Tactics Of Gettysburg Essay

1496 words - 6 pages

November, 1860- After victory for the Republican Party was gained with 40% of the popular vote and 180 votes from the Electoral College, Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln became 15th president of the relatively young United States. Upon hearing this news, the northern states rejoiced as to them, Lincoln would bring the “horrid” system of slavery down. The south, however, had a completely different response as outrage and revulsion filled many of the southern states. The south had previously warned of their division from the United States if Lincoln became president, a promise that they had kept. Beginning in December 20, 1860, South Carolina became the first state to secede from the union and other states soon followed. By June 8, 1861, the Confederate States of America was made up eleven states who wanted to completely give up their ties with the Union. A great schism in the country would give the American territories the instability that would eventually turn into one of the bloodiest wars in history.
The Civil war could be said to have started on April 12, 1861, when South Carolina issued a siege on Fort Sumter in Charlestown harbor. However, the first battle officially fought by both sides on land was the Battle of Philippi, only two months after the attack on fort Sumter. Most of the early battles were Confederate victories, but the streak would soon be broken in one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil war.
The battle of Gettysburg was fought for 3 days in the scorching summer sun from July 1, 1863 to July 3, 1863. This battle was fought by Union General George Meade, who had only replaced General Joseph Hooker as commander of the Potomac army recently, and seasoned general Robert E. Lee. The entire battle was an accident as the Confederate army went to resupply when the Potomac army stumbled upon them. The tactical maneuvers employed by each side will now be discussed and examined.
The first day, at 10:30 AM, both armies had encountered each other. This surprise led to quick formation of both armies to begin an attack and gain an advantage over the opposing army in the northwest part above Gettysburg. Union artillery brigades where lined up at McPherson Ridge, where a large line of Union Calvary brigades and several more artillery squadrons stood behind them, near Lutheran Theological Seminary. The confederacy on the other hand had a line of foot soldiers as their vanguard, each brigade being closely distanced, unlike the union line behind the vanguard, which was separated. Behind the main line, artillery was positioned and a rearguard of foot soldiers was organized behind the artillery into 2 columns, each column being comprised of 4 squadrons. This frontline position put the confederacy at a big disadvantage as if the vanguard was to charge and confront the Union, they first needed to cross a creek, and all while being bombarded with the artillery in the Union’s vanguard. Behind the main confederacy forces in the front, a large...

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