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MonkeyNotes-The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
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Major THEME

Jackson’s absence

It becomes increasingly apparent to Lee that aggressive and decisive Stonewall Jackson is irreplaceable and that sickly Hill and cautious Ewell are not cut out for higher levels of command.

"Hill...had been a superb division commander, but now he commanded a corps, and it was a brutal military truth that there were...men who were superb with a division but incapable of leading a corps." (p.99)

"Once again he [Lee] saw Jackson’s blue eyes, probing, reproachful. He thought: General, we miss you." (p.140) Lee sees this after dealing with Ewell’s explanation of why the hills south of town were not taken.

"He [Ewell] is not Jackson...you cannot blame him for not being Jackson. You must make do with the tools God has given for the job." (p.144)


Minor Themes

Stuart’s Absence:

"Lee was thinking: very dangerous to withdraw....Without cavalry, it cannot be done. Stuart, I have waited long enough." (p.140)

"Lee prepared sealed orders to be given to each of Watters’ men; they were to scatter out over the countryside and find Stuart and get him back to Gettysburg with all possible speed...Without cavalry in the rear no victory would be complete. Should we attack before Stuart comes? And if he comes with tired horses and weary me? If he comes at all..." (p.142&145)

Communication (new hope):

" ‘I think I was too slow today, sir. I regret that very much. I was trying to be...careful. I may have been too careful." (p.143)

War Truths & Lee vs. Longstreet:

"A man loses part of himself, an arm, a leg, and though he had been a fine soldier he is never quite the same again...I do not understand it...A man is in his spirit and he has that in full no matter what part of his body dies, or all of it." (p.144)

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