Gettysburg battle was the battle which was fought during the civil world war and which mainly involved the Confederacy and the Union (South and North). Different arguments have been circulating in accordance with the reasons as to why the war was being fought. With many people believing that the key motivating factor was slavery, otherwise, the war could not have been witnessed. The two sides were defending what they perceived to be the best thing for the people of United States. Although both armies from the Union and Confederate had their own reasons for engaging in the war, all had its basis around one major evil: slavery. “’If it weren’t for the slaves, there’d never have been any war, now would there?’ ‘No,’ Chamberlain said”. (The Killer Angel 343).

    The Killer Angel is all about the Gettysburg Battle which took place during the era Civil War. The novel rotates about different people who were part of this battle and the struggle they went through without giving up. It also digs deep into their individual characters to enable its audience to understand their emotions as well as thoughts, decisions they made and their actions while on the battlefield. On the very first day, we encounter General Lee who was part of Confederate army getting his troops and gathering at the Gettysburg (The Killer Angel 14, 15). The next day, he instructs his soldiers not to start the fight until he joins them but they did anyway “external motivation”. This made the Union army to hold their line firmly, a circumstance which made General Lee start planning on his next move (The Killer Angel 73-113). Longstreet, co-partner of General Lee suggested that the army should head on to Washington, not through the Union but General Lee opposed the idea. He made a decision to directly attack the Union army.

    The Union army had full control over this territory they had captured through the battle although they had lost a lot of men with others being greatly injured. Confederates were also determined to win the battle until the very last day. At some point, both armies, Confederate and the Union began losing their men from death and also running out of the bullets they had. At last, the Union army fired cannons which led to demise of many more soldiers from the Confederate side. This made Confederates retreat marking the end of Gettysburg Battle with Union army as the winners.

    The Confederates were from the south under the command of General Robert Lee. Most of the soldiers who took place were unpaid and also self-equipped. This was an example of an army with remarkable unity and whose aim was to fight for disunion “mostly unpaid and usually self-equipped. It was an army of remarkable unity, fighting for disunion” (The Killer Angel xv). Some of the soldiers who were fighting in Confederacy were neither in support of slavery nor equality between black and white men. Their General, Robert Lee was a good example, who did not believe in slavery as well as the idea, that “the Negros… Can be considered the equal of the white man” (The Killer Angel xvi).

    Many people also thought that the main reason behind Confederacy’s engagement in the battle was for them to keep the slaves they had. “’They think we’re fighting to keep the slaves. He [Fremantle] says that’s what most of Europe thinks the war is all about.’” (The Killer Angel, 255). But the bare truth was that the battle was all about slavery even if it was not the personal reason for him. “The war was about slavery, all right. That was not why Longstreet fought but that was what the war was about, and there was no point in talking about it, never had been” (The Killer Angel 255).

    Despite the fact that they strongly believed in the reason behind their engagement in the battle, they found it very difficult most of the times to fight against the Unions and treat them as their enemies because they used to fight together. “’I used to command those boys,’ Longstreet said. ‘Difficult thing to fight men you used to command.’ ” (The Killer Angel, 191).  

    The Union Army had its origin from the south, with most of its endeavors in the novel is portrayed through Chamberlain. It was an army “of vastly dissimilar men, fighting for the union.. It is a collection of men from many different places who have seen much defeat and many commanders” (The Killer Angel xv & xvi). The Confederates were aware that the battle was being fought on slavery basis. They were also against slavery but they were fighting greatly for freedom than anything else. The first time in history where people seemed to have concern over the lives of people than the interests of the state “True freedom had begun here and it would spread eventually over all the earth. The fact of slavery upon this incredibly beautiful new clean earth was appalling…” (The Killer Angel 27).

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    The Union Army’s main reason behind engagement in the battle was to defend the justice of man. They had a belief that all people deserved to be treated equally despite their racial disparities “What I’m fighting for is the right to prove I’m a better man than many.. There’s many a man worse than me, and some better, but I don’t think race or country matters a damn. What matters is justice” (Bilof, 19). As the novel begins, and before the war starts, we encounter Chamberlain convincing a group of men to get into the army so that they can fight for the country. He also explains to them that the army was to be a different one because it will not be fighting for land but for the freedom of other men and it will be a fight against each other (The Killer Angel 30).

    The Union army also believed that if they lose in the battle the country would split into two and never become one again. They believed that the country was dividing because of the beliefs of the south “If they win there’ll be two countries, like France and Germany in Europe, and the border will be armed. Then there’ll be a third country in the West, and that one will be the balance of power” (The Killer Angel 179). The main focus of the Union was fighting for the equality of man as well as the country’s unity, although they were still aware that the battle was all about slavery at the end.

    People have been wondering how the soldiers from the two armies, Confederacy and Union were willingly volunteering on an unpaid basis to take place in the battle knowing that there was a risk of death (Atran, Scott, Hammad  & Angel, 17702). It just takes a soldier who is strong to fight for the benefit of his country. It also takes pride beyond measure and love for the country as well as that of fellow soldiers on the battlefield. According to Lee, “’To be a good soldier you must love the army’” (The Killer Angel 191). It takes a unique personality to sacrifice for one’s country knowing that the chances of coming back and be together with the family is a matter of luck. Soldiers fight very hard in the war not because they are afraid of death that because they believe in whatever they fight for. At some point, Lee tells Longstreet that “’We don’t fear our own death, you and I.. We protect ourselves out of military necessity, not fear. We are prepared for our own deaths and for the deaths of our comrades.” (The Killer Angel 192).