Why Is Gettysburg A Turning Point Essay

The Civil War was a fight between the North and the South because the South wished to secede from the Union. Within the four years that the Civil War raged on, there were many battles. Such as, the Battle of Gettysburg. This was a huge victory for the Union, but it was major because it was a turning point in the Civil War. This battle was a turning point because it was the Confederate Army’s best attempt to breach Union Territory (Gettysburgfoundation. org Staff). Strength for the Confederate’s military was never better as when they fought at Gettysburg (Gettysburgfoundation. org Staff).

However, the war continued for two more years (Gettysburgfoundation. org Staff). The Battle of Gettysburg was fought in the time span of three days, and although many attempts were made on behalf of the Confederate Army, they failed to succeed in a victory at Gettysburg. The Battle of Gettysburg was the bloodiest battle in the war, and it all began on July 1st, 1863. Robert E. Lee was the Confederate Army’s general, and he had recently received a victory at Chancellorsville, Virginia (History. com Staff). His troop’s morale was high, and he decided to move his Northern Virginian Army to Pennsylvania (History. om Staff).

George G. Meade, the general of the Union Army of the Potomac, moved his troops towards the North in order to keep between Robert E. Lee and Washington D. C (Civilwar. org Staff). On July 1st, the two armies met west and north of Gettysburg (Civilwar. org Staff). Robert E. Lee took an opportunity to advance on the Union by attacking Cemetery Hill, but Richard Ewell, commander of the Army of Northern Virginia’s Second Corps, refused to order the attack (History. com Staff). He believed that the Federal position was too tough to beat (History. com Staff).

Later that day, corps under the command of Winfield Scott, along with three others, had arrived and protracted the defensive line from Cemetery Ridge all the way to Little Round Top (History. com Staff). Troops were prepared to fight, but little did they know that this battle would leave a scar on America forever. The second day carried on with more fighting and battle strategies on how to defeat the Union. The Union set up troops from Culp’s Hill to Cemetery Ridge (History. com Staff). Robert E. Lee was given the advice by his second-in-command, James Longstreet, to attack the Union (History. com Staff).

Instead, Robert E. Lee decided to attack the Union near Culp’s Hill (History. com Staff). He commanded James Longstreet to attack on the left, and Richard Ewell would attack on the right (History. com Staff). Although, Longstreet attacked too late, and Union corps commanded by Daniel Sickles, opened fire on him and his troops (History. com). This lead to a lot of fighting at Devil’s Den, Little Round Top, the Wheatfield, the Peach Orchard, and Cemetery Ridge (Civilwar. org Staff). The Union was able to hold off the Confederates at Little Round Top, but they lost the Peach Orchard and Devil’s Den (History. om Staff).

During the brutal fight, Daniel Sickles, was injured (History. com Staff). Meanwhile, Richard Ewell carried out Robert E. Lee’s plan to attack the Union at Culp’s Hill and east of Cemetery Ridge (History. com Staff). However, the Confederates did not succeed, for the Union was able to hold them off (History. com Staff). This ferocious fighting was brought many deaths and injuries to both sides. After the first and second day, with no real advancement on the Confederacy’s part, a new strategy was conceived to hopefully defeat the Union.

Fighting on Culp’s Hill continued on the third day as well (Civilwar. rg Staff). On July 3, the assault known as Pickett’s Charge was commenced (History. com Staff). George Pickett led 15,000 Confederate soldiers over threequarter mile of open fields to attack Union troops (Historynet. com Staff). The Union then opened fire on the advancing Confederates (History. com Staff). This attempt was a failure for the Confederate army (History. com Staff). Over the span of the three days, the Confederacy was unable to successfully carry out a strategy to defeat the Union. On July 4, Robert E. Lee and his troops waited for a counterattack that never came (History. com Staff).

He later made the decision to retreat back to Virginia (Catton, Bruce 157). The Battle of Gettysburg resulted in 51,000 soldiers killed, wounded, captures, and missing from both the Union and Confederate (Civilwar. org Staff). The battle not only killed many people, but it also effected the lives of those who lived in the town. Home and public buildings belonging to citizens became hospitals (Historynet. com Staff). This was a tragic event during the Civil War, and it resulted in the deaths of many innocent people. The numerous amount of attempts made to breach Union territory were all unsuccessful.

The Battle of Gettysburg resulted in a victory for the Union. However, both sides had an astounding number of casualties. On November 9, 1863, Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address (Historynet. com Staff). He dedicated the Soldiers’ National Cemetery, a place for the fallen soldiers to rest (Gettysburgfoundation. org Staff). After the battle, the Confederacy was never able to acquire the military strength they possessed that day. Their plan to achieve a victory on Union territory had failed as well. The three-day battle was the bloodiest in the war, and it not only effected the lives of those around it but the Civil War as well.