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Michael Shaara presented Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain in his The Killer Angels not only as a courageous, heroic soldier with outstanding integrity, but depicted him using tremendous leadership skills in a large variety of situations. When we were first introduced to Chamberlain he gave a remarkably motivating speech to over one hundred starved and angry soldiers. With his passionate and honest plea he was able to break through their barriers of hate and betrayal and inspire them to fight for a belief even they could relate to. This act alone convinced me that this man was a talented leader and would have an impressive impact on The Battle of Gettysburg. After each confrontation where casualties occurred Chamberlain was sure to visit with each individual soldier or group of soldiers and be certain they didnt need the attention of a doctor. He also took time to get to know his men and build relationships with them.
Through this act Chamberlain gained more respect, even, than Lee because his soldiers not only knew who they were fighting for, but also knew that if they died fighting for him they would die in honor under the command of a caring and passionate man. To be a good soldier you must love the army. But to be a good officer you must be willing to order the death of the thing you love. This isa very hard thing to do. ~Robert E. Lee (The Killer Angels Pg. 191) Chamberlain showed what a good officer he was during the battle on Little Round Top. When he knew his troops were in trouble he had to order his own brother to help fill a spot, risking his life.
Throughout the novel Shaara mentions how closely-knit the relationship between the two brothers was yet Chamberlain knew his duty to protect the Union army's flank and was willing to sacrifice both himself and his beloved brother Tom in order to fulfill it. Shaara made an obvious point of making Chamberlain out to be a model officer despite his not quite kosher method of entrance into the army. I believe that in his research the author developed great respect for Chamberlain and wanted to convey that to his readers. He has done a spectacular job!
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Research essay sample on The Killer Angels Chamberlain A True Leader