Gettysburg: The Confederate Tragedy Essay

3331 words - 13 pages

Gettysburg: The Confederate Tragedy

In the summer of 1863, the United States was sharply divided in a brutal civil war. The Union army of the northern states was pitted against the Confederate army of the separatist southern states in what would prove to be the bloodiest war that the nation has ever been involved in. That summer was especially harsh on both sides. The casualty lists were extremely lengthy as the two sides faced off in some of the deadliest engagements of the war.

The summer of 1863 was a particularly desperate time in the war for the South. The southern stronghold of Vicksburg, Mississippi, was under siege by a powerful Union force. The economic state of the South was all but destroyed by the ravages of war and it was becoming increasingly difficult to keep the Confederate armies well supplied. General Robert E. Lee, commanding the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, was well aware of the situation when he came up with one of the most daring plans of the entire war. He planned to move his forces across the Potomac River and invade the North. Considering the circumstances that he faced, it was probably a wise and justified move (Freeman 147). He hoped to ease the pressure on Vicksburg simply by applying a little on Washington. At the same time, the constant demand for supplies would be solved as the army lived off the fertile lands in the north for the summer.

The Confederate army's uncontested march northward, however, did not last long. As expected, once General Joseph Hooker of the Union Army of the Potomac heard of the Confederate advance, he maneuvered his army into position between the Confederates and Washington in order to protect the northern capital. The days of June grew long as the two mighty armies slowly drifted northward. Tensions were high as President Lincoln's patience wore thin. By the time he had replaced Hooker with General George G. Meade, the gap between the two armies had already become dangerously small. By then, only one small town stood between them and it seemed as if every road in the area led to it. On July 1, 1863, a division of Confederate infantry marched to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in hopes of seizing a supply of desperately needed shoes for the ill-shod, sore-footed infantry of the Army of Northern Virginia. Much to their surprise, however, a division of Union cavalry, who had reached the town only a few hours earlier, had dismounted and was awaiting their arrival on the northwest side of town. Fierce fighting broke out as the Confederates slowly pushed their opponent back through the town itself and into the highlands to the south. That night, thousands of troops from both sides were rushed to the vicinity of Gettysburg and by morning there were over 100,000 soldiers in position there. The Battle of Gettysburg had begun, and it would soon prove to be one of the most pivotal battles of the entire war.

Ever since the conclusion of the American Civil War, there has been...

Find Another Essay On Gettysburg: The Confederate Tragedy

Meaning Behind The Gettysburg Address Essay

601 words - 2 pages Americans, Union and Confederate, to focus on preserving the nation, and he did not want to upset everyone by dwelling on the bloody Battle of Gettysburg that took place only four months earlier in July, 1863. In the next paragraph, Lincoln makes it clear that the great Civil War is a major challenge to the existence of this country. I believe he is again focusing on the principle of preserving the country and uniting all Americans, North and South

Gettysburgh Essay

1021 words - 4 pages Gettysburg The battle at Gettysburg is said to be one of the most significant battles throughout the Civil War. Lee and his Confederate army suffered conflicting view among leaders and underestimated the Union forces. Besides President Lincolns famous "Gettysburg Address" speech, that reevaluated Americas purpose for fighting this war, and hoped to reunite the country by restated the Constitution through his own words. This is one piece of

The civil war

821 words - 3 pages showed that the Confederate forces had lost one of their major generals. But right after the Battle of Chancellorsville, a major battle took place and that battle was called the Battle of Gettysburg.The Battle of Gettysburg is supposed to be the turning point for the Union troops. The Battle of Gettysburg happened from 1st of July till the 3rd of July outside of the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. All though the Confederate forces had broken the

Michaels Shaara's book "The Killer Angels" Describes in detail the battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War.

938 words - 4 pages The Killer AngelsMichael Shaara's The Killer Angels tells the amazing story of the Battle of Gettysburg. On July 1, 1863, the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia and the Union Army of the Potomac fought the largest battle of the American Civil War. The battle left 51,000 men dead, wounded, or missing. The characters first introduced include General Robert E. Lee, commander of the Confederate army; General James Longstreet, Lee's second-in

Robert E. Lee

1030 words - 4 pages of this plan, Lee crossed the Blue Ridge Mountains, proceeded up the Shenandoah Valley, and, crossing Maryland, entered Pennsylvania (Clark 86). Upon learning federal troops were north of the Potomac, Lee decided to concentrate his whole army at Gettysburg (Clark 86). On June 30, Confederate troops from General Hill’s corps, on their way to Gettysburg, saw federal troops that Meade had moved down to intercept the Confederate army

