July 3, 1863: The Battle of Gettysburg concludes
The Civil War found the North and South clashing over putting an end to slavery. One crucial moment during the war was the Battle of Gettysburg. With so much calamity, people wondered if it would ever end. Fortunately, it did, but it left a huge stain on the nation.
Heading up North
In 1863, General Robert E. Lee plotted a trip up North, but it wasn’t to preach the word of Gatling guns. He wanted to change their vision about the Confederacy. President Abraham Lincoln got word of this journey and decided to take swift action. He ordered Major General George Gordon Meade to prevent Lee from accomplishing his goal.
The battle begins
On July 1, Lee decided to head to Gettysburg to fight the Union head on. If Lee wanted to continue his quest, he needed to take out the opposing troops. Lieutenant General Richard S. Ewell kicked down the doors with a massive strike against Union soldiers. This day, 15,000 soldiers met their maker. The following day, Lee decided to attack the Union on both sides. With his second in command James Longstreet and Richard Ewell, he launched the assault in the day. Daniel Sickles and his Union corps fended off the attack, but Sickles received a horrific wound. Both armies lost 9,000 each in a gruesome day of battle.
A disastrous outcome
On July 3, Lee was still feeling that he was one step closer to victory. With 15,000 troops at hand, he moved them forward to Cemetery Ridge under the supervision of George Pickett. Unfortunately, Union troops from Vermont, New York, and Ohio were waiting for them. “At daylight, Lee’s right-wing batteries opened upon our left, and shortly after those of his center followed. After half an hour’s cannonading, doing but little damage to us, the fire slackened, and only occasional shots were exchanged,” a reporter for Saturday Evening Post said.
The afternoon battle wiped out a vast majority of Lee’s troops. Knowing that he screwed up, Lee retreated back to Virginia with some of his dignity left. Overall, this was one of the worst Civil War battles with 51,000 soldiers lost in three days. For the Confederacy, this was a precursor for their inevitable defeat.