International Relations





Thelast measure by Jeff Shaara is an epic story about the culminatingevents during the battle at Gettysburg. The war was between theConfederate army from northern Virginia- the Confederate States ofAmerica and the Federal army from Potomac. General Robert E. Leedirected the Confederate soldiers under the leadership of PresidentJeffers Davis, and the Federal army commanded by Major General GeorgeG. Meade under the leadership of President Lincoln (Shaara, 2014).

Thestory begins ten days after the loss at Gettysburg. The two armiesappear badly bruised from the previous war and are retreating awayfrom the battlefield- Gettysburg. General Lee observes his depletedarmy trapped against the Potomac River’s banks that were swollen bythe rains. Meade had delayed to pursue them, and this gave Lee anopportunity to fortify his men (Shaara, 2014).

Later,Lee decides to move his men to Virginia and contends to the loss ofhis leading commanders such as Barksdale, Armistead, Pettigrew andGarnett among others. Lee blamed for the defeat tenders hisresignation to the president of the Confederate States of America-Jeffers Davis. Davis rejects Lee’s resignation and argues no othercommander has the respect of the army men like Lee. Lee getsconvinced by the decision made by Davis and considers the confidenceof his army. After contemplating his lost generals, Lee understandsthat his army must learn to fight a different kind of battle (Shaara,2014).

Meanwhilein the Federals, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain had been wounded in hisfoot and suffered from Malaria. He decided to return to Maine. On hisreturn, he is welcomed as a war hero. He soon recalled to duty andreturns to his unit. His general commander General Griffin informshim that he has the command of the Third Brigade. As a start, he isgiven the task to oversee the execution of deserters. The event wasto serve as a lesson to the rest of the men. Chamberlain moves histroops toward Virginia- the Bristoe Station, and it arrives byOctober. Meade continues to pursue Lee gently, and Lee is a forced todestroy his railroads as a strategy to prevent the north from usingthem to resupply (Shaara, 2014).

Inthe dawn of 1864 The North needed new leadership. President Lincolnwas frustrated by the fact that the war last for too long. He feltthat his army had given many opportunities for Lee to escape.Consequently, Lincoln resolved to introduce a new face to the easternfront of the war. He introduced Ulysses S. Grant, who was a generalthat had built a high reputation in Tennessee- as both a fighter anda winner. Grant is the third main character in the last series offull measure (Shaara, 2014).

Immediatelyafter Grants establishment, He begins to move the strength of theFederal Union army towards the south. By the dawn of May in 1864,Grant initiates the first confrontation with Lee in the battle of thewilderness. As a great observer, Grant observes that the key strategyto beat Lee is not by using large numbers since there was asubstantial amount of war that was pending in the Southern battletroops. It becomes evident that the war could last for another year.Grant further pursued Lee into central Virginia. Their encounters ledto historic sites that are renowned for their horrors such asSpotsylvania and Cold Habor (Shaara, 2014).

Grantfinally manages to get Lee penned up at Petersburg and decides toinitiate a siege with an aim to cause abrasion of Lees army than anyother army before him had achieved. He aims at reducing Lee’s armyto the levels that cannot afford any more war (Shaara, 2014).

Thefinal days of the war unfold with the passage of time, and it makesthe three men realize that the wars shall never resemble each otherin terms of might experience and brutality. The battle had developedfrom a gentleman’s fight into a dehumanizing experience for bothparties (Shaara, 2014).

Grantsstrategy becomes successful, and Lee’s army begins to collapse.Upon observing his defeat, Lee begins attempts to protect his armyand their cause. Meanwhile, Grant accelerates his pursuit until thewar gets to its dramatic end. The Battle ends in a small town calledAppomattox. The two leaders meet at the city with the aim ofconcluding the nation’s most horrific episode (Shaara, 2014).

Grantchooses Joshua Lawrence- a young officer in his army and gives himthe honor of receiving the surrender request of Lee’s army. Inaddition to obtaining the surrender request, Joshua Lawrence alsoorders his men to acknowledgment their crushed enemy (Shaara, 2014).

Thenovel is not just a story but also a complete series. After thebattle, the main three characters of the battle are paid a visitduring their ripe years. Lee visited in the year 1870 and Grant inthe year 1885 while Chamberlain was paid a visit in the year 1913.Each of the generals expressed their part of the history. However,each man gets to a conclusion of their own about the role they playedin forming the history of the United States of America. Chamberlainprecisely goes into an optimistic conclusion that the great lessonshumankind has learned from battles he would not dare go down thatawful road again. Chamberlain never survived to see the world war one(Shaara, 2014).


Shaara,J. (2014). TheLast Full Measure.New York, NY: Birlinn.