The Battle of Gettysburg Changed Everything

The Battle of Gettysburg changed everything for the Union. During the Civil War, America was fighting against each other, so there were two sides. The Confederates were mainly from the south and the Union was from the north. The concerning issue involved the North wanting slaves to be free while the south wanted to keep slaves. This conflict started the Civil War and up until the Battle of Gettysburg, the Confederates were striving. The south was winning every battle, so going into the Battle of Gettysburg they were not very prepared for what they had coming their way.

The Civil War was fought through 1861-1865. The first day of the battle started on July first. On the day of the battle General Lee had 75,000 Confederate soldiers while the Union has 90,000 (History.com Editors). General Lee believed that if he could ambush the north and invade then he could convince the North to sign a peace treaty. He believed that he could take over the Union army and put an end to the war with his plan, however that didn’t happen.

Instead the Union planned on ambushing the Confederates until a spy told General Lee about the Union’s strategy. Lee decided to send some of his soldiers to the North and that’s when General John Buford, the Union’s General, saw them coming. General Buford waited until he could get more of his soldiers together before attacking the incoming Confederate troops. Once he got more soldiers he sent them to the cemetery which was probably the best thing he could do for his army. At the end of that day both armies had to help the injured soldiers and took camp for the night.

The next day of the battle the Union had an advantage on the Confederates for the first time during the Civil War. The Union’s positioning and knowledge of the land was a huge game changer for the forces. The Confederates knew of this and was considering about retreating back south towards Washington D.C. General Lee wouldn’t even think about the idea as he said, The enemy is there, and I am going to attack him there (Achenbach). The Confederated listened to Lee however they were not very happy with his decision. The battle that happened that day was supposedly the most gruesome fighting in the war.

Later in the day, the Union General realized that is soldiers were about to be taken out by Confederate soldiers. His strategy was to have roughly 300 men charge the upcoming Confederate soldiers. Many of these men died but it was very successful for the Union because the opposing soldiers decided to go back for more reinforcement. Once the Confederates were back in shape they attacked the Union from the sides and caused many soldiers to surrender.

On the last day of the battle the Confederates had been striving and destroying the Union army, so General Lee decided to attack the center of the Unions front. Union Lieutenant Longstreet later said, Lee knew that I did not believe that success was possible; that care and time should be taken to give the troops the benefit of positions and the grounds; and he should have put an officer in charge who had more confidence in his plan (Achenbach). Longstreet did not believe in his soldiers and he believed that the Union should have put someone else in charge since he did not have much trust in his army.

Then the men began marching but the Union did not shoot, they held their fire. Then all of a sudden everyone start the cannons and then their muskets. Roughly half of the Confederate that charged the Union were killed, injured, or captured. After that night Lee was upset about the Union win and he was heard to say, It was my fault (Achenbach).

The Battle of Gettysburg was three long gruesome, tragic, and eventful days. Before the Battle of Gettysburg the Confederate were thought to win the war, they were even abou to offer a peace treaty to the north. However, after the two long days at Gettysburg the Union fought back. They used new techniques to defeat the Confederates which eventually lead to the Union winning the Civil War. General Lee then resigned as General after the war and President Abraham Lincoln gave his famous speech, A New Birth of Freedom. Lincoln addressed in his speech all the men who fought their ground throughout the war. As someone once said, The greatness of America lies not being more enlightened than any other nation, ut rather in her ability to repair her faults (Kindersley 17).

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