The Battle of Gettysburg

1279 words - 5 pages Gettysburg, one must understand the differences between these two cultures. The Confederacy (the South) had an agricultural economy producing tobacco, sugar, and cotton, were found to thrive in the South. With many large plantations owned by a few very wealthy rich white males. These owners lived off the labor of sharecroppers and slaves, charging high dues for the use of their land. "The Southern or Confederate Army was

The Killer Angels and the Battle of Gettysburg

803 words - 3 pages men as the South, and since the North was industrialized, they could replenish their supplies of men and ammunition fairly quickly. The South, however, could not replenish their supplies quickly because of the lack of industrialization and manpower. The supplies lost in the Battle of Gettysburg ultimately lost the war for the South. I also learned that Confederate General Robert E. Lee was not a good military tactician. Evidently


953 words - 4 pages Armies under Union General George Gordon Meade of the Army of the Potomac, and Confederate General Robert E. Lee encountered each other on July 1-3 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in the infamous and most virulent battle of the Civil War, with over 43,000 casualties out of approximately 150,000 men. The battle destroyed the Confederacy's attempt to wage an offensive war and constrained them to a defensive strategy. Further, inadequacies in

The Gettysburg Address and American Revival

1746 words - 7 pages much greater. In seemingly his nation’s darkest hour, he was able resurrect the country from the heart of the war. The tragedy that occurred at Gettysburg was a building block that Lincoln needed to connect with his audience. He was able to draw on the loss of his son Tad to add an emotional connection to the Address adding another layer to it. In addition, the grave layout at the newly created National Cemetery in Gettysburg was shaped like a

Did Baldy Ewell lose the Battle of Gettysburg

1706 words - 7 pages maintain its economy. In order to save the Southern economy, the South succeeded from the Union. However, the North didn't allow the South to succeed because cotton and tobacco were valuable exports around the world. The Civil War was a winnable war for the Confederate South until the fateful battle of Gettysburg. Gettysburg is the high water mark of the Confederate Army. Also, it was a turning point of the war where the Union soldiers finally gained

Gettysburg, A Critical Review

735 words - 3 pages IntroductionThe battle of Gettysburg, fought from June 30 through July 3, 1863 in Southeastern Pennsylvania After fatter four days of fighting over 53,000 men were killed or wounded. was the largest battle ever fought on the North American continent. The battle involved about 60,000 Confederate and over 70,000 Federal troops.Most historians regard the battle of Gettysburg as the turning point in the American Civil War. The battle of Gettysburg

Similar Essays

Gettysburg Turns The Tide For The Union.

823 words - 3 pages 50,000 Union and Confederate forces. This was a significant engagement in that it detained the Confederate's second and last major invasion of the North, The Capture of Vicksburg and the Battle of Gettysburg. The Battle of Gettysburg had also destroyed the North's offensive strategy and forced them to fight a defensive war in which the inadequacies of their manufacturing capacity and transportation facilities doomed them to defeat.The Battle of

The Killer Angels By Michael Shaara

651 words - 3 pages depiction of the honor, duty and love of these men during Gettysburg.In the novel The Killer Angels, Michael Shaara focuses on Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and the 20th Maine in the days at the battle at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The Killer Angels allows the reader to understand different sides of the civil war. The novel shows a great depiction of the tragedy of war, for example, when Lewis Armistead races into battle, even though he is fighting

Gettysburg Victory Essay

1041 words - 4 pages The battle of Gettysburg played a large part in history, including the Union’s victory. The Civil War was between the slave holding south, or Confederates, and equality fighters of the north, or The Union, in the United States. When the Civil War began, the Confederate troops, though smaller, began to defeat the Union. The Confederate side began to see themselves invincible, which lead to their demise later in the war. After the loss at

The Battle Of Gettysburg: The Bloodiest Battle Of The American Civil War

1071 words - 5 pages second time the Confederate Army crossed the Mason Dixon line to challenge the Union Army in their backyard (the first resulted in the single bloodiest day in American History) (Welch, 1993). On July 1st, 1863 around 85,000 Union Soldiers coming from the North met 75,000 Confederate Soldiers moving up from the South. Washington D.C. was the target destination of the Confederate Army (Gettysburg, n.d.). These two forces would fight tooth and nail