Battle of Gettysburg
Essay title: Battle of Gettysburg
The Civil War was the greatest war in American history. Three million American soldiers fought and 600,000 died in the huge battles. It was the only war fought on American soil by Americans, and for that reason we have always been fascinated with The Civil War. It is widely known that the American Civil War was the war which took the most casualties, and it divided the US. The main cause of this war was the slavery and hate between the Northern States and the Southern States. Jefferson Davies, the president of the Confederate forces, declared war against the Union. The Northern States wanted to force the South not to work with slaves. The war began in 1861 and the surrender took place in Appomattox Courthouse, April 9, 1865. The General of the Confederate forces, Robert E. Lee signed the surrender and retired. Although he had many successes in the beginning of the war, he could not lead his forces to victory in the long and bloody Civil War, which was mostly due to the battle of Gettysburg. In this three-day battle (July 1st -3rd) General Meade – the General of the Army of the Potomac (the Union) managed to defeat the Army of Northern Virginia, and at the end, Meade’s brigades have successfully defended their positions. In the battle of Gettysburg the numbers of casualties were estimated to be 51,000 on both sides.

US military leader, Confederate commander in the American Civil War, and military strategist. Lee had freed his own slaves before the war began, and he was opposed to secession, however his devotion to his native Virginia led him to join the Confederacy. At the beginning of the war he became military adviser to Jefferson Davis, and in 1862 commander of the Army of Northern Virginia. During 1862-1863 he made several raids into Northern territory, but after his defeat at Gettysburg was compelled to take the defensive; he surrendered.

Ulysses S. Grant was born at Point Pleasant, Ohio, on April 27, 1822. He graduated in West Point in 1843 and served in the Mexican War. He resigned from the army in 1854, after warnings from his commanding officer about his drinking habits, and for the next six years held a wide variety of jobs in the Middle West. With the outbreak of the Civil War, he sought a command and soon, to his surprise, was made a brigadier general. His continuing successes in the western theaters, culminating in the capture of Vicksburg, Missouri, in 1863, brought him national fame and the command of all the Union armies. Grants policy of concentrating on dividing and destroying the Confederate armies brought the war to an end. The next year, he was made full general.

In July of 1863, General Robert E. Lees Army of Northern Virginia of 75,000 men and the 97,000 man Union Army of the Potomac under General George G. Meade met, by chance, when a Confederate brigade sent forward for supplies observed a forward column of Meades cavalry.

Of the more than 2,000 land engagements of the Civil War, Gettysburg ranks supreme.
Here at Gettysburg on July 1, 2, and 3, 1863, more men fought and more men died than in any other battle before or since on North American soil. In June, Robert E. Lee decided to take the war to north. He planned to destroy the railroad bridge at Harrisburg, and then turned his attention to Philadelphia, Baltimore, or Washington. After the long march north, Confederate troops were spread from Chambersburg, through Carlisle, and into York. Towns across southern Pennsylvania were being searched for needed supplies to continue the Southern offensive. While looking in Gettysburg, Pettigrews brigade engaged Bufords cavalry on a ridge a mile west of town.

The Battle of Gettysburg began on July 1 with Confederate troops attacking that Union cavalry division on McPherson Ridge, west of town. Out-numbered, the Union forces managed to hold, and even drive the Confederate army back, after the addition of John Reynolds’s Infantry division. They prevailed until afternoon, when they were overpowered by additional southern troops, and driven back through town. Thousands of Union soldiers were captured before they could rally on Cemetery Hill, south of town. Long into the night Union troops labored over their defenses while the bulk of Meades army arrived and took positions.

On July 2, the battle lines were drawn up in two sweeping arcs. The main portions of both armies were nearly a mile apart on two parallel ridges; Union forces on Cemetery Ridge facing Confederate forces on Seminary Ridge

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