The Battle of Gettysburg attractions – The Turning Point of the WarTravel

On Independence Day, 1863, the last thing on the minds of most Americans was celebrating freedom. Just outside a small town called Gettysburg, in Adams County, Pennsylvania, almost 50,000 men were casualties of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War, the battle that was soon recognized as the turning point of the war. Confederate General Robert E. Lee had succeeded in defeating Union General Joseph Hooker’s forces at Chancellorsville, Virginia, in May of 1863. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia had managed to repel an army twice their size. Emboldened by the victory, Lee decided to continue his march north. Gettysburg attractions – His goal was Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; if he could make it to Harrisburg, he hoped to continue on to Philadelphia. Throughout the month of June, Lee’s army marched north toward Pennsylvania. ……

Gettysburg attractions – The graciousness for which Lee was known was evident during this campaign; he instructed his troops to treat the civilians on the road well, not seizing supplies such as food and horses, but rather paying for them.

Several towns such as York, Pennsylvania were made to pay indemnity rather than supply the Confederates. However, on July 1, 1863, Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia met Union General George Meade’s forces just outside of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and the battle of Gettysburg began in earnest. For three days vicious fighting ensued on the hillsides of Gettysburg. Over 165,000 men would converge, and before the fighting ended, the ground would run red with blood. Gettysburg attractions – The battle was fierce, and the casualties proved it. But the casualties that resulted would not be in vain, at least for the Union; the formidable power of the Army of Northern Virginia would be stricken a fatal blow, one that they, and the South, would never truly recover from. To this point, Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia had proved it a foe to be reckoned with; more than once they had turned back troops that outnumbered them significantly. And on the first day of fighting, it seemed that Lee would again be victorious. By the second day, Lee’s advantage disappeared. Meade’s Army of the Potomac held their ground, outnumbering the Confederate troops by 20,000. When July 3, the third day of fighting, was over, more than a third of Lee’s army would be felled. It was a much needed victory for the North. Hailed as a Waterloo in the Northern papers, Gettysburg seemed to prove that the Union was more than a match for the Army of Northern Virginia, hailed universally as the most accomplished army of either the Union or the Confederacy.

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