July 1, 1863; Confederates force Union soldiers into town
AHHHH!!! SURRENDER BEFORE YOU LOSE MORE OF YOUR PEOPLE!!
July 2, 1863; Robert E. Lee attempts to weaken the Union Army
Attack the left line!
Just days before the battle of Gettysburg, General Joseph Hooker resigned from the Union Army after multiple defeats. In addition, Confederate General Robert E. Lee's "right hand man" Stonewall Jackson was killed from a battle wound before the battle in Gettysburg Pennsylvania which must have effected him and his leadership skills greatly in the most important Civil War engagement to come.
General Joseph Hooker
General Robert E. Lee
Robert E. Lee camped the confederates at Seminary Ridge, parallel to the Union forces who took a defensive stance on Cemetery Ridge until they could get reinforcements. Confederates launched multiple attacks at the ridge and eventually pressured Union soldiers into the town of Gettysburg. Union General John Reynolds was also killed on this day.
Death & Casualties
After the war, many soldiers, families, and friends mourned over the thousands of casualties
On the 2nd day of battle, Lee ordered an attack on the left side of the Union line. Both sides fought viciously for control of the hill Little Round Top, but the Union Colonel Joshua Chamberlain forced the confederates to pull back. The South never regained the momentum and spirit they had before day 2 of teh Battle of Gettysburg throughout the next 2 years of the war.
"We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place, for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live." - Abraham Lincoln
In late afternoon while commanding the largest unit of Confederates, General George Pickett orders his 15000 men to march 1 mile towards Cemetery Ridge. The Union had 6500, but the advantage of being on a hill and shooting down on the Confederacy. After the charge wasn't as easy as thought, Pickett retreated, leaving 7500 casualties while the Union only had 1500. This charge marked the end of the battle and Lee was forced to retreat back to the south.
After Lee was forced to retreat, the south never recovered from the Battle of Gettysburg. It was a turning point in the war because Lee never again attacked in the North, the result of the battle ended any chance the south could have of getting foreign aid, and it made the North hopeful of winning the war. With the largest military conflict in North American history, the Union only had about 23,000 casualties, while the Confederacy had more than 28,000-about 1/3 of their army.
They were so brave! WHYYY!!
After the Battle of Gettysburg, Abraham Lincoln gave a speech called the Gettysburg Address at the battlefield cemetery. This excerpt is important because Lincoln is acknowledging the soldiers who gave their lives to help save the Union and praising them for their bravery. He also is reassuring his listeners that the war is not over and there's still a tough fight ahead.
November 19, 1863; President Lincoln presents a short, but moving speech about the Battle of Gettysburg