The Battle of Gettysburg: Why Was it a Turning Point? The Battle of Gettysburg was a very harsh battle that turned the tables in the Civil War. There were more than 20,000 casualties on each side. The Civil War was into it’s third year before the Battle of Gettysburg took place. The general who led the Confederates was General Robert E. Lee, the general of the Union was General George Meade. In each army there was about 75,000 soldiers. Stated in the background essay, “Over the next three days Gettysburg would change from a little known farm town in southern Pennsylvania to the most famous battle site in American history.
Soon everyone would know about the small town of Gettysburg. The Battle of Gettysburg was a turning point in the Civil War because of the many casualties in the war, the major battle campaigns of the war, and the Gettysburg Address and excerpts from letters. There were many casualties in the Civil War, it is the bloodiest war in American history, but the bloodiest battle was the Battle of Gettysburg. The total amount of casualties for the Union Army in the Battle of Gettysburg was 23,040(Document B).
The total amount of casualties for the Confederate Army in the Battle of Gettysburg was 20,000- 25,000(Document B). The army that was hurt most by their losses was the Confederate Army because the Confederate’s lost 30%-34% of their men and the Union lost 27% of their army(Document B). The wounded for both armies takes up a lot of both their men. For the Union’s army wounded the amount was 14,530 and for the Confederate’s army wounded the amount was 12,000(Document B).
Document B helps explain why Gettysburg was a turning point in the Civil War because the Confederate’s lost more of their army than the Union Army. Most of the battles in the Civil War took place in the South, that’s also another reason the Battle of Gettysburg is so unique, it took place in the North. In Document A’s map, you can see all the armies tracks in the South except for the Battle of Gettysburg. The South had just won one of their most bloodiest battles, the Battle of Antietam so General Robert E. Lee continued marching North to Gettysburg.
General Robert E. Lee’s army then tried to invade Gettysburg but failed and that’s when the tables turned, suddenly the North started winning and the South started losing all their battles. The Battle of Gettysburg is considered a major turning point in the Civil War because it’s one of the only battles in the North because the South tried to invade the North but failed. The Gettysburg Address helps address that the Battle of Gettysburg was a major turning point in the Civil War. This speech is said by Abraham Lincoln beginning with the famous words “Four score and seven years ago… (Document D)
The main idea of the Gettysburg Address is that those who have died on the Gettysburg battlefield are to be remembered for their cause. Lincoln even goes so far as to say that we should give “the last full measure of devotion” to this cause. Meaning that we should devote everything we have to finishing the work that those who died fought for. This address supports the idea that Gettysburg was a turning point by saying that there were plenty of men who died on that battlefield therefore they should finish and restore the unity in America.
In Document C, two letters to the Confederate President Jefferson Davis, General Robert E. Lee tells how he lost multiple of his fellow generals. He says in the first letter (Dated July 4): “It is believed that the enemy suffered severely in these operations, but our own loss has not been light. ” (Doc C). This tells that there were many losses and that these losses made a large impact. In the second letter, dated August 8, Lee this time request for more troops because he says: “I cannot even accomplish what I myself desire. (Doc C).
These letters suggest that there were great losses in the war, by Lee writing out each of the generals who were lost in battle. The Battle of Gettysburg didn’t only affect Confederate America however, President Lincoln addresses the nation about this battle’s affects. The Battle of Gettysburg is a major turning point because of the many casualties in the war, the major battle campaigns of the war, and the Gettysburg Address and excerpts from letters.
General Robert E. Lee’s army just wasn’t as strong as General George Meade’s. The Battle of Gettysburg was the bloodiest battle of the Civil War as well as in American History. In the beginning of the war it clearly looked as if the South would win but then in the Battle of Gettysburg happened and the North started to take charge. The Battle of Gettysburg was most clearly a turning point in the Civil War because of the many casualties in the war, the major battle campaigns of the war, and the Gettysburg Address and excerpts from letters.