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The Killer Angels | Study Guide

Michael Shaara

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The Killer Angels | Characters

Character Description
Joshua Chamberlain Colonel Joshua Chamberlain is a professor of rhetoric from Maine who uses a sabbatical as an opportunity to enlist. He is a colonel in the Union Army and leads a brave charge at Little Round Top in the Battle of Gettysburg. Read More
Robert E. Lee General Robert E. Lee is the beloved, revered leader of the Confederate Army. Weakened by a heart condition, Lee hopes his trusted general Longstreet can pull off one last decisive victory to end the war. Read More
James Longstreet General James Longstreet, often called "Pete," is the stubborn and opinionated second in command to Lee. He argues against the attack at Gettysburg, preferring a defensive strategy and worrying about the cost to his men, but he will not disobey Lee. Read More
Porter Alexander Porter Alexander is a capable, young Confederate officer assigned to the critical task of firing artillery on the center of Cemetery Ridge.
Ames Ames is a previous commander of the regiment from Maine, of which Chamberlain becomes commander. Ames teaches Chamberlain what good military leaders should do.
Amos Long Amos Long is a Union soldier who feels anxious about poor visibility on the treed slopes on Little Round Top.
General G.T. Anderson General G.T. Anderson is a Confederate officer in Hill's division.
Brigadier General Lewis Armistead Brigadier General Lewis Armistead, sometimes called "Lo," is a soft-spoken man from a military family who has served for many years with both the Confederate Army officers in his corps but also with his dear friend and Union officer Winfield Scott Hancock before the war.
General Barksdale General Barksdale is a brave Confederate officer with the Mississippi. Formerly he had been a politician.
Buck-toothed boy The buck-toothed boy is a young cavalry lieutenant who is eager to serve his commander, Buford. He is well educated.
Yellow-haired boy The yellow-haired boy is a Confederate lieutenant under Buford in the cavalry.
Boy spy An unnamed boy from Illinois keeps anxious watch for signs of the Confederate Army from the top of a tree and warns the Union with a shot.
Captain Brewer Captain Brewer is the callous, irritated Union officer who hands over the mutineers from Maine to Chamberlain. He has no respect for the men.
Harry Bright Harry Bright is a soldier under Pickett who desperately screams for reinforcements during the charge on Cemetery Ridge.
Private George Washington Buck Private George Washington Buck of the Union Army was once a sergeant and is determined to regain the rank.
Joseph Bucklin Joseph Bucklin is the chosen spokesman of the Union mutineers from Maine. He is a scarred, experienced soldier who wants to go home.
Major General Buford Major General John Buford is an experienced Union cavalry officer who first scouts and claims the high ground outside of Gettysburg.
Dan Burns Dan Burns is one of the Maine mutineers, the son of a preacher.
General Dan Butterfield General Dan Butterfield creates bugle calls to indicate different instructions to soldiers. The particular tune for Chamberlain's brigade is named after Butterfield and uses the syllables of his name.
Lieutenant Tom Chamberlain Lieutenant Tom Chamberlain is the innocent younger brother of Joshua Chamberlain. He assists his brother and looks to him for wisdom.
Chamberlain's father Chamberlain's father is a quiet, strong Maine farmer. He teaches Chamberlain about the murderous nature of mankind.
Major Clarke Major Clarke is a reliable Confederate officer who knows Longstreet well enough to know his name is Dutch.
Clarke Clarke is a Union commander of the Eighty-Third.
Sergeant Corse Sergeant Corse is a bowlegged Union soldier eager for female company—only to be disappointed.
J.S.D. Cullen J.S.D. Cullen is a Confederate surgeon who is disappointed to learn of the loss at Little Round Top. He works hard to save Hood's arm.
Jim Crocker Jim Crocker is a member of Pickett's staff. He is sentimental about being near his old college in Gettysburg.
Tom Devin Tom Devin is a cheerful, determined young Union brigade commander who serves under Buford, whom he respects.
Doubleday Doubleday is the Union officer who takes over command after Reynolds's death. In Lee's opinion Doubleday is not Reynolds's equal.
Major General Jubal Early Major General Jubal Early is a Confederate officer with a mutual dislike of Longstreet and his friends but has an alliance with Ewell, to whom he gives poor advice that hurts the Confederates' chances at Gettysburg.
Glazier Estabrook Glazier Estabrook is a large, muscled Union soldier in charge of guarding the mutineers.
Major Edgar Major Edgar is a Union officer under General Hancock who fights with another major about whose commanding officer is in charge of the army after the death of Reynolds.
Lieutenant General Richard Ewell Lieutenant General Richard Ewell is a Confederate officer who has already lost a leg in the war and with it his self-confidence. He tends to defer judgment to Early.
Fairfax Fairfax is an aide to Longstreet and relays Pickett's messages word for word from memory.
Fanny Fanny is Chamberlain's wife who enjoys the South and is furious when he leaves to join up. He most often thinks of her in a sexy red gown.
Private Foss Private Foss is a Union soldier who prays before the attack on Little Round Top.
Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Lyon Fremantle Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Lyon Fremantle is an English officer and observer. He believes the Confederates share a British sense of aristocratic values and social order, and he is an admirer of Lee.
Bill Gamble Bill Gamble is a brave, honest commander of a Union cavalry brigade. He is determined to hold the ground of the ridge despite being outnumbered.
Brigadier General Richard Brooke Garnett Brigadier General Richard Brooke Garnett serves as an officer in the Confederate Army. He comes to Gettysburg an injured man with something to prove. His honor was called into question by Stonewall Jackson, who died before Garnett could respond.
Geary Geary is a Union officer.
John Gibbon John Gibbon is a Union soldier who fights despite having brothers in the Confederate Army.
T.J. Goree T.J. Goree is Longstreet's trusted aid, a skinny man from Texas. He believes each man's time is up only when God ordains it.
Major General Winfield Scott Hancock Major General Winfield Scott Hancock is the dashing, artistic Union officer who is old friends with Confederate officer Armistead.
Mira Hancock Mira Hancock is Hancock's beautiful wife and dear friend of Armistead. She plays the piano.
Beau Harrison Beau Harrison is part of Pickett's staff.
Lieutenant Frank Haskell Lieutenant Frank Haskell is a Union officer and aid to Gibbon. He respects Chamberlain and gives him food.
Captain Hawkins Captain Hawkins is a Confederate officer from Alabama who, exhausted and dejected, surrenders to Chamberlain's soldiers after the attack on Little Round Top.
General Harry Heth General Harry Heth, a smart, responsible Confederate officer, is surprised to find two Union brigades in Gettysburg, which leads to an unintended, regrettable confrontation. He wants to redeem his mistake.
Major General Ambrose Powell Hill Major General Ambrose Powell Hill, a Confederate officer, is a generally unpleasant man who always seems to be sick when the time to fight arrives.
General John Bell Hood General John Bell Hood, often called "Sam," is a Confederate officer from Texas who voices his opinion against Lee's orders strongly but in the end obeys under protest.
General Joe Hooker General Joe Hooker is replaced by Meade as the leader of the Union Army. He is said to have frozen up at a previous battle.
General Oliver Howard General Oliver Howard is somewhat envious that Union troops go to Hancock for orders instead of to him. He blames Buford for not supporting him enough on Seminary Ridge.
Stonewall Jackson Stonewall Jackson is Lee's faithful general who could always be counted on to move decisively. He wants to court-martial Garnett for pulling his men out of a bad position, but Jackson is killed several months before the Battle of Gettysburg.
Jenkins Jenkins is a Confederate officer under Pickett who is sent to lead a brigade to protect Richmond.
Captain Sydney Johnston Captain Sydney Johnston is Lee's engineer whose job is made more difficult without intelligence from Stuart. He has known Longstreet, Hancock, and Armistead for many years.
Jim Kemper Jim Kemper is a Confederate brigade commander and former politician who distrusts foreigners and thinks England should come to the aid of the South. He believes passionately in the right of the Confederacy to self-governance.
Joe Kershaw Joe Kershaw is the leader of Longstreet's South Carolina brigade.
Private Buster Kilrain Private Buster Kilrain is the ornery, elderly former sergeant who serves under Chamberlain. He loves a drink and believes there are good men and bad men, regardless of race or class.
Osmun Latrobe Osmun Latrobe is a member of Longstreet's staff.
Lawley Lawley is an observer and journalist embedded with the Confederate Army.
Rooney Lee Rooney Lee is a wounded Confederate soldier and the son of Robert E. Lee.
Longstreet's children Longstreet's three unnamed children die suddenly near Christmas of a fever.
Longstreet's wife Longstreet's unnamed wife shows no emotion when she tells him of their children's deaths. She is part Native American.
Wounded black man The wounded black man is found by Chamberlain's men after he has been shot. He has been in America only a few short weeks, is afraid, and wants to go home.
Colonel Marshall Colonel Marshall is a Confederate officer and aid to Lee who is livid with Stuart for failing to do his duty. Marshall wants Stuart court-martialed.
Maury Maury is a member of the Confederate medical team.
General McClellan General McClellan is a former leader of the Union Army whom the men respect and love. They wish he still led them.
General McLaws General McLaws is a slow, deliberate Confederate officer under Longstreet. McLaws has a tendency to be sentimental on occasion.
Major General Meade Major General George Gordon Meade is the newly selected commander of the Union Army. He is not well liked or respected, and he shies away from a battle at Gettysburg.
Lieutenant Homan Melcher Lieutenant Homan Melcher is a thin, brave, young officer with buck teeth. He serves in the Union Army under Chamberlain.
Meredith Meredith is the leader of one of Lee's brigades. Lee thinks the brigade fights well.
Bill Merrill Bill Merrill is a Union soldier who fights alongside his older brother, Jim, under Chamberlain. He shoots from behind a tree rather than lying behind a stone wall because he can't shoot as well lying down.
Jim Merrill Jim Merrill is a Union soldier fighting under Chamberlain, alongside his younger brother, Bill. Like his brother he can shoot better from a standing position.
