Gettysburg Essay, Research Paper
By: carl hegney
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.