The Battle of Gettysburg did not win the war, but the battle included the largest amount of American soldiers. On June 24, 1863 the Confederate Army was led across the Potomac River and moved towards Pennsylvania by General Robert E. Lee. The Union Army was being moved north from Washington by General George Mead who has recently replaced General Joseph Hooker by request of President Lincoln. As General Lee was moving his troops, his cavalry commander, Jeb Stuart, reported the movement to the Union Army instead of the Confederate Army. The Confederate Army now had the upper hand and as General Lee saw the Union Army approach, he scattered his troops move west of the small town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
The Confederate Army attempts to enter into Gettysburg to get much needed supplies when they are approached and stopped by the Union Army. The Union Army has decided to fight for Gettysburg. Gettysburg is a town where many roads meet and is the perfect place for the Union Army to setup and keep the Confederate Army from advancing. The fighting becomes heavy and is moved through the streets of Gettysburg and into Cemetery Hill that lies just south of Gettysburg. As the troops begin to move, General Lee orders General Richard Ewell to attack the Union Army. General Ewell decides to hold back his troops when he sees the Union Army has artillery on top of Cemetery Hill.
As the rest of the Union Army arrives, they set up a defense position that resembles a fish hook. The fish hook defends Culp’s Hill and Round Tops. As the battle progresses, the Union troops make a mistake and Little Round Top becomes open. The Confederate Army pushes to claim Little Round Top. As the Confederate Army races toward the hill, a Union general moves his troops to the hill and holds the ground. Most of the Union soldiers have become misplaced after fighting throughout the day. They are pushed into The Peach Orchard, The Wheat Field and the Devil’s Den.
General Lee once again decides to attack the Union Army. General Lee believes the Union Army has a weak center and begins the battle with artillery and charges his infantry. The Confederate infantry becomes blocked by the Union Cavalry that is led by General George Custer. After an hour of heavy fighting and artillery, the Union Army deceives the Confederate Army into making them believe they are out of ammunition and their guns are gone. General Lee has his 13,000 Rebels march across the field towards Cemetery Hills. When the army arrives, the Union Army attacks the Confederate Army with heavy artillery and infantry. More than one third of the Confederate Army is taken. General Lee has his army retreat to Virginia. The Union Army decides they have damaged the Confederate Army enough and does not push to pursue the retreating army.
After General Lee retreated, the Union was saved. The casualties that were left behind are the highest recorded casualties on American soil. The Confederate Army and Union Army had a totally of over 51,000 casualties, over 172,000 men and 634 cannon were positioned over 25 square miles. And estimated 569 tons of ammunition was used and 5,000 horses were killed. The scene was complete devastation. The Battle of Gettysburg wounded and hurt the sole of the Confederate Army, but it did not stop them from continuing on with the war. The war continued for another two years, but the Confederate Army never recovered the high loss of manpower that happened during the Battle of Gettysburg. The Union Army received the victory.
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