History 1301 MWF 8a.m.
Motivations for Fighting in The Killer Angels
Fighting for a Cause
Man. The killer angel.  Since the dawn of civilization humanity has fought to protect what they hold dear. Whether that be freedom, religion or land, the body politic has been at war, even within their own borders. Civil War is defined as a war between regions of the same country. Throughout the course of the four and a half year Civil War, many battles were fought, but none quite as pivotal as the Battle of Gettysburg. Had Lee obliged Longstreet in his persistence of a defensive strategy, the Confederate Army very well could have won the war. Instead, the Union succeeded in holding their ground atop a hillside and thus defeating the Confederate Army and ultimately winning the war. One contemplates the motivations of both the Confederates and the Union soldiers in the United States Civil War. Was it money? Power? Dominance? Michael Shaara, author of The Killer Angels suggests alternative motives. In his novel about the pivotal battle, he suggests that even though it was commonly perceived that soldiers were fighting solely …show more content…
A rebel prisoner, when asked by a Union soldier why they were fighting in the war he responded “...they was fightin ' for their 'rats '...[they] kept on inistin ' they wasn 't fightin ' for no slaves, they were fightin ' for their 'rats '”. Although Shaara was ambiguous as to which rights they were referring to, it can logically be deducted that the Confederate soldier was referring to state rights, as that was a large issue surrounding the secession of the southern states. The Union view remained firm in the belief that the Southerners were fighting strictly on the basis of their right to own slaves as exhibited in a conversation between Chamberlain and his brother Tom, when Tom