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The Civil War was fought between the Northern and Southern parts of the United States of America, since there were many disputes between the two regions. The South called themselves the Confederates, while the North called themselves the Union army.2

The battle of Gettysburg was one of the most horrific battles of the Civil War. Over fifty thousand soldiers were found dead, wounded, or went missing in a period of three days, July 1-3 of 1863. That is the most number of casualties that has occurred during any battle in American history.3 The battle took place in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where President Lincoln made a speech entitle the Gettysburg Address five months later, on November 19th of 1863.4

General Robert E. Lee, of the Confederate Army, decided to invade the North in June of 1863. Thus, Lee and his seventy-five-thousand-man army began to march towards Gettysburg, coming from Fredericksburg, Virginia. In order to make his troops more manageable, General Lee divided his army of two corps into three corps. James Longstreet was to command the First Corps, Lieutenant General Richard S. Ewell was put in charge of the Second Corps, and Lieutenant General A.P. Hill gained control of the Third Corps.5

Major General Joseph Hooker commanded the Union Army of Potomac. There were over ninety thousand men in his army. Later, President Abraham Lincoln would replace Hooker with Major General George G. Meade, since Hooker had proved to be a failure during the previous battles.6

In the middle of June, the Confederate Army crossed the Potomac River and entered Maryland and southern Pennsylvania.7 Hooker's Union Army followed, staying between Washington D.C. and the Confederates, so that in order for Lee's army to attack the capital, they would have to get through the Union Army first. Trying to avoid the Union army, General Lee allowed J.E.B. Stuart to take some of the troops and go around the Union army. Meanwhile, in a controversial move, Lee allowed J.E.B. Stuart to take a portion of the army's cavalry and ride around the Union army. The plan did not work, however, because Lee had not given clear orders, and Stuart was an incompetent officer. Therefore, Stuart and Lee's three best brigades were not present in the army during the first two days of the Battle of Gettysburg.8

On June 29, Lee had his army in the form of an arc from Chambersburg, Pennsylvania to Harrisburg and Wrightsville, on the Susquehanna River. General Hooker then requested to resign, after having an argument over whether or not he should use the army to defend the Harpers Ferry Garrison.9 Abraham Lincoln, who had been looking for an excuse to fire Hooker, accepted the resignation and replaced him with Major General George Meade on June 28.10

On the same day, General Lee learned that the Union Army had crossed the Potomac River, and he ordered a part of Lieutenant General Hill's Corps to gather around Cashtown, which was located west of Gettysburg. On June 30, on of Lieutenant General Hill's brigades, named Pettigrew went towards the town of Gettysburg, claiming that he was in search for shoes in the town.11 However, Pettigrew noticed Union Brigadier General John Buford west of Gettysburg, and Pettigrew returned to Cashtown, avoiding the Union. Pettigrew told Lieutenant General Hill about what he had seen outside of Gettysburg, but Hill did not believe that it was a Union army, thinking that it had only been the Pennsylvania militia. Deciding to ignore General Lee's order to avoid combat until the entire army was concentrated, Lieutenant General Hill sent his Corps to investigate, and to determine the size and strength of the army Pettigrew had seen.12

On July 1, 1863, around five o'clock A.M., Hill's Corps advanced towards the town of Gettysburg. General Buford noticed Hill's troops, and realized that if they gained control of the area, then Meade's Union army would have a very hard time getting rid of the Confederates. He decided to use three ridges west of Gettysburg to his advantage: Herr Ridge, McPherson Ridge, and Seminary Ridge. The Confederate troops would occupy Cemetery Hill, Cemetery Ridge, and Culp's Hill.13

Lieutenant General Hill proceeded with two brigades. Brigadier General James Archer was in charge of one brigade, and Joseph R. Davis was in charge of the other. At seven-thirty A.M., the two Confederate brigades were attacked, and they formed a line. They soon reached part of the Union army, and the two sides started to fire shots rapidly. At ten-twenty A.M., the Union soldiers were driven towards McPherson Ridge, where Union backup arrived.14

The two armies fought each other throughout the night, while backup men continued to arrive. George Pickett, who commanded part of Longstreet's Corps, arrived later on July 2. The Union army lined up in the shape of a fishhook, from Culp's Hill, to Cemetery Hill, to Cemetery Ridge. The Confederate troops faced the Union army in a parallel manner, from Seminary Ridge to Culp's Hill. General Lee strategically placed Longstreet's First Corps on the left side of the Union army, and the rest of his army attacked the center of the Union troops, preventing Meade from reinforcing his left side.15 However, General Lee was still missing an important part of his army: the men that Lee had earlier allowed J.E.B. Stuart to command and attempt to ride around the Union army. Therefore, Longstreet's men soon met Major General Daniel Sickles' Corps, and were defeated.16

On July 3, the third day of battle, Lee decided to continue attacking the Union center on Cemetery Ridge. The Southern army bombarded the Northern troops with guns, while the North did the same. General Lee decided to attack the Union with the same unsuccessful strategy as the previous day, and sent Longstreet to attack the left side, and Ewell was sent to attack Culp's Hill. The plan failed again, for the Union troops bombarded the Confederates before Longstreet could get ready to fight. The Confederates fought back, and at eleven A.M., the fight ended. At one o'clock in the afternoon, Confederates began to bombard the Union army with large cannons. The Union troops did not fire back, wishing to save ammunition for future attacks. However, the Confederates did not considerably affect the Union army, yet they were out of ammunition. The Union then fired their cannons back, affecting the Confederates more than they had affected the Union troops.17

At three o'clock, twelve thousand and five hundred Confederate soldiers started to advance towards Cemetery Ridge. The march is known as Pickett's



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