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MonkeyNotes-The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
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Minor Themes

Soldiers’ Past Experiences (Frontier Fighting): "He [Buford] was old army cavalry, Kentucky-born, raised in the Indian wars; he was slow, he was careful, but he sensed something happening." Note that Buford "sensed something happening"-- the intuition theme is interwoven into the soldiers’ past experiences theme. (p.36)

Management (Politicians): Buford’s aggravation with Washington’s predictable and unreasonable habits is evident in this passage: "Meade will come in slowly, cautiously...But they’ll be on his back from Washington, wires hot with messages: attack, attack...And when Lee’s all nicely dug in behind fat rocks Meade will finally attack...and be butchered valiantly." (p.38&40) A style note: "butchered valiantly" is an oxymoron.


Intuition: Buford "senses" the power behind the few Confederate soldiers he spies outside Gettysburg. (p.34) Soon after, Buford gets a gut feeling that Lee is not retreating from Gettysburg but merely regrouping before marching into town. (p.36)

Stuart’s absence: Buford and Gamble muse over how very strange it is to find Confederate infantry moving blind (without cavalry) through the North--territory the Rebs are unfamiliar with.

Good Ground: Gamble calls Cemetery Hill and its ridge the "best damn ground I’ve seen all day" and Buford laments that he will probably lose the position to Lee because Union reinforcements are so slow to come. (p.34 & 36)

Union vs. Confederacy

Gentlemen

Idealism vs. Realism

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