After the success at Chancellorsville (May, 1863), general Robert E. Lee chose on effort a second invasion that the North. As soon as Lee heard from his scouts that major General George Meade to be planning to do a was standing at pipe Creek in Maryland, he chose to assault him prior to he got to his defensive positions.

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The Confederate Army and the Union military reached Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on second July. Richard Ewell take it Culp"s Hill however was beaten turn off at Cemetery Hill. George Meade counterattacked the next morning and retook Culp"s Hill.

Robert E. Lee now ordered James Jeb Stuart, Amrose Hill, George Pickett and James Longstreet through 15,000 guys to attack the key Union forces. Winfield S. Hancock drive them ago and the Confederate military suffered heavy casualties.

By the 5th July, Robert E. Lee determined to cross the Potomac and also retreat south. George Meade chose not to monitor him. Both sides suffered hefty losses through Confederate military losing 28,063 men and also the Union army 23,049.

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A photo of dead members that the 24th Michigan Infantry at Gettysburg by Timothy O"Sullivan (July, 1863)

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American Civil war Encyclopedia


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Primary Sources

(1) James Jeb Stuart report on man Singleton Mosby throughout the Gettysburg project (15th June, 1863)

Major Mosby, with his normal daring, penetrated the enemy"s lines and caught a staff-officer of basic Hooker - bearer of despatches to general Pleasanton, commanding joined States cavalry near Aldie. These despatches disclosed the reality that Hooker was looking come Aldie v solicitude, and that Pleasanton, v infantry and also cavalry, inhabited the place; and that a reconnaissance in pressure of cavalry was meditated toward Warrenton and also Culpeper. I automatically despatched to basic Hampton, that was coming by method of Warrenton indigenous the direction that Beverly Ford, this intelligence, and directed that to fulfill this development at Warrenton. The recorded despatches also gave the entire variety of divisions, from which we could estimate the approximate toughness of the enemy"s army. I thus concluded in no occasion to assault with cavalry alone the opponent at Aldie.

(2) George E. Pickett, letter to his mam after the fight of Gettysburg (6th July, 1863)

The sacrifice that life on the bloodsoaked ar on the fatal third was too dreadful for the declaring of victory, even for ours victorious foe, who, i think, believe as we do, the it decided the fate of ours cause. No indigenous can snapshot the anguish of the roll contact - the breathless waits in between the responses. The "Here" that those who, through God"s mercy, had miraculously escaped the terrible rain of shot and also shell with a sob - a gasp - a knew - for the unanswered name of his comrade called prior to his.

Even currently I can hear castle cheering as I gave the order, "Forward"! I have the right to feel your faith and also trust in me and their love for our cause. I deserve to feel the thrill of your joyous voices together they referred to as out all follow me the line, "We"ll follow you, grasp George. We"ll follow you, we"ll monitor you." Oh, just how faithfully they maintained their word, complying with me on, ~ above to your death, and I, believing in the promised support, led them on, on, on.

Oh, God! i can"t write you a love letter today, my Sallie, for, v my an excellent love because that you and my gratitude to God because that sparing my life to devote to you, comes the overpowering believed of those whose lives were sacrificed - the the brokenhearted widows and mothers and orphans. The moans of my wounded boys, the vision of the dead, upturned encounters flood my spirit with grief; and also here am I, who they trusted, who they followed, leaving them on the field of carnage.

(3) Carl Schurz served under basic George Meade in ~ the fight of Gettysburg. He wrote about the battle in his autobiography released in 1906.

To watch after the injured of my command, I went to the areas where the surgeons were at work. At Bull Run, I had seen just a very little scale what i was now to behold. In ~ Gettysburg the hurt - numerous thousands of castle - were carried to the farmsteads behind our lines. The houses, the barns, the sheds, and also the open up barnyards to be crowded v moaning and also wailing person beings, and also still an unceasing procession that stretchers and ambulances to be coming in from all sides to augment the variety of the sufferers.

A hefty rain collection in throughout the work - the normal rain after a fight - and big numbers had to stay unprotected in the open, there gift no room left under roof. I saw lengthy rows of men lying under the eaves the the buildings, the water putting down upon their bodies in streams.

Most of the operation tables were put in the open up where the light to be best, few of them partially protected against the rain through tarpaulins or blankets stretched upon poles. There stood the surgeons, their sleeves rolled as much as the elbows, your bare arms as well as their linen aprons smeared through blood, your knives not hardly ever held between their teeth, when they to be helping a patient on or turn off the table, or had actually their hands otherwise occupied; roughly them pools the blood and amputated eight or foot in heaps, sometimes much more than man-high.