Captain Morrill Captain Morrill is a Union soldier with a large mustache who is entrusted with taking a few men to protect the Union flank for Chamberlain.
Major Moses Major Moses, also known as Judah Benjamin in Richmond, is a Jewish member of the Confederate Army. He gives Longstreet a steak before the battle, and Fremantle finds him charming.
Wormy Munroe Wormy Munroe is a surgeon in the Union Army who disappoints the regiment from Maine by determining them unfit for a battle after inoculations.
Newton Newton is a Union commander of the First Corps and new to the position.
Nolan Nolan is a Union doctor who has never treated a black person until the wounded black man found by the soldiers.
General Dorsey Pender General Dorsey Pender is a trustworthy Confederate officer who is worried that his wife no longer prays for him, thinking the South invading Pennsylvania is wrong.
Pender's wife Pender's wife is a pious woman who feels convinced the Confederate invasion of the North is against God's will. She is unwilling to continue praying for her husband's welfare as a result.
General Johnston Pettigrew General Johnston Pettigrew is a former academic and writer who is doubted by Confederate officers but in fact accurately identifies the presence of Union cavalry in Gettysburg.
Major General George Pickett Major General George Pickett is a handsome Confederate officer with a flair for the dramatic. He is anxious not to miss the battle and its chance for glory.
Lieutenant Pitzer Lieutenant Pitzer is dapper young man with a penchant for gossip and a bad case of hay fever.
Pleasanton Pleasanton is a cavalry officer in the Union Army.
Reporter A reporter from Richmond is trying to get the inside story on Stuart and the potential for a court-martial.
Major John Reynolds Major John Reynolds is a skillful Union soldier who denied the command of the army rather than be controlled. He is admired by the soldiers but is killed almost immediately as the confrontation at Gettysburg begins.
Colonel Rice Colonel Rice is a Union officer from New York who is very surprised and impressed with Chamberlain's courageous bayonet charge.
General Rodes General Rodes is a Confederate officer who disappoints Lee, together with Ewell, in his failure to take the hill early in the battle. He has little to say in his own defense.
Ross Ross is a fat Austrian observer with a large mustache who believes in dressing properly in battle to inspire respect.
Sallie Sallie is a school-aged girl with whom Pickett is in love. She has convinced him to give up alcohol.
Scheibert Scheibert is a husky Prussian officer and observer who wears a monocle and is offended at the lack of German speakers to appreciate his knowledge of battle.
John Sedgewick John Sedgewick is a corps commander in the Union Army. He falls asleep in a meeting with Meade to vote on withdrawing from Gettysburg.
Harry Sellars Harry Sellars is a soldier under Hood who desperately tries to convince Longstreet to give Hood's battle requests a chance.
Dan Sickles Dan Sickles is the swaggering politician turned Union officer responsible for foolishly leaving Little Round Top undefended. He is known as the man who killed the man having an affair with his wife.
Major Moxley Sorrel Major Moxley Sorrel is Longstreet's loyal, organized chief of staff. He believes in the cause of states' rights.
Lieutenant Ellis Spear Lieutenant Ellis Spear, formerly a school teacher, is Chamberlain's ranking officer; he retains his introverted, formal manner. He is elated at their victory at Little Round Top.
The spy The spy (real name Harrison) informs the Confederate Army of the location of the Union Army. He likes to think of himself as a scout, and he is proud of the intelligence he gathers.
Lieutenant J.E.B. Stuart Lieutenant J.E.B. Stuart, often called "Jeb," is the Confederate cavalry officer who neglects to report the whereabouts of the Union Army to Lee because he is busy gallivanting around the countryside courting the favor of the press. His failure leaves the Confederate Army without crucial information as the battle of Gettysburg begins.
General Sykes General Sykes is a bad-tempered, grouchy Union officer who recognizes Chamberlain's bravery.
Old Tangent Old Tangent is Ewell's horse and is said to be ornery as well as the slowest horse in the hemisphere.
Major Walter Taylor Major Walter Taylor is a young, rather prim man. He is General Lee's chief of staff, and he feels very territorial about taking care of Lee's affairs.
Sergeant Ruel Thomas Sergeant Ruel Thomas is a dependable orderly for the Union Army in Chamberlain's regiment.
Sergeant Andrew Tozier Sergeant Andrew Tozier is a big man and dependable aide to Chamberlain who looks out for the welfare of his commanding officer.
General Isaac Trimble General Isaac Trimble is a brave, older Confederate with a fiery personality who refuses to serve under Ewell after he balks at taking the hill.
Venable Venable is a well-mannered, patient older Confederate officer from Virginia and aid to Lee; he is sad to have to conclude (and report) that Ewell, whom he likes, has made grave mistakes.
Colonel Vincent Colonel Vincent is a handsome brigade commander who acts as if he knows what he is doing even when he doesn't. He trusts Chamberlain.
Colonel Walton Colonel Walton wants Longstreet to remember he is the senior artillery officer.
Watters Watters is a Confederate soldier from Maryland who is ordered to find Stuart and bring him to Lee.
Captain Woodward Captain Woodward is a Union officer of the Eighty-Third from Pennsylvania.
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