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"Armistead and Hancock...They had been closer than brothers before the war. A rare friendship. And now Hancock was coming this way with an enemy corps." (p.61)
Irony & Hancock/Armistead Friendship:
" ‘Wouldn’t mind seeing old Win again. One more time...[But] do you think it would be proper?’ " (p.61) Armistead asks Longstreet his opinion on whether or not it would be okay to pay a visit to "enemy" commander Hancock. The irony is in the fact that no one really knows the "rules" of war because they don’t exist. It’s also ironic that these grown men, formerly best friends, are unable to communicate and are doomed to kill each other because of that inability.
Irony & Gentlemen:
"Harrison came back long after midnight. He brought news of Union cavalry in Gettysburg. Longstreet sent the word to Lee’s headquarters, but the Old Man had gone to sleep and Major Taylor did not think it important enough to wake him. General Hill had insisted, after all, that the reports of cavalry in Gettysburg were foolish." (p.67) It’s ironic both that this "unimportant" news will possibly cost the battle, and that Harrison--after all the waiting for him and his prior successes--will again be distrusted because he is not a man of honor or rank or high birth.
"Buford’s pickets saw the dawn come high in the sky, a gray blush, a bleak rose." (p.67)
"Then he raised the rifle and laid it across the limb of the tree and aimed generally toward the breast of a tall figure in the front of the line...prayed...and pressed the trigger." (p.68) This is ironic because one normally prays for constructive purposes (that someone will live through a disease, etc) but war has twisted all that around. For example, Lee often prays for Go’d help in slaughtering the Union army.
The falling stars give way to cloudy skies and rain just before the skirmish between Hill and Buford begins.