The Battle of Gettysburg was fought over three gruelling days from the 1st to 3rd July 1863, in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania between Union and Confederate forces during the American Civil War.

The battle involved the largest number of casualties of the entire war – between 46,000 and 51,000 soldiers from both armies.

Union Major General George Gordon Meade‘s Army of the Potomac defeated attacks by Confederate General Robert E. Lee‘s Army of Northern Virginia, ending Lee’s invasion of the North.

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General Robert E. Lee

General Robert E. Lee

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There were many individual parts to the battle, the First Day, the defending Little Round Top, Culp’s Hill and Cemetery Hill on the second day and the infamous Pickett’s Charge on day three.

It was during Pickett’s Charge that the Young Soldier lost his right leg.

The Battle of Gettysburgh is considered by most historians as a turning point in the war. The Confederate army that returned from the fight at Gettysburg was physically and spiritually exhausted. Although fighting went on for a further two years, Lee would never again attempt an offensive operation of such monumental proportions. Meade, who had forced Lee to retreat, was criticized for not immediately pursuing Lee’s army. This battle become known as the High Water Mark of the Confederacy. Lee would never personally invade the North again after this battle, mainly just reacted to the initiative of the commander of all of the Union Armies, Ulysses S. Grant.

On November 19, President Lincoln used the dedication ceremony for the Gettysburg National Cemetery to honour the fallen Union soldiers and redefine the purpose of the war in his historic Gettysburg Address.

The Gettysburg Address

The Gettysburg Address

The entire Gettysburgh battleground is preserved as a memorial. The Gettysburg National Cemetery and Gettysburg National Military Park are maintained by the U.S. National Park Service as two of the American nation’s most revered historical landmarks.

Gettysburg National Memorial

In 1993 an epic movie was made of the entire battle, a lot of it staged at the actual battlefield itself. Gettysburgh (1993) is an astonishingly accurate piece and should be viewed by everybody who wants to get an insight into what the American Civil War was all about.

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