Before the Battle of Gettysburg, General Robert E. Lee lost many good generals in battle. Lee's main goal was to break the North's will to fight. He led his army North, hoping that a victory would make other countries recognize the Confederacy. Both the Union and Confederacy armies came near the town of Gettysburg to replenish supplies, and rest. Lee traveled with 75,000 men, while Union Major General George G. Meade traveled with 95,000 men.
July 1, 1863
Confederate soldiers went to the little town of Gettysburg, PA (2,400) to get shoes. There, they saw a Union General, and immediately left to report back to Lee. Union retreated quickly, and took the high ground at Cemetery Ridge, and Culpis Hill. Lee realized how bad it was that the Union Army took the high ground, and ordered Ewell, one of his generals, to attack, which he did late. General James Long street also argued that the Confederate army should move East and assume a defensive possesions. Finally, Lee decide to camp along Seminary Ridge, parallel to Union forces.
July 2, 1863
Lee launched headstrong into battle on the second day. Brutal fighting last all day until nightfall. The Confederates tried to take control, but by the end of the day, Union still held most of its original strong positions. Main fight was over control of Little Round Top, the smaller of the two rocky hills south of Gettysburg.
July 3, 1863
On the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, the battle started at the crack of down. After yesterday's defeat, Lee was outraged, and tried to go to extremes. General George Pickett commanded the larges Confederate division, charged with attacking the Union lines. Over 15,000 Confederates joined the Charge, marching 1 mile under heavy artillery and cannon fire. 7,500 casualties and many more injured.
Battle of Gettysburg was the last major South invasion of the North. The crushing defeat of the South ended dreams of Cotton Democracy. The North's win at the Battle of Gettysburg and at Vicksburg raised the Union's spirits who now believed they can win the Civil War. This was a turning point because it was one of the first major Confederacy defeats. Over 170,000 soldiers from both sides died. After the battle Lee rode around telling survivors, "It's all my fault".
It's all my fault. I'm sorry!
..."that this nation under God shall have anew birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, shall not perish from this Earth."
On Nov. 19, 1893, Lincoln spoke in front of 15,000 people. He reminded soldiers what they were fighting for; the rights that the Founding Fathers promised in the Declaration of Independence. In only 272 words, Lincoln described his belief that the Union will not only survive, but also win the Civil War.