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MonkeyNotes-The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
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Major THEME

How Lee wins

Longstreet responds to Fremantleís exuberance over Leeís "tactics" with a tirade about the utter lack of sense in both the war and Leeís success. (p.251)

"The secret of General Lee is that the men love him and follow him with faith in him...The next secret is that he makes a decision and he moves, with guts." (p.251)

"Thereís no strategy to this bloody war...if we win it will not be because...there is anything even remotely intelligent about the war at all. It will be a bloody miracle." (p.252)

Minor Themes

Communication:

Longstreet is frustrated by the fact that "In the presence of the Commander [Lee] the right words would not come." (p.246) Longstreet is unable to convince Lee that another offensive charge will fail because he canít bring himself to crush the Old Manís spirit.

"I need a hard count, Major. As quickly as possible."

"Yes, sir. But, well, itís not easy. The men tend to suppress the truth. I hear, for example, that Harry Hethís Division was badly hurt yesterday, but his officers did not report all the losses to General Lee because they did not want General Heth to get into trouble."

Civilians:

"He began to see civilians: important people in very good clothes, some sleek carriages, many slaves. People come up from home to see how the army was doing, to deliver a package to a son, a brother.

Stuartís Absence & Imagery & Symbolism:

"And there against a fence: Jeb Stuart...The cavalier, a beautiful man, was lounging against a fence, a white rail fence, in a circle of light, a circle of admirers...Full-bearded to hide a weak chin." (p.243)

Marshall tells Longstreet that, " ĎIíve prepared court-martial papers for General Stuart. General Lee will not sign them.í " (p.247)

" ĎHe was joyriding. For the fun of it. He captured about a hundred enemy wagons. And left us blind in enemy country. Criminal, absolutely criminal." (p.248)


Longstreet vs. Lee (God):

"He shuddered. He remembered that day in church when he prayed from the soul and listened and knew in that moment that there was no one there, no one to listen." (p.253)

Longstreet vs. Lee (Strategy):

"Stonewall Jackson...he ordered pikes for his men, spears, for the love of God...They come from another age. The Age of Virginia." (p.253)

Motives for Fighting:

"The war was about slavery, all right. That was not why Longstreet fought but that was what the war was about." (p.255)

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