The Battle of Gettysburg: History & Voices : The Battle of Gettysburg: History & Voices General Robert E. Lee : General Robert E. Lee Born on January 19, 1807 at "Stratford" in Westmoreland County Virginia
Lee declined an offer to command the Union Army at the outbreak of the Civil War and offered his services to his native state.
Commander of the Confederate "Army of Northern Virginia".
Under his command, this army exploited Union mismanagement on numerous battlefields, making Lee one of the most victorious commanders in the Confederacy. George Gordon Meade : George Gordon Meade Born in Cadiz, Spain on December 31, 1815, Meade was primarily raised in Philadelphia though his family later moved to the Baltimore area.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, Meade offered his services to Pennsylvania and was appointed brigadier general of volunteers in command of a brigade of Pennsylvania regiments.
June 28, 1863, while the army camped near Frederick, Maryland, when a courier arrived at Meade's tent bearing the news that he was appointed to command the Army of the Potomac.
Meade protested at first but accepted his assignment; devised a plan to set the army in motion northward to find Lee The Daily Life of Civil War Soldiers : The Daily Life of Civil War Soldiers Officers in the field lived better than enlisted men.
They slept one or two officers to a tent.
Since the officers provided their own personal gear, items varied greatly and reflected individual taste.
Each junior officer was allowed one trunk of personal belongings that was carried in a baggage wagon.
Higher-ranking officers were allowed more baggage.
Unlike infantrymen, who slept and sat on whatever nature provided, officers sometimes had the luxury of furniture. The Daily Life of Civil War Soldiers : The Daily Life of Civil War Soldiers Enlisted men, unlike their officers, carried all their belongings on their back.
On long marches, men were unwilling to carry more than the absolute essentials. Even so, soldiers ended up carrying about thirty to forty pounds.
Each soldier was issued half of a tent. It was designed to join with another soldier's half to make a full size tent. The odd man lost out.
The shelter halves were so useful that they were used after the war. As a result, very few remain today.
When suitable wooden poles were not available for tent supports, soldiers would sometimes use their weapons. Mapping the Battle of Gettysburg : Mapping the Battle of Gettysburg Describe where the in the United States the Battle of Gettysburg took place. July 1, 1863- The Battle Begins : July 1, 1863- The Battle Begins On June 30, Confederate troops left their camps at Cashtown and marched toward Gettysburg in search of supplies.
Upon reaching the edge of Gettysburg, scouts spied a column of Union cavalry south of town, closing fast.
Under orders not to initiate a battle, the Confederates returned to Cashtown where they reported the encounter to their commander, Lt. General A.P. Hill.
Hill agreed to send two divisions of his corps toward Gettysburg the next day to investigate the arrival of the mystery cavalrymen and the stage was set for the opening of the battle on July 1st, 1863. July 2, 1863- "A most terrible day..." : July 2, 1863- "A most terrible day..." July 1 was a great victory for General Lee, but not a decisive one.
Though the Union forces had been badly mauled, they had retreated to a strong position south of Gettysburg.
General Meade arrived on the battlefield near midnight and after discussions with his corps commanders, decided to wait for the rest of his army to concentrate around Cemetery Hill.
Come the morning of July 2, he would attack Lee or defend the prominent hills where his men now rested.
Lee, meanwhile, seated in his headquarters tent on Seminary Ridge, pondered the growing strength of the Union position south of Gettysburg. If only he could hear from his cavalry chief J.E.B. Stuart and information he could provide about the remainder of the Union army. July 3 - "I will strike him there..." : July 3 - "I will strike him there..." At the end of the second day, apart from the precious foothold on Culp's Hill, the Confederate gamble of simultaneous attacks had failed.
Knowing that he could not sustain more than another full day of battle, a frustrated Lee was working at his headquarters when a smiling General "JEB" Stuart arrived.
The disgusted army commander admonished Stuart for his long absence and failure to report Union movements in the weeks prior to the battle. Yet…Stuart's cavalry would fit prominently into Lee's strategy for the next day of battle.
Meanwhile, General Meade held a "Council of War" at his headquarters on the Taneytown Road. Though the Union line had been restored by midnight there was still a sizeable Confederate force on Culp's Hill.
Almost to a man, his generals agreed to stay at Gettysburg, retake and secure Culp's Hill, and then wait for Lee to attack. If he did not, then Meade should order a counterattack and force Lee to fight or flee.
The Gettysburg Campaign was about to reach its climax. The Battle Ends : The Battle Ends Stuart successfully marched east of Gettysburg and turned his force south where they encountered a strong Union cavalry force blocking the Hanover Road.
