The Battle of Gettysburg

By: Grace Bennett

Gettysburg - “High Water Mark of the Rebellion”

Generals at Battle:

Union - George Meade

Confederate - Robert E. Lee

Winner - Union

July 1 - July 3, 1863

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

During the War

More than 165,000 soldiers in the Confederacy went through Northern Virginia, across the Patomac River to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to attack on the Union. They felt very victorious after their past victory at Chancellorsville and were about to attack for the second time in less than a year. They had the strongest military strength that they would ever achieve throughout the war.

The first day fighting at McPherson’s Ridge, Oak Hill, Oak Ridge, Seminary Ridge, Barlow’s Knoll and around the town, involved 50,000 soldiers; about 5,500 were called missing, captured, wounded or dead. The first day was seen as the 12th bloodiest battle within the Civil War. The Battle of Gettysburg had more deaths than the battles of Franklin and Bull Run put together.

The second day fighting at Devil’s Den, Little Round Top, the Wheatfield, the Peach Orchard, Cemetery Ridge, Trostle’s Farm, Culp’s Hill and Cemetery Hill involved 100,000 soldiers; about 20,000 were dead, wounded, missing, or captured.

The third day, Robert E. Lee's last try to defeat the Union at Cemetery Ridge was a huge failure. This last attack effectively ended the war. The South lost 28,000 men, and the North lost 22,000.

Importance of the Battle to Today

The battlefield today, located in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, is a great resource for historians and people wanting to learn more about the Battle of Gettysburg. It has a different type of terrain and many monuments that people still visit and honor today.