Free Essay: The Battle of Gettysburg
The battle of Gettysburg is a devastating battle that was fought in 1863 and it is one of the crucial battles that foresaw the infamous Civil War. It took part in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and was between the Union and Confederate forces during the American civil war. The battle resulted to vast casualties and it is always described as the turning point of many wars fought in the era.
The battle was instigated and coordinated by Confederate General Robert E. Lee against Union Maj. General George Meade’s. In May 1863, Robert Confederate Army of Northern Virginia matched north and invaded the Army of the Potomac at Chancellorsville. Robert was confident enough and decided to go on the offensive campaign and invade the north. On top of this, Robert hoped to win recognition of the confederacy by the France and Britain. He also intended to strengthen the cause of northern copperheads who desired peace.
President Lincoln had lost confidence on the Potomac army and its leader Joseph Hooker who was less concerned to confront Robert Lee’s army. He named Major Gen. George Gordon Meade to succeed Hooker and immediately ordered a pursuit of the Lee’s army of 75,000 soldiers that had crossed the Potomac River marching to southern Pennsylvania. On July 1st, the battle of Gettysburg began without Lee’s knowledge of an imminent attack by the Meade’s troop. The confederate forces were able to drive the outmuscled Federal defenders back to the Cemetery Hill. Lee gave discretionary orders to attack Cemetery Hill before the Union army could take command of the area.
A lot took place during the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg in July 2. Evidently, the Union Army had gotten hold of the strong position from the Culp’s Hill to the Cemetery Ridge. Robert was aware of the situation at Cemetery Hill and was determined against the advice of his second-in-command James Longstreet to get rid of the Federals from their position. A great battle commenced along the Daniel Sickle’s line. The federals were able to hold a number of hours but they lost the Orchard, devils den and the field. The companied number of casualties for the two days hit nearly 35,000.
Day three of the battle of Gettysburg involved an attack early in the morning by the Union forces of the twelfth army corps on the Confederate army and they were able to regain their strong position. Lee believed that his men had conquered the opponent and sent three divisions to attack the troops at the Cemetery ridge. Against the advice of Longstreet, Lee proceeded to launch the attack, but his men were cornered from all sides. Barely half of the confederates survived the attack.
Lee thought of an imminent counterattack on July 4th but the Union troops never responded. The Confederate General withdrew his army and after losing more than 28,000 men. Lee lost 23, 000 men, but offered his resignation to President Jefferson Davis who refused vehemently. The Confederates not only lost large number of soldiers, but also political power. Residents of Gettysburg were concerned with the soldiers graves scattered all over the region and pleaded for a memorial cemetery to honor the fallen soldiers who dedicated their lives to the battle of Gettysburg.
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