The Battle of Gettysburg was fought in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania between July 1st and July 3rd, 1863. Gettysburg is often portrayed as being the supposed “turning point” of the war, as the Union, led by General Gordon Meade defeated the Confederacy, led by General Robert E. Lee.
Lee began the second campaign of the war, aptly named “The Gettysburg Campaign” after his success at the battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia in May of 1863. He hoped that while he had momentum on his side, he could advance as far as Pennsylvania, and eventually to Philadelphia. Lee rapidly advanced to Gettysburg, with his plan being quickly engaging and destroying the Union army. As he advanced Lee gave strict orders for his army to minimize any negative impacts on the civilian population. Food, horses, and other supplies were generally not seized outright, although quartermasters reimbursing Northern farmers and merchants with Confederate money were not well received. Various towns, most notably York, Pennsylvania were required to pay indemnities in lieu of supplies, under threat of destruction, The Union troops quickly formed lines on the North and Northwest ridges of the town, with a main goal being simply slowing down the superior infantry of the rebels. As expected, the Confederates easily collapsed them. The retreating troops fell back into the actual town and the hilly Southern area. (A)
Very soon after, General John Reynolds was shot and killed, dealing the Union a critical blow very early in the battle. Maj. Gen. Abner Doubleday took command of Reynolds’ corps. The Rebel 26th North Carolina began its assault on the corps, and took heavy losses, starting with 839 men and ending the day with a lowly 212. The remaining troops formed a thin semi-circle from the west to the north to the northwest of the town. the Confederate Second Corps divisions of Maj. Gens. Robert E. Rodes and Jubal Early assaulted and out-flanked the Union I and XI...
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