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MonkeyNotes-The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
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LONGSTREET (Chapter 5 of Part IV)--retreat

Longstreet watches the retreat and notices that Garnett’s horse has returned rider-less. Then he spies Lee riding among the defeated Rebels. Lee rides over to Longstreet and suddenly Pickett arrives and joins the two. Lee orders Pickett to reform his division but Pickett explodes, insisting that he has no division left. Longstreet watches the victorious Union forces, anticipating the chase that never comes.

Later that day, Lee comes to see Longstreet. Longstreet will never forgive Lee but puts his emotions aside as the two plan the retreat back into Maryland. Longstreet considers resigning now that he believes the South has no chance of success, but Lee will have nothing of it. Lee acknowledges that he was wrong and that Longstreet was right, and then he departs to give the order to retreat.



"His mind was a bloody vacancy like a room in which there has been a butchering." (p.330)

"Flags in the smoke, tilting like sails above a white sea." (p.330)


"He sat on an island in the stream of retreating men." (p.331)

"Bullets still plucked the air: song of the dark guitar." (p.334)


"He looked out through the smoke and saw no more blue troops; they had pulled back. He though, to God: if there is any mercy in you at all you will finish it now." (p.335)

Symbol (band):

"There were no guns, no music." (p.336)

Major Theme

Lee & Longstreet’s Relationship

"Longstreet stood watching him. He knew that he would never forgive the old man, never." (p.332)

"A voice in Longstreet said, let the old man alone. But there had been too much death; it was time for reality. He said slowly, ‘I don’t think we can win it now.’ " (p.339)

Minor Themes

Lee vs. Longstreet (God):

"He tried once formally to pray, but there was no one there." (p.330)

Communication & Gentlemen:

"A black horse rode up out of the smoke...Garnett’s mount." (p.331)

The Cause:

" ‘They do not die for us...Each man has his own reason to die.’ " (p.339)

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MonkeyNotes-The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara


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