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 Gettysburg, Confederate soldiers began to lose hope. Although spoken to by their commanding officer, the confederate side never regained their once great victories. Later on President Abraham Lincoln gave a rousing speech to the people at a cemetery commemorating the lost lives at Gettysburg. The pen may be mightier than the sword, but treaties and truces are no match for gunfire and cannon balls.
Robert E. Lee, Confederate army General, won many battles leading up to Gettysburg. The confederates fought against and defeated much larger Union armies, which gave the confederates confidence to continue defending Virginia and other Southern states. Lee wished to draw union forces away from Richmond and Pennsylvania, with its rich unspoiled farmlands, to replenish his army’s food and supplies. The Union advanced along the Mississippi but General Lee, according to “The American Civil War” by Timothy H. Greissm, refused to listen to the other Confederate leaders and meet the Union army. He believed if the Union continued to move west, then their flanks would be thinner in the east. He also knew the summer heat in Mississippi would slow down the Union soldiers, preventing them from attacking at full force. The Confederate leaders agreed with Lee and, although outnumbered, garrisoned Richmond. The Confederate army later advanced from Richmond to Harrisburg, but the journey was not easy. The Soldier’s had been walking for months, were exhausted and needed a change of shoes. There was a shoe factory in Gettysburg, where a small group received permission to stock up on supplies. What the Confederate army did not know what that there was a Union troop waiting. Meade, General for the Union, had been informed Lee’s men had been seen around Gettysburg and prepared the Union army for battle. Once Lee realized what had happened he called for his troops in New York. On July 1, 1863, the battle of Gettysburg began. Still outnumbered, Lee led a charge against the Union believing if he did it before he could do it again. This was a terrible mistake, which cost more than 20 thousand casualties in less than an hour. Bruce Catton wrote, "The town of Gettysburg looked as if some universal moving day had been interrupted by catastrophe."
“Victory! Waterloo Eclipsed!” Read a headline in The Philadelphia Inquirer paper.
The results of this victory are priceless. ... The charm of Robert E. Lee's invincibility is broken. The Army of the Potomac has at last found a general that can handle it, and has stood nobly up to its terrible...