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Waterloo Campaign Essay

3610 words - 15 pages

The Battle of Gettysburg
The American Civil War is referred to as, the Ancient Wars and the start of the Modern Wars. When the Civil War began, all types of weapons were in short supply. Many Soldiers were given some out of date and nearly obsolete weapons at the time of The Battle of Gettysburg. The Forces involved in the Civil War were clearly fighting for the rights of their people. The North “Union Army” wanted to abolish slavery and the South “Confederate Army” wanted to maintain their rights to own slaves and expand their territories. Many of the ancient battles of the Civil war provided some key advantages for the Northern forces. A couple of them were simply quantity and ...view middle of the document...

General Lee heard a rumor of there being a large amount of boots being in the town, so General Lee did not pass up on the opportunity for his army to be resupplied since they were frequently short of such things. Upon arrival, this was found to be nothing more than a myth spread General Heath. On July 1st, General Lee moved the Northern Virginia Army in closer to the General Meade’s Potomac Army. Major General John Buford, a Cavalry Officer who was a subordinate of General Meade moved to set a defensive position to the northwest of Gettysburg. Unfortunately, a larger Confederate force was there and overran them quickly. By the end of the day, General Meade’s men were forced south of town to Cemetery Hill were they established a defensive position. General Lee noticed the tactical importance of dislodging the Union troops that were positioned is this area. General Ewell of General Lee’s Army was ordered to attack Cemetery Hill if it was feasible. General Ewell decided against that attack, which was not a good idea. Due to General Ewell’s decision not to attack, it gave the Union Forces much more time to strengthen their defenses. That decision had major repercussions two days later.
By July 2nd, both armies had fully organized at Gettysburg. General Meade decided after the mauling from the previous day, that a defensive position at the south end of the town of Gettysburg would be the best course of action. There were three major defensive positions at Culp Hill, Cemetery Hill and Cemetery Ridge. In order for General Lee to defeat the Potomac Army, he would have to go on the offensive. At the end of the day, General Lee had inflicted a large number of casualties in the Union but neither of them had gained any ground as of yet.
Weather and Terrain
Located between Marsh Creek and Rock Creek in southern Adams County, the terrain consisted of small hills ranging between 5 and 10 percent slopes. This was ideal for the Northern Armies. It played a big part in the North’s strategy and eventual victory. A very famous hill named “Little Round Top” with a slope in excess of 30 percent on the steepest side was key to assuring the North’s victory due to the South not being able to gain control despite their efforts. The moderately dense wooded areas were comprised mostly of Oak, Hickory, Chestnut, Ash, and Poplar trees stands of conifers scattered throughout areas. The plains areas were mostly dedicated to farming Wheat, Rye, Indian corn, Oats, and Buckwheat. The creeks were mostly 1 to 3 feet deep with steep banks and moderate heights. Artillery movement was restricted mostly to roads at a rate of 2-4 mph.
The 70-degree temperatures during the battle made for tolerable conditions despite the storm clouds overhead. During the duration of the battle, one could not tell the difference between the thunder and the cannon fire. Towards the end of the battle, it began to rain.
Comparing the Forces
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