The Tide of War Turns 16-5

By Anna Eckholm

Battle of Gettysburg

The 3-day Battle of Gettysburg began when Union cavalry surprised Rebel infantry raiding the town for shoes. Outnumbered, the Northerners fought desperately to hold the town before retreating to Cemetery Ridge, a line of hills south of Gettysburg. The next day the Rebels launched another assault, but counterattack saved the Union position.

Victory at Vicksburg

A great battle was taking place at Vicksburg, Mississippi. Vicksburg stood on a high bluff above the Mississippi River. To gain control of river, one of the North's major war goals, the Union needed to seize Vicksburg. For several months, Union forces under Ulysses S. Grant had laid siege to the town. Finally on July 4, 1863, Vicksburg surrendered.

Turning Point

The Union victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg marked a turning point in the war. They drove Lee's army out of Pennsylvania, secured the Mississippi as a Union highway, and cut the South in two.

Lincoln at Gettysburg

On November 19, 1863, at a ceremony dedicating a cemetery at Gettysburg, scholar Edward Everett spoke for two hours. Then in 2 minute speech, called the Gettysburg Address, President Lincoln beautifully expressed what the war had come to mean.