When Fremantle looks at the position of the Union troops, what is the setting for the battle to come in The Killer Angels? (Thursday, July 2, 1863: The Second Day: Chapter 1, Fremantle)

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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The British observer Arthur Fremantle awakes early at 3 a.m., "the stars shining brightly," and "the army awakened around him." Fremantle enjoys a leisurely breakfast, knowing that there will be bloody fighting later in the day. As the dawn approaches, the morning becomes hotter. It begins as a clear day and "remarkably still." No smoke, no cannon fire. As he observes the scene below from the ridge on which he stands, he could "see nothing, feel nothing, hear nothing." Clouds soon appear, and the day becomes "very hot, even hotter than before." Fremantle sees that the Union army is entrenched, but the Confederates have no trenches of their own. It means that the Federal troops will not attack; instead, they will wait for the Confederates to assault their well-defended positions. Fremantle wonders how many more Union corps might "lay in wait beyond the haze of that far ridge." With borrowed field glasses, he can see the Union lines, breastworks, "caissons, men on horseback moving in the trees." He sees that Cemetery Hill, not taken by the Confederates the night before, is now defended by the enemy. He sees Cemetery Ridge and "two round hills"--Round Top and Little Round Top.

The Union position was approximately three miles in length, or so it seemed from here. All this Fremantle saw with continually rising excitement.


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