A spirited battle ensued with troopers of both armies fighting on foot and horseback..
Southern charges meant to slice through the Union line were stopped cold by Union cavalrymen led by Brig. General George Armstrong Custer. His attempt to raid the Union rear thwarted, Stuart withdrew and retired toward Gettysburg….
Lee realized his army could no longer remain in Pennsylvania. Returning to his headquarters, he dictated orders for the army to withdraw, retreat to the Potomac River, and return to Virginia. "Too bad, too bad," a staff officer heard the general say in his discouragement. "Oh, too bad."
Storm clouds blackened the early evening sky. A heavy rain soon fell, symbolically washing the land of the carnage wrought by three days of bloody battle. The Dreadful Aftermath : The Dreadful Aftermath The effects of the battle were felt in Pennsylvania for many months after the armies had left.
Approximately 5,500 soldiers from both armies were killed in the battle, with 22,000 wounded soldiers packed into churches, barns, and private homes throughout Adams County.
Some of the wounded had no shelter except for the shade of trees.
Overtaxed Union surgeons who had treated Union wounded continuously during the battle were now left with thousands of wounded Confederates to care for.
Even with the help of Gettysburg citizens and Confederate surgeons who remained, the situation appeared to be near calamity. The Dreadful Aftermath : The Dreadful Aftermath Despite the best efforts of the army and charitable organizations, an additional 4,000 would succumb to their injuries either in Gettysburg or in the hospitals where they had been sent.
Approximately 10,000 soldiers were captured during the fighting and both armies were burdened with their captives until they could be sent to prison camps. Slide 13: Swollen by the hot July sun, bodies of Federal infantrymen litter a trampled meadow near the Peach Orchard. Most of these men probably belonged to General Daniel Sickles’ Union corps who defended the area against the massive Confederate assault on July 2. Rebel soldiers who advanced across the field stripped many of the bodies of their shoes and other needed accoutrements. Photographer Alexander Gardner aptly captioned this image "A Harvest of Death". Slide 14: The body of a young Confederate infantryman lies in a stone enclosure in Devil’s Den, the boulder strewn hillside from which Confederate sharpshooters had harassed the Federal troops holding Little Round Top. Evidence suggests that the soldier was killed perhaps 40 yards away during the fighting on the afternoon of July 1 and was moved and arranged by the photographer to enhance the image’s dramatic effect. The National Cemetery : The National Cemetery With the wounded being cared for, attention turned to the sad condition of battlefield burials.
Patriotic citizens of Adams County undertook efforts to establish a proper burial place for the Union dead and with funds provided by the Pennsylvania legislature, the process of reburials began that fall.
The Soldiers National Cemetery was dedicated on November 19, 1863, and was the occasion of President Lincoln's highly regarded Gettysburg Address, when the president not only dedicated a cemetery but gave the north a reason to continue the struggle to reunite the nation, the focus of the American Civil War…. Slide 17: Slide 2: http://www.nps.gov/gett/historyculture/people.htm
Slide 2 picture: http://www.historyplace.com/lincoln/lincpix/lee.jpg
Slide 3: http://www.nps.gov/gett/historyculture/people.htm
Slide 3 picture: http://content.answers.com/main/content/wp/en/2/2e/George_Gordon_Meade.jpg
Slide 4: http://www.nps.gov/history/museum/exhibits/gettex/index.htm
Slide 4 picture: http://www.nps.gov/history/museum/exhibits/gettex/exb/living_in_camp/officersTent_exb.html
Slide 5: http://www.nps.gov/history/museum/exhibits/gettex/index.htm
Slide 5 picture: http://www.nps.gov/history/museum/exhibits/gettex/exb/living_in_camp/entent.html
Slide 6: http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/cic_text/misc/gettysburg/campaign-map.jpg
Slide 7: http://www.nps.gov/archive/gett/getttour/main-ms.htm
Slide 8: http://www.nps.gov/archive/gett/getttour/day1.htm
Slide 9: http://www.nps.gov/archive/gett/getttour/day2.htm
Slide 10: http://www.nps.gov/archive/gett/getttour/day3.htm
Slides 11 & 12: http://www.nps.gov/archive/gett/getttour/day4.htm
Slide 13: http://www.discovery.com/stories/history/civilwar/gettysburg/harvest.html
Slide 14: http://www.discovery.com/stories/history/civilwar/gettysburg/dead.html
Slide 15: http://www.nps.gov/archive/gett/getttour/day4.htm
Slide 16: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/gadd/gadrft.html