A History of the Bloody Battle of Gettysburg in the Civil War

The bloody Battle of Gettysburg

The Battle of Gettysburg was perhaps one of the most important battles in the Civil War history. Between the days of July 1-3, 1863, the most bloodshed occurred on the battlefield compared to any other fight in the Civil War, as in the Battle of Gettysburg had suffered the most casualties of any battle during the war. It marked a turning point in the war because the South despaired while the North rejoiced in their victory in the war, as they were originally losing battles.

The South losing supplies (Men, food, guns, etc) was much more hurtful to them, so General Robert E. Lee stopped his attack on the North. From that point on, the South would be playing defensively.

On the first day of the battle, a small skirmish erupted. After Robert E. Lee won a “smashing victory” over the army of the Potomac at Chancellorsville, he tried pressing his advantage. Approaching the crossroads of Gettysburg, he and his men tried looking for supplies, and were able to push back the outnumbered Union defenders.

He told Richard Ewell to attack Cemetery Hill, but he refused. He declined the attack because he thought the federal position was too strong, but all he did was allow more federal troops to arrive. By dusk, 4 more Union corps were able to reinforce the defenses. After the first day, the general urged to attack as early as possible.

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James Longstreet advised to stay on the defensive, but Robert went against his advice and ordered to attack the federal position around Culp’s Hill and Cemetery Ridge as early as possible. Longstreet could not get his soldiers into position quickly enough, and they did not attack until 4pm. The Union side was able to use this time to even further strengthen their defenses well enough that they had a much better chance to standing against the massive amount to Confederates. From there, massive amounts to open fire occurred over the next few hours. The “skirmish” was now turning into a bloody outrage. Towards the end of that day, the battle had already seen over 35,000 casualties.

Early in the morning of the third day, the Union’s Twelfth Army Corps were able to push back a Confederate threat after a 7 hour firefight. They were able to gather a strong position on Culp’s hill. Robert Believed that his army still were able to achieve victory, so he sent three divisions to the Union’s center close to Cemetery Ridge. Led by George Pickett, the 15,000 soldiers would walk around 34 of a mile across an open field. Despite Longstreet’s advice and protests, Lee was determined to win this battle. Later, Pickett’s charge would go into effect, they charged at Union soldiers behind stonewalls, while regiments flanked them from sides. Because they were trapped, Pickett’s division lost 43 of it’s men retreating, and Lee lost a grand total of about 1/3 of his men during the battle.

The North rejoiced in their victory while the South mourned heavily, them losing resources is much more detrimental than the North losing resources, simply because the North had so much more. It truly was a turning point in the war in favor of the North since it gave hope to them once again, stimulating them. In addition, the great loss of Lee’s army would help the Union in a future battle. Robert was quite demoralized after the battle and even tried to offer his resignation to Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, but was refused. Over the battle, around 51,000 people were wounded, killed, or missing, and many of those survivors would die of disease and other issues. This battle in history is the bloodiest of them all.

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A History of the Bloody Battle of Gettysburg in the Civil War. (2021, Dec 17). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/a-history-of-the-bloody-battle-of-gettysburg-in-the-civil-war/

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