58 pages 1 hour read

Michael Shaara

The Killer Angels

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1974

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Part 4Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 4: “Friday, July 3, 1863”

Part 4, Chapter 1 Summary: “Chamberlain”

Sitting in a tree on top of Big Round Top, the highest point for either army, Chamberlain watches the sunrise, feeling pain in his leg and bleeding from his foot. Tom appears at the bottom of the tree and climbs up to sit with his brother. They talk about their dislike of bayonets, their chances of winning the war, and their respect for the enemy. Suddenly, they hear cannon fire on Cemetery Hill. Chamberlain orders Tom to alert their pickets that the Rebels might come their way and to send a message to General Rice asking for more ammunition. Chamberlain eventually leaves the tree himself, limping from the pain in his foot. He hears the fight growing to the north as he walks among his men nodding to them and asking how they are and wishing he could feed them after their victory yesterday.

As he continues walking among his soldiers, noting their weariness, a courier arrives telling Chamberlain that he and his men are relieved and are to follow him to a new position so a fresh regiment can replace them. Chamberlain doesn’t want to leave his position, but within minutes the new unit is there, so he prepares his men to follow the lieutenant.