The Killer Angels
Important Quotations Explained
General Ewell the Federal troops are retreating in confusion. It
is only necessary to push those people to get possession of those
heights. Of course, I do not know his situation, and I do not want
him to engage a superior force, but I do want him to take that hill,
if he thinks practicable.
all night in front of Fredericksburg. We attacked in the afternoon,
just at dusk, and the stone wall was aflame from one end to the
other, too much smoke, couldn’t see, the attack failed, couldn’t
withdraw, lay there all night in the dark, in the cold among the
wounded and dying. Piled-up bodies in front of you to catch the
bullets, using the dead for a shield; remember the sound? Of bullets
in dead bodies? . . .
Remember the flap of a torn curtain in a blasted window, fragment-whispering
in that awful breeze: never, forever, never, forever.
was really thinking of killing him, wiping him off the earth, and
it was then I realized for the first time that if it was necessary
to kill them, then I would kill them, and something at the same
time said: you cannot be utterly right.
raised his saber, let loose the shout that was the greatest sound
he could make, boiling the yell up from his chest: Fix bayonets!
Charge! Fix bayonets! Charge! Fix bayonets! Charge! He leaped down
from the boulder, still screaming, his voice beginning to crack
and give, and all around him his men were roaring animal screams,
and he saw the whole Regiment rising and pouring over the wall and
beginning to bound down through the dark bushes, over the dead and
dying and wounded. . . .
is, if anything bad happens now, they all blame it on you. I seen
it comin’. They can’t blame General Lee. Not no more. So they all
take it out on you. You got to watch yourself, General. . . . I
saw you take all morning trying to get General Lee to move to the
Readers' Notes allow users to add their own analysis and insights to our SparkNotes—and to discuss those ideas with one another. Have a novel take or think we left something out? Add a Readers' Note!