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.
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.