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Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Battle of Gettysburg

The Battle of Gettysburg was fought July 1–3, 1863 in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Confederate General Robert E. Lee fought the battle with his Army of Northern Virginia of 72,000 men. The Union Army of the Potomac, under Major General Joseph Hooker, consisted of seven infantry corps, a cavalry corps, and an Artillery Reserve, for a combined strength of about 94,000 men. Gettysburg is still the largest battle to ever be fought on American soil.

Gettysburg is often called the turning point of The American Civil War as Union Major General George Gordon Meade's Army of the Potomac stopped attacks by Confederate General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, ending Lee's invasion of the North.

Hancock at Gettysburg by Thure de Thulstrup

During the early days of the Battle of Gettysburg, a nervous President Lincoln paced up and down as the battle reports poured in. With the fate of the United States in the balance, Lincoln retired to his room, locked the door and got down on his knees in prayer. He told God that he had done all he could, now the result was in His hands; that if this country was to be saved, it was because he so willed it. The burden fell off his shoulders, his intense anxiety was relieved and in its place came a great trustfulness.

The three-day battle had more casualties than any other battle in United States history. Both the Confederate and the Union forces saw 23,000 killed or injured.

20-years-old Jennie Wade was the only Gettysburg civilian killed directly during the Battle of Gettysburg. She was hit by a stray bullet that passed through her kitchen in town while she was making bread.

Most of the dead were left on the battlefield for people in the town to bury. The National Cemetery was founded in Gettysburg to give them a proper burial place.

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