Battle of Gettysburg and Union
The Battle of Gettysburg was the turning point of the American Civil War. This is the most famous and important Civil War Battle that occurred on July 1st-3rd 1863 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. More importantly Gettysburg was the clash between the two major American Cultures of their time: the North and the South.
The Confederacy had an agricultural economy producing tobacco, corn, and cotton, with many large plantations owned by a few very rich white males. These owners lived off the labor of sharecroppers and slaves, charging high dues for use of their land.
The Southern or Confederate Army was made up of a group of white males fighting for their independence from federal northern dictates. The Union economy was based on manufacturing, and even the minorities in the North were better off than those in the South most of the time. The Northern politicians wanted tariffs, and a large army. The Southern plantation owners wanted the exact opposite. The South was fighting against a government because they thought they were being treated unfair. An analysis of the Battle of Gettysburg reveals one challenge facing the Union and the Confederacy was unjustified taxes and slavery.
The battle began on July 1, 1863. The Battle of Gettysburg began when the Confederate cavalry ran into the Union horsemen. Both sides then called for backup. The Confederates’ back up arrived first; they now had twice as many men as the union. Soon after Union General John Reynolds arrived, he was shot in the back of the head and killed instantly. They confederates drove the Union south of town. Everyone set up for battle and waited until day two. The excitement of the battle began on day two, July 2, 1863. By morning, 150 thousand Union and Confederate troops had joined at little Pennsylvania town.
The Confederates occupied a line west of the Emmetsburg Road, along the Seminary Ridge. While the Union men waited along Cemetery Ridge. The union had an advantage because; Cemetery Ridge was a somewhat more elevated. On day two the Union won overall. The following events occured on day two: Little Round Top, Devil’s Den, Battle of the Wheatfield, Battle of the Peach Orchard, and the Battle of Cemetery Hill. The number of casualties in the Battle of Gettysburg was enormous compared to any war. The casualties of just day two are the union at 8,750 and the confederate at 6,500. One of the major events from day two was the Devil’s Den.
It is unique because the Confederate won which was very uncommon. “Devil’s Den is the name given to a ridge strewn with large boulders south of the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and about 500 yards west of Little Round Top on the Battle of Gettysburg battlefield. The origin of the name is uncertain. On July 2, 1863, the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, the area around Devil’s Den saw intense fighting as part of General Robert E. Lee’s flank attacks, when Lieutenant General James Longstreet’s Confederate corps attacked the divisions of Major General Daniel Sickles’ III Corps of the Army of the Potomac.
Some 5,500 Confederates from Major General John Bell Hood’s division ultimately captured Devil’s Den from 2,400 defenders drawn from Major General David Bell Birney’s division. It was one of the few Southern successes in that day’s fighting. Total casualty estimates are over 800 for the Union, more than 1,800 among the Confederates. ” (The Devil’s Den) This event/location is also significant because Major General John Bell Hood was wounded and was forced to yield his command. There were two main locations of the Battle of Gettysburg, they were Little and Big Round Top.
Little Round top is the smaller of the two. It is located between Taneytown and Emmetsburg roads. At the time of the battle “it was known locally by various names including Sugar Loaf. ” (Little Round Top) Major General Governor K. Warren, chief engineer of the Army of the Potomac, rushed troops to Little Round Top; they arrived minutes before the Confederates did. The 20th Maine Regiment charged late in the battle, which foiled a flanking attempt by the 15th Alabama. Overall the battle at Little Round top the union won. The final day of battle was on July 3, 1863.
Both the Confederates and the Union had their plains of winning the battle. Robert E. Lee from the Confederate side decided they should charge into the middle of the Union line and break the line into two. When Robert E. Lee decided on the Plan to charge through the middle of the Union line Major General George Pickett knew it would not succeed. He tried to talk Lee out of it, but Lee instructed Pickett to charge. Major Picket followed these orders. This is known as Pickett’s Charge. The charge took place “between Seminary and Cemetery ridges, Gettysburg battlefield, Pennsylvania. (Pickett’s Charge)While all of this was occurring “General Slocum attacked Confederate troops at Culp’s Hill to regain territory loss the previous day. This fight lasted for a good 8 hours finally forcing the Confederates to retreat off of Culp’s Hill. ” (Gettysburg Day Three) In the end the Union won. “Culp’s Hill was the right-most flank of the “fishhook” line formed by Union Army troops during the Battle of Gettysburg and saw fighting all three days of the battle. Culp’s Hill has two rounded peaks with a narrow saddle between them.
