Almost finished reading The Killer Angels with my ninth graders. For a book about the the battle of Gettysburg, there is very little action and fighting! It's very introspective historical fiction...trying to show the feelings and ideas of the major players of the war.
"This is free ground. All the way from here to the Pacific Ocean. No man has to bow. No man born to royalty. Here we judge you by what you do, not by who your father was. Here you can be something. Here's a place to build a home. It isn't the land - there's always more land. It's the idea that we all have value, you and me, we're worth something more than the dirt. I never saw dirt I'd die for, but I'm not asking you to come join us and fight for dirt. What we're all fighting for, in the end, is each other." Union officer, Colonel Chamberlain in The Killer Angels, by Michael Shaara