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Gettysburg: Death Blow of the Confederacy?

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 0

The Battle of Gettysburg occured in the small rural town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The battle stretched between July 1st to July 3rd 1863. It was in these three fabled days that the armies of Northern Virginia and the Potomac would clash. The Southern Confederacies loss at Gettysburg, coupled with the loss at Vicksburg Mississippi would forver be known as the death blow to the Confederacy.

On July 1st 1863, the southern army, under the command of Robert E. Lee engaged the army of the Potomac on the outskirts of Gettysburg. Lee's army was headed for Philidelphia, to raid the important rail way and manufactoring centers of the North-East. In route, elements of Lee's army, desperate for shoes, entered Gettysburg.

It was here that entrenched Federal dismounted calvary held Lee's men during the early morning of July 1st. As the day progressed however, Lee's army managed to push the Army of the Potomac back, through Gettysburg, and into a fish-hook formation to the east of town.

Gettysburg could have ended here. Lee could have moved his army out during the night and continued towards Philidelphia. But, General Lee had just won a major campaign in Virgnia and was overconfident. He decided to press the attack on the second day. July 2nd would be a stalemate for both sides.

Union

While the South did gain possession of certain key locations on the battlefield, the Confederacy failed to take little and big roundtop or Culps hill. The Army of the Potomac maintained it's position on the field and the Army of Northern Virginia had few gains. Many compaines lost their lives in battle this day.

On July 3rd a massive Confederate attack on the Union center, failed. This attack known now as Pickett's charge would mark the High Water Mark of the Confederacy and ultimately the climax of the last Confederate assualt on northern soil. The failure of Pickett's charge combined with the loss of the Confederate bastion, Vicksburg, on the Mississippi River would mark a permanent turn in the war. This turn would favor the Union and from July 3rd 1863 onwards the Union would make remarkable gainanthe South would make unmistakable blunders and losses.

As a side-note I am a history major at Christopher Newport University. The battle of Gettysburg has become one of my fascinations and I intend on updating this article many times, because it is one of great significance to me. The loss at Gettysburg was the death blow to the Confederacy, as I have already outlined in this article. But, the valor and combat of these three days of terrible fighting should not be forgottened or glossed over as a rebel insurrection against the United States. These men were fighting for a cause they believed in and it should be remembered that way.

armistead

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