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MonkeyNotes-The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
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LONGSTREET (Chapter 2 OF Section IV)

Lee and Longstreet’s final argument over the course of action

Goree returns from his scouting mission to report to Longstreet that although a move between Meade and Washington is still possible, some Union forces are moving to flank the Confederate right side.

Lee gives Longstreet the orders: Longstreet is to lead a charge into the center of the Union line. Longstreet makes it clear that he thinks the attack will fail but Lee insists. Alexander, head of artillery for the attack, is assigned to the job of clearing out the Federal cannons before the charge begins. In a way, Longstreet defers some of the responsibility onto Alexander by insisting that it be Alexander who gives the order to attack.

Longstreet considers a last-ditch effort to avoid leading the attack: he could resign. But Longstreet realizes he cannot even do that for he cannot abandon his men.


Metaphor & imagery & foreshadowing:

"Lee came out of the mists. He was tall and gray on that marvelous horse, riding majestically forward in the gray light of morning outlined against the sky, the staff all around him and behind him, Lee alone in the center, larger than them all, soldierly, gazing eastward toward the enemy line...The mist thickened and blew between them; there was a ghostly quality in the look of him, of all his staff, ghost riders out of the past, sabers clanking, horses breathing thick and heavy in thick dank air." (p.284)


"Longstreet drew his head in like a turtle." (p.285)

"He [Longstreet] felt an icy despair, a cold place like dead skin." (p.288)

"Fits of weariness began to pass over Longstreet, as clouds pass over and dull the heat." (p.288)

"He went over the plan again...laying it all out like the tracks of a railroad." (p.293)


"Meade begins to stir himself... We can lure him down out of those damned bloody rocks... Let him come, and then when his arm is out far enough, when his nose is extended, I will chop it off with a chop they’ll feel in London." (p.288) A synchode is using one object (Meade) to represent another (the Union army).


"That superb morale...A band began playing ‘That Bonny Blue Flag,’ in Lee’s honor." (p.291)

Show to tell:

"Longstreet ordered coffee all around, but Trimble would not take any; his stomach was troubling him. Sorrel was the only other officer to hear the orders. Longstreet explained it all slowly, watching them. Pickett was excited, could not sit still, sat rubbing his thighs with both hands, nodding, patting himself on the knees. Pettigrew was calm and pale and still."

(p.296) Telling what the officers think by showing their body language.

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MonkeyNotes-The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara



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