The battle of Gettysburg
On Tuesday morning, June 30, 1863, an infantry brigade of Confederate soldiers searching for shoes headed toward Gettysburg. The Confederate commander spotted a long column of Federal cavalry heading toward the town. He withdrew his brigade and informed his superior, General Henry Heth, who in turn told his superior, A.P. Hill, he would go back the following morning for shoes that were desperately needed. The battle began on July 1, 1863, when some of General Ambrose Powell Hill’s advance brigades entered the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania looking for shoes. Due to General Stuart’s failure to complete his mission of tracking the Union Army, Hill’s troops encountered a Union cavalry division command by Major General John Buford. During battle in front of Cemetery Hill, General Hill was faced with stubborn resistance from the Union forces trying to hold until the rest of the forces could arrive and help out. Having made his decision to stay at Gettysburg and go on the offensive, General Robert E. Lee pondered the best way to carry it out. From the close of the first day’s fighting until late that night he discussed battle plans with his generals. He held no council of war, nor time, even informally. Instead he himself rode out to consult with each corps commanders and his chief subordinates, and he saw other officers individually or in groups at his headquarters. General Robert E. Lee ordered several brigades to travel east to check their location and to search for supplies for his troops. Northwest of the town of Gettysburg they met. A skirmish ensued and as the battle heated, word was sent back to both commanders that the enemy was found and reinforcement troops proceeded to the area. Over the next two days General Robert E. Lee’s army converged onto Gettysburg from the west and north while General George Meade’s army arrived from the south and southeast. Thus a battle never planned occurred simply by circumstance. Although, the...
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