Talk:The Killer Angels
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20th Maine hype.Edit
Please provide citation of reputable military historians who believe Chamberlain and the 20th Maine - after almost 150 years of honors - are now "overhyped". I've never heard anything of the kind in my life, and in just the last week I've all of a sudden stumbled on no less than four people making this assertion without attribution (only this instance at Wikipedia specifically). I'm more than willing to discuss the concept, but as I've said, I've never encountered anyone making the claim before now, so it sounds like I've just stumbled on a few people all listening to the same source trying a revisionism campaign. Opusaug 05:25, 7 May 2005 (UTC)
You can start with the Hartwig book cited in the article. It would be politically incorrect for the supervising historian of GNMP to use the term "over-hyped" but he does put the 20th ME into a broader perspective. Another is Troy Harmon's book. Chamberlain was a self-promoting politician [a redundant phrase, I know] and one of the few surviving heroes of the battle to tell his tale, which he did for 50 years, so it has been more prominent than deserved. The over-hyping is the set of currently popular assumptions: (1) LRT was a critical position for the Union; (2) LRT was directly in Lee's and Longstreet's plan of assault because they understood #1; (3) the 20th ME was the most important, or the only, unit that defeated the Confederate assault; (4) if the 20th had failed, a disaster would have occurred for the Union; (5) Chamberlain bravely and deliberately ordered the famous bayonet charge. All five of these points are false, but you'd never know that by reading Shaara or watching the movie. I don't object to the edits you've made [I presume it was you, although you didn't sign in before doing so], but this is not a revisionism campaign, it is an explanation that the last 20 years of hype are simply overblown. I could cite more historians and GNMP guides and online discussions, but let's leave it there for now. Hal Jespersen 16:21, 7 May 2005 (UTC)
Okay, I see where you're coming from here. You actually think that people need to be protected from misunderstanding that movies aren't real, and there's more to history than what they see on the screen. I'd agree with that if I thought it was proper for an encyclopedia to editorialize on the stupidity of its readers. On the other hand, I find it disturbing that we're relying on park rangers and "online discussions" for the basis of our authorship - perhaps I'm taking my participation in Wikipedia too seriously. If you'd like to graduate to a serious historian, I recommend Catton, but for a good grasp of the significance of any action specific to military science, try Esposito. They were both adults before you were in diapers, so they're a little more reliable than what you're used to. Opusaug 20:19, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
No need for personal insults. I am quite familiar with both Catton and Esposito and mentioned discussion groups because I didn't feel like doing any specific research into my library to answer questions from anonymous people. The point of this is that the book and movie elevated the fame of a particular incident beyond its military significance. If you read works like Coddington or Catton's "Never Call Retreat", published before Shaara, you'll see less emphasis on Chamberlain than in works published after, like Pfanz or Sears. Chamberlain was famous in his lifetime as he promoted himself, faded away, and then the book/movie brought him back. Hal Jespersen 23:08, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
There does seem to be significant support in the literature to believe that the contribution of the 20th Maine at Little Round Top is inflated. Several officers, Ellis Spears, Capt. Clark, of the 20th disagreed with Chamberlain's assesment. Try reading "Stand Firm Ye Boys of Maine" to get a feel for the controversy from the beginning. The standard text "Attack and Defence of Little Round Top" pub 1912? or there abouts was written by a participant who may have had an axe to grind. It is worth looking into. I agree the book and the movie give the impression that the 20th Maine saved the Union. I doubt that this is true. The real heroes at Little Round Top were Col. Strong Vincent and his entire Brigade.--Jayqq 20:06, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Stephen Sears in his book Gettysburg disputes the importance of the 20th Maine. He does detail the action there, but asserts it was not a critical conflict to deciding the battle; that fact does not diminish their bravery. I apologize for not providing more direct quotes, I do not have a copy handy. ChrTh (talk) 18:28, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
That was an interesting assertion about Buster's name being an anachronism. Do we know whether Buster Kilrain was actually "born" in the US? The derivation of the nickname is English. Perhaps it was more common among Irish immigrants than you think.
Anyway, continuing in a trivial vain: Buster Kilrain was one of two famous fictitious characters at Gettysburg. Can anyone name the other? Hal Jespersen 20:23, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
- Buster Keaton was an unusual celebrity in that his recollections were rarely incorrect or even exagerrated. It was his assertion that Buster was not used as a name in the US before it was given to him as a nickname. Corroborative evidence is located here. Whether or not it was used in Ireland is an excellent question which I don't know the answer to. It's not listed as an Irish name here, although the page doesn't list nicknames.. proteus71 17:40 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, don't see the "corroborative evidence"--Buster Brown and Buster Crabbe weren't named for Buster Keaton. In any case, the sentence is entirely immaterial in the article. The Kilrain conjecture is interesting, but skip the Buster commentary. And supporting it with an equally undocumented assertion (HIS recollections were incorrect and HE claimed HE was the first Buster) compounds the issue.--Buckboard 07:43, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
Fair use rationale for Image:The Killer Angels.jpgEdit
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"First, the actions of Chamberlain and the 20th Maine Infantry on Little Round Top have achieved enormous public awareness. Visitors touring the Gettysburg Battlefield rank the 20th Maine monument as their most important stop."
- Seems like this should probably be removed, not sure where you could ever find a survey or whatever to cite this. There's other unverified/OR all over the article. Seems like this content comes from a time where referencing wasn't as emphasized as it is now. --Omarcheeseboro (talk) 23:12, 29 July 2009 (UTC)