Essay by tony325College, UndergraduateA+, March 2004

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This most famous and most important Civil War Battle occurred over three hot summer days, July 1 to July 3, 1863,

around the small market town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It began as a skirmish but by