Battle of Gettysburg and Union

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The Battle of Gettysburg was the turning point of the American Civil War. This is the most famous and important Civil War Battle that occurred on July 1st-3rd 1863 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. More importantly Gettysburg was the clash between the two major American Cultures of their time: the North and the South. The Confederacy had an agricultural economy producing tobacco, corn, and cotton, with many large plantations owned by a few very rich white males. These owners lived off the labor of sharecroppers and slaves, charging high dues for use of their land. The Southern or Confederate Army was made up of a group of white males fighting for their independence from federal northern dictates. The Union economy was based on manufacturing, and even the minorities in the North were better off than those in the South most of the time. The Northern politicians wanted tariffs, and a large army. The Southern plantation owners wanted the exact opposite. The South was fighting against a government because they thought they were being treated unfair. An analysis of the Battle of Gettysburg reveals one challenge facing the Union and the Confederacy was unjustified taxes and slavery. The battle began on July 1, 1863. The Battle of Gettysburg began when the Confederate cavalry ran into the Union horsemen. Both sides then called for backup. The Confederates’ back up arrived first; they now had twice as many men as the union. Soon after Union General John Reynolds arrived, he was shot in the back of the head and killed instantly. They confederates drove the Union south of town. Everyone set up for battle and waited until day two. The excitement of the battle began on day two, July 2, 1863. By morning, 150 thousand Union and Confederate troops had joined at little Pennsylvania town. The Confederates occupied a line west of the Emmetsburg Road, along the Seminary Ridge. While the Union men waited along Cemetery Ridge. The union had an advantage because; Cemetery Ridge was a somewhat more elevated. On day two the Union won overall. The following events occured on day two: Little Round Top, Devil’s Den, Battle of the Wheatfield, Battle of the Peach Orchard, and the Battle of Cemetery Hill. The number of casualties in the Battle of Gettysburg was enormous compared to any war. The casualties of just day two are the union at 8,750 and the confederate at 6,500. One of the major events from day two was the Devil’s Den. It is unique because the Confederate won which was very uncommon. “Devil’s Den is the name given to a ridge strewn with large boulders south of the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and about 500 yards west of Little Round Top on the Battle of Gettysburg battlefield. The origin of the name is uncertain. On July 2, 1863, the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, the area around Devil’s Den saw intense fighting as part of General Robert E. Lee’s flank attacks, when Lieutenant General James Longstreet’s Confederate corps attacked the divisions of Major General Daniel Sickles’ III Corps of the Army of the Potomac. Some 5,500 Confederates from Major General John Bell Hood’s division ultimately captured Devil’s Den from 2,400 defenders drawn from Major General David Bell Birney’s division. It was one of the few Southern successes in that day’s fighting. Total casualty estimates are over 800 for the Union, more than 1,800 among the Confederates.” (The Devil's Den) This event/location is also significant because Major General John Bell Hood was wounded and was forced to yield his command.

There were two main locations of the Battle of Gettysburg, they were Little and Big Round Top. Little Round top is the smaller of the two. It is located between Taneytown and Emmetsburg roads. At the time of the battle “it was known locally by various names including Sugar Loaf.” (Little Round Top) Major General Governor K. Warren, chief engineer of the Army of the Potomac, rushed troops to Little Round Top; they arrived minutes before the...
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