Sunday, March 8, 2020

Facts and Key Figures in the Battle of Gettysburg

Facts and Key Figures in the Battle of Gettysburg Dates July 1-3, 1863 Location Gettysburg, Pennsylvania Key Individuals Involved in the Battle of Gettysburg Union: Major General George G. Meade Confederate: General Robert E. Lee Outcome Union Victory, with 51,000 casualties total. Of those, 28,000 were Confederate soldiers. Overview of the Battle General Robert E. Lee had succeeded at the Battle of Chancellorsville and decided to push north in his Gettysburg campaign. He met the Union forces in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Lee concentrated his armys full strength against Major General George G. Meade’s Army of the Potomac at the Gettysburg crossroads. On July 1, Lees forces moved on the Union forces in the town from both the west and the north. This drove the Union defenders through the streets of the city to Cemetery Hill. During the night, reinforcements arrived for both sides of the battle. On July 2, struck the Lee attempted to surround the Union army. First, he sent Longstreets and Hills divisions to strike the Union left flank at the Peach Orchard, Devil’s Den, the  Wheatfield, and the Round Tops. He then sent Ewells divisions against the Union right flank at Culp’s and East Cemetery Hills. By evening, the Union forces still held  Little Round Top  and had repulsed most of Ewell’s forces. During the morning of July 3, the Union struck back and were able to drive the Confederate infantry from their last toe-hold on Culp’s Hill. That  afternoon, after a short artillery bombardment, Lee decided to push the attack on the Union center on Cemetery Ridge. The Pickett-Pettigrew assault (more popularly, Pickett’s Charge) briefly struck through the Union line but was quickly repulsed with severe casualties. At the same time, Stuart’s cavalry tried to gain the Union rear, but his forces were also repulsed. On July 4, Lee began withdrawing his army toward Williamsport on the Potomac River. His train of wounded stretched more than fourteen miles. Significance of the Battle of Gettysburg The Battle of Gettysburg is seen as the turning point of the war. General Lee had  attempted and failed to invade the North. This was a move designed to remove pressure from Virginia and possibly emerge victorious so as to quickly end the war. The failure of Pickett’s Charge was the sign of the Souths loss. This loss for the Confederates was demoralizing. General Lee would never attempt another invasion of the North to this degree.