The Killer Angels

The Killer Angels

by

Michael Shaara

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Richard Ewell Character Analysis

Ewell is a Confederate Lieutenant General of such abilities that he has been chosen to succeed a portion of Stonewall Jackson’s former command. However, he lost a leg in battle the previous year and never regained his confidence in command. On the first day at Gettysburg, Lee orders him to attack the Union hold on Cemetery Hill if possible. However, Ewell fails to attack, and when Lee confronts him, he is rambling and nervous, deferring to Jubal Early. Lee later realizes that promoting him has been a mistake, as he just isn’t dependable in battle.
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Richard Ewell Character Timeline in The Killer Angels

The timeline below shows where the character Richard Ewell appears in The Killer Angels. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Wednesday, July 1, 1863: Chapter 3: Lee
Idealism vs. Disillusionment Theme Icon
...must continue the assault and keep the Union troops moving. He sends word that General Ewell should take the hill if possible. He thanks God for Longstreet’s spy, Harrison. (full context)
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...him, and together they savor this initial victory. Lee explains that he has ordered General Ewell to take Cemetery Hill. Longstreet agrees that this will be a good move, enabling the... (full context)
Honor Theme Icon
Old World vs. New World Theme Icon
...what will happen if he becomes unable to lead the army. He waits for General Ewell to attack Cemetery Hill, but no attack begins. (full context)
Wednesday, July 1, 1863: Chapter 6: Lee
Idealism vs. Disillusionment Theme Icon
...for the cause, for the dead of the day.” He arrives at headquarters, wondering why Ewell did not attack. He finds Ewell chattering and nervous. Jubal Early is also there; he... (full context)
Honor Theme Icon
Idealism vs. Disillusionment Theme Icon
...his officers and rides off in the dark. He talks with Trimble, an aide of Ewell’s who is furious with Ewell’s decision not to attack Cemetery Hill. When the man calms... (full context)
Honor Theme Icon
Old World vs. New World Theme Icon
Ewell comes to Lee more confident about the necessity of attack and remorseful about his slowness... (full context)
Thursday, July 2, 1863: Chapter 3: Longstreet
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...with the agreement of his commanders, as far as possible. He further explains that both Ewell and Early disagree with Longstreet’s argument for a defensive move, believing it would be bad... (full context)
Thursday, July 2, 1863: Chapter 6: Lee
Honor Theme Icon
Idealism vs. Disillusionment Theme Icon
...destroyed such a spirited soldier. Then Venable, one of Lee’s aides, approaches with news from Ewell’s camp. Ewell is uncertain in his actions, deferring too much to Early. This confirms Lee’s... (full context)
Friday, July 3, 1863: Chapter 2: Longstreet
Old World vs. New World Theme Icon
Idealism vs. Disillusionment Theme Icon
Meade moves earlier than expected, engaging Ewell. Lee and Longstreet move toward the front, met by the soldiers’ cheerful morale. At last... (full context)