How is death dealt with by the characters in Killer Angels by Michael Shaara?

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martinjmurphy | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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The Battle of Gettsyburg  was one of the bloodiest battles of the war.  Death in The Killer Angels  is seen by the different characters as something that is inevitable in war, and can come any time, but  each character seems to be devastated by death in this novel.  The Chamberlain brothers have a hard time dealing with the death of Kilrain.  Lew Armistead and Winfield Scott Hancock are good friends fighting on opposite sides and feeling deeply concerned about the safety of the other.  Longstreet knows that many good men would senselessly die in Pickett’s Charge that he has a difficult time ordering it to go forward.  And Robert E.Lee is horrified at the bloody result of the battle that he rides out to greet his men to apologize for the defeat, something that a commanding general rarely does.

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