The Killer Angels was written by Michael Shaara and was first published in 1974. Though The Killer Angels was not immediately popular during Shaara’s lifetime, the novel won the 1975 Pulitzer Prize for Literature. Despite this award, the novel was still not well known until the 1993 movie Gettysburg, which propelled the novel to number one on the NY Times bestseller list.
Michael Shaara first wrote science fiction in the 1950s, but later wrote fiction for multiple magazines. Shaara visited Gettysburg and after seeing the battlefield and learning about the Battle of Gettysburg and its significance, Shaara started to write a historical novel using the real historical figures Robert E. Lee and many others, creating The Killer Angels.
Told by various protagonists, The Killer Angels recounts the Battle of Gettysburg, during which, on July 1, 1863, the Confederate army and the Union army fought in the largest battle of the Civil War in America, which resulted in over 51,000 dead, wounded, or missing men.