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Gettysburg Essay, Research Paper

Battle of Gettysburg

The Battle of Gettysburg was fought on July 3, 1863 and it was a

turning point in the American Civil War. The Battle of Gettysburg was

fought between the North and South over slavery. The whole war was

because the North did not want slavery and the South wanted slavery. Even

one battle was fought because of a guy named John Brown from the North

and he wanted to give the slaves guns. Under the Union, General George

Gordon Meade, numbered about 85,000 troops and the Confederates army

under General Robert Edward Lee, numbered about 75,000 troops. Then

after the Battle of Chancellorsville on May 2-4, an important victory for the

Confederates, General Lee divided his army into three groups each

commanded by three lieutenant generals. They were James Longstreet,

Richard Stoddert Ewell and Ambrose Powell Hill. Then on June 30,

Confederate troops from General Hill?s group were on their way to

Gettysburg then the heard that Meade troops had moved down to stop the

Confederate army. The battle began on July 1 outside of Gettysburg with a

meeting between Hill?s advance troops and the federal calvary division

commanded by Major General John Buford, supported by infantry under

Major General John Reynolds. Hill met tough opposition and unsure about

battle until Ewell arrived from the north in the afternoon. Then the

Confederates States pushed against General Oliver Howard?s troops and

forced the federal troops to retreat from their forward positions to Culp?s Hill

and Cemetery Ridge which was southeast of Gettysburg. The fighting had

been heavy on both sides, but the Union troops suffered more losses. More

than 4,000 men were taken prisoner by the Confederates and John Reynolds

was killed in the battle.

On the following day, July 2, Meade formed his forces in the shape of

a horseshoe, extending westward from Culp?s Hill and southward along the

cemetery Ridge to the hills of Little Round Top and Round Top. On the other

hand the Confederates were sent in a long thin depressed line with Longstreet

and Ewell on the sides and Hill in the center. On the night of July 2, Meade

held a council of war in which the decision was made not to retreat. On the

third day of battle, the federals had a good fighting position and the

Confederates had lost their good position. Lee decided to start an attack

despite opposition from other Confederate generals. This fight did not begin

until noon. Groups of the Confederate division, including the division led by

General George E. Pickett, totaling fewer than 15,000 men, took part in a

important charge on Cemetery Ridge against a devestating of federal artillery

and musket fire. This attack was known as Pickett?s Charge. With Pickett?s

Charge, the Battle of Gettysburg was almost over. On the night of July 4, Lee

began his retreat to Virginia expecting another attack from the federal army.

Meade, however did not attack because of heavy rains which hurt the pursuit

of the retreating Confederates. During the three miserable days of battle, the

federal army lost 3,070 killed, 14,497 wounded and 5,434 captured or

missing. The Confederates lost about 3,500 killed, 1,800 wounded and 5,150

captured or missing.


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