Although heavily wooded and unsuitable for artillery, the main peak of Culp’s Hill rises substantially above the surrounding landscape, at a little over 200 feet above the town of Gettysburg and 127 feet higher than Cemetery Hill. With Baltimore Pike, critical for Union Army supplies and preventing Confederate advance on Baltimore or Washington, DC, to the east and Confederates approaching from Rock Creek to the west, Culp’s Hill was critical to Union strategy. ” (Culp’s Hill) The Union had two main places throughout the three days they were located. Cemetery Hill was the site of Army’s weaponry.
The hill is north of Cemetery Ridge. The defense of the Union line begins to “to turn east to form the “fishhook” line to Culp’s Hill. ” (Cemetery Hill) Cemetery Ridge is about two miles long and 40feet above surrounding land. The Confederate Army launched attacked the Union many times at Cemetery Ridge. These attacks took place on day two and three. On each attack they were forced to fall back on each occasion. On November 19, 1863 Abraham Lincoln gave a famous speech called The Gettysburg Address. The speech was a dedication to the Soldier’s National Cemetery.
Soldier’s National Cemetery is a cemetery for Union soldiers killed at the Battle of Gettysburg. The speech is as follows: “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.
It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate — we cannot consecrate — we cannot hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.
It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. ” (Gettysburg Address Text) The actual main speaker of the night was Edward Everett. He spoke for two hours all from memory. Finally, the Battle of Gettysburg was won by the Union.
The war didn’t end slavery, but instead furthered the advancement in ending slavery. Years after the war in 1865 the 13th amendment was adopted and slavery was then on out illegal. The war was not just about slavery, but also about taxes. The higher taxes came about to the south when Lincoln needed money. All in all the Battle of Gettysburg is the bloodiest war and had the most causalities. Works Cited “Battle of Gettysburg. ” Summary ; Facts. N. p. , n. d. Web. 02 Dec. 2012. ;http://www. historynet. com/battle-of-gettysburg;. “Cemetery Hill. ” Gettysburg. N. p. , n. d. Web. 09 Dec. 012. ;http://www. historynet. com/cemetery-hill;. “Cemetery Ridge. ” History Net Where History Comes Alive World US History Online Cemetery Ridge Comments. N. p. , n. d. Web. 09 Dec. 2012. ;http://www. historynet. com/cemetery-ridge;. “Culp’s Hill. ” History Net Where History Comes Alive World US History Online Culps Hill Comments. N. p. , n. d. Web. 09 Dec. 2012. ;http://www. historynet. com/culps-hill;. “The Devil’s Den. ” History Net Where History Comes Alive World US History Online The Devils Den Comments. N. p. , n. d. Web. 02 Dec. 2012. ;http://www. historynet. om/devils-den-gettysburg;. “The Gettysburg Address. ” History Net Where History Comes Alive World US History Online The Gettysburg Address Comments. N. p. , n. d. Web. 02 Dec. 2012. ;http://www. historynet. com/the-gettysburg-address;. “Gettysburg Address Text. ” History Net Where History Comes Alive World US History Online Gettysburg Address Text Comments. N. p. , n. d. Web. 10 Dec. 2012. ;http://www. historynet. com/gettysburg-address-text;. “Gettysburg Day Three. ” Battle of Gettysburg, Gettysburg Battle Summary, Gettysburg Address. N. p. , n. d. Web. 01 Dec. 2012. ;http://www. ivilwaracademy. com/gettysburg-day-three. html;. “Little Round Top. ” Battle Summary ; Facts. N. p. , n. d. Web. 09 Dec. 2012. ;http://www. historynet. com/little-round-top;. “Pickett’s Charge. ” Pickett’s Charge. N. p. , n. d. Web. 02 Dec. 2012. <http://www. historynet. com/picketts-charge-gettysburg>. Samit, Christian G. “Battle of Gettysburg — Day Two. ” History Net Where History Comes Alive World US History Online Battle of Gettysburg Day Two Comments. America’s Civil War Magazine, 29 Aug. 2006. Web. 01 Dec. 2012. ;http://www. historynet. com/battle-of-gettysburg-day-two. htm;.