Antiseptic techniques were quiet unknown at the time. Together a wounded guy was lifted top top the table, regularly shrieking with pain together the attendants handled him, the surgeon conveniently examined the wound and also resolved upon cutting turn off the hurt limb. Part ether to be administered and also the body placed in position in a moment. The surgeon snatched his knife from between his teeth, wherein it had been while his hands to be busy, wiped the rapidly once or twice throughout his blood-stained apron, and also the cutting began. The procedure accomplished, the surgeon would look around with a deep sigh, and also then - "Next!"

(4) Walt Whitman remained in Washington once news to be published about the battle at Gettysburg (4th July, 1863)

As i went under the Avenue, saw a huge flaring placard on the bulletin board of a newspaper office, announcing "Glorious success for the Union Army!" Meade had combated Lee in ~ Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, yesterday and also the job before, and also repulsed him most signally, bring away 3,000 prisoners.

I walked on come Armory Hospital - took along with me number of bottles the blackberry and cherry syrup, great and strong, however innocent. Went through several of the wards, announced come the soldiers the news indigenous Meade, and also gave them all a great drink of the syrups through ice water. On the other hand the Washington bells room ringing their sundown peals for fourth of July, and also the normal fusillades that boys" pistols, crackers, and guns.

(5) general Oliver Howard took component in the battle of Gettysburg. In his autobiography Howard wrote about his feelings ~ the battle had finished.

It is periodically said come me the writing and also speaking top top the occasions of battle may have actually a deleterious influence upon youth. I can conceive of two factors of such a warning - one, that a soldier by his enthusiasm may, even unconsciously, infuse into his writing and speech the battle spirit, and also thus incite solid desires in younger minds for similar excitements and also deeds; and also secondly, a soldier deeply impacted as he need to have been in our an excellent struggle for nationwide existence, might not take adequate pains in his accounts of historical incidents come allay any spirit the animosity or dollar what might still exist.

But with regard come the first, i think there is need of a faithful portraiture the what us may contact the after-battle, a panorama which reflects with fidelity the fields covered through dead men and also horses; and also the wounded, numerous and helpless, extended on the soil in masses, each wait his turn; the turbulent hospitals with hay and also straw for bedding, saturated through blood and wet v the rain; equines torn right into fragments; every varieties of residential or commercial property ruthlessly demolished or ruined - these, which us cannot fine exaggerate, and also such as these, cry out against the horrors, the hateful ravages, and the countless because of war. They show plainly come our youngsters that war, with its embodied woes and furies, need to be avoided, other than as the last appeal because that existence, or because that the legal rights which are an ext valuable than life itself.

When i dwell ~ above the scene on July fourth and fifth at Gettysburg, the photos exhibiting Meade"s men and also Lee"s though now shadowy indigenous time, room still full of destructive groupings and revolting lineaments.

There is a lively energy, an emulous activity, an exciting buoyancy of heart in every the preparations for an expected battle, and these feelings room intensified into an raised ardor throughout the conflict; however it is another thing to see our comrades over there upon the ground through their darkened faces and also swollen forms; another thing to clock the countenances the friends and companions but lately in the bloom of health, now disfigured, torn, and writhing in death; and also not less affecting come a sensitive heart come behold the multitude that strangers prone and also weak, pierced through wounds, or showing broken limbs and every sign of suppressed suffering, waiting for hours and also hours because that a relief i m sorry is lengthy coming - the relief the the surgeon"s knife or that death.

As come the 2nd reason, any type of feeling of an individual resentment in the direction of the late Confederates I would not counsel or cherish. Our countrymen - big numbers of lock - an unified and battled us difficult for a cause. Castle failed and we succeeded; so that, in an moral desire for reconcilement, I would certainly be the much more careful, also in the use of terms, to convey no hatred or reproach for the past. Such room my real convictions, and also certainly the on purpose in every my initiatives is no to anger and separate, but to pacify and unite.

(6) Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg attend to (19th November, 1863)

Four score and also seven years ago, ours fathers brought forth ~ above this continent a brand-new nation: conceived in liberty, and committed to the proposition the all males are developed equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war trial and error whether the nation, or any nation so conceived and also so dedicated can long endure. We are met ~ above a an excellent battlefield of that war.

We have come to dedicate a section of that ar as a last resting ar for those that here provided their stays that this country might live. The is completely fitting and also proper that we need to do this. But, in a bigger sense, we cannot dedicate, us cannot consecrate, us cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and also dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far over our negative power to include or detract. The civilization will tiny note, nor long remember, what us say here, but it can never forget what they go here.

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It is for united state the living, rather, to be committed here come the unfinished occupational which lock who combated here have actually thus far so nobly advanced. It is fairly for us to be here committed to the an excellent task remaining prior to us the from these honored dead we take raised devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion, that we right here highly solve that these dead shall not have passed away in vain, the this nation, under God, shall have a brand-new birth the freedom and also that federal government of the people, by the people, for the civilization shall no perish from this earth.