Battle of Gettysburg

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  • General Hooker (Union) and General Lee (Confederacy) fought in the town of Chancellorsville. Lee managed to defeat Hooker with Stonewall Jackson assaulting both the front of the Union and the flank. After taking several victories, General Lee took the war Northwards into Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. However, Lee’s scouts disobeyed his orders so he did not know that the Union’s encampment was nearby. 
  • On July 1st,1863, a Confederate raiding party came to Lee for supplies, only to discover the Union’s soldiers; triggering the Battle of Gettysburg. General Lee wanted to prevent the Union forces from trenching themselves on Cemetery Ridge, but due to General Ewell’s (another Confederate general) hesitation the Union made it. Lee then prepared his forces for the next day’s battle. 
  • On July 2nd, 1863, General Lee wanted to get Little Round Top: A hill where he could easily fire down on the Union soldiers. After a very bloody battle Lee didn't get the hill, so he decided to try to take Cemetery and Culp’s Hill. This was also unsuccessful, and the Union soldiers still held a strong defensive position.
  • On July 3rd, 1863, Lee fired artillery on the Union troops for about an hour, believing the Union was now weaker and damaged. However, the firing did very little damage, so when General George Pickett led his charge of 15,000 men up the hill, the Union showered them with artillery, killing ½ of the force. Lee apologized to his troops and began a retreat down south. General Meade of the Union decided not to pursue Lee, much to the disliking of President Lincoln.
  • The Battle of Gettysburg was a major turning point in the war, Lee had the upper-hand at first, but then the Union quickly took that from him and the war steadily declined for the Confederacy. A total of about 51,000 troops died in Gettysburg, Lee’s hopes to get Britain and France on his side demolished, and the Union’s hopes of winning soared.
  • On November 19th, 1863, President Lincoln announced the Gettysburg Address, renewing his commitment to the war and reminding the Union of what they were fighting for: Liberty, Equality and Democracy. Lincoln praised the Union soldiers for their bravery and concluded that the Civil War must be finished. He made this short and moving speech in the Gettysburg Battlefield Cemetery, the burial place for 3,500 deceased Union soldiers.
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