Reflections from "The Killer Angels". (2021, Dec 30). Retrieved June 25, 2024 , from

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