Friday, February 8

We Were There at the Battle of Gettysburg

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Did you know that it was a three-day battle that turned the tide from a Confederacy victory of the Civil War into a Union one?

Fought from July 1st to July 3rd, 1863, this was probably the most important battle of the American Civil War. The Confederates had just defeated the Union Army in Chancellorsville, VA when General Lee marched his army into Pennsylvania, invading the northern states. They met with General Meade’s men (Union) at a crossroads in Gettysburg, and fighting began!

During Lee’s march northward, he learned that the Union Army was on its way, and decided to assemble the Confederates in Gettysburg. His men scoured the town for supplies in preparation for battle, but found few. In the night, Union troops arrived and fortified areas around Little Round Top and Cemetery Ridge.

The next day, Lee decided to attack the Union Army from two directions, splitting the Confederate Army. There was fierce fighting on both Cemetery and Seminary Ridge, and the day ended with extremely heavy losses. Over the first two days, 35,000 men had died, and the battle was not over yet.

In the early morning hours of July 3rd, after a long night of firefight, the Union Army regained its position. General Lee, confident from the previous day’s victories, sent approximately 15,000 of his Confederate troops in a march across open fields to attack the Union – this was Pickett’s Charge, and it did not end well for the Confederate soldiers.

After three days of battle, Lee marched his men back toward Virginia. More than 52,000 men (total) had lost their lives in Gettysburg, and it was a crushing defeat for the Confederacy. Lee offered to resign, but President Jefferson Davis insisted he remain a general. The battle, however, turned the tides of the Civil War….

Battle of Gettysburg
Make / Do
Connection  Flashback Four: The Lincoln Project (time travel unit)

Define / Identify
  • Cemetery Ridge
  • Seminary Ridge
  • Culp’s Hill
  • Little Round Top
  • Big Round top
  • Devil’s Den
  • Pickett’s Charge
  • Robert E. Lee
  • George Meade
  • George Pickett
  • James Longstreet
  • Jeb Stuart
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • How did the result of this battle contribute to the overall victory of the Union in the Civil War? 
  • How might the course of the war have been different if the Confederates had won this battle?
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    1. Gettysburg is one of my favorite places to visit!

      1. We love the history! Hoping to get back to PA next year to see some more of the monuments and such. :)

    2. I visited Gettysburg when I was a teenager and keep hoping to make it back as an adult. An important place in history.

      1. It is - and such a feeling of standing there in that history!

    3. Oh, I've been to Gettysburg! Fascinating trip.

    4. I even lived in PA and never actually made it here!! Oh man, my husband is a big Civil War buff so maybe he will bless us with a trip someday.

      1. Definitely worth the trip!! We're hoping to make it back to PA someday....chocolate + history = win. :)