Study Guide

The Killer Angels Part 4, Chapter 6

By Michael Shaara

Part 4, Chapter 6

Chamberlain

  • In the evening, Chamberlain wanders around the Union line, aware that he was present for one of the most important events in American history. The battlefield is a wasteland, in stark contrast to the pleasant fields in the morning.
  • Chamberlain thinks that the Confederate charge was the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen. He admires the Confederates' bravery and senses the real tragedy of their situation.
  • It starts to rain. Tom comes over and sits with Chamberlain, who again remembers how he'd used Tom to plug a hole in the line the day before.
  • Tom thinks the Confederates fought bravely, too, but he can't figure out why they're fighting. Even though they claim not to be fighting for slavery, that's essentially what the war is about. Chamberlain agrees.
  • Chamberlain thinks of Kilrain's death but realizes he can't hate the Southern gentlemen. They were brave, too, and he feels like they were his fellow countrymen, in a way.
  • Chamberlain says to Tom that the Confederates are all equal in death, now.
  • Chamberlain knows that the war isn't over, and he's actually looking forward to the next battle. He thinks he'll need to come back to Gettysburg again, once it's all over, so he can understand what happened.
  • That night, the rain turns into a storm, which washes the soldiers' blood down into the earth, where it will grow upward again with the vegetation, reaching toward heaven.
  • The next day is the Fourth of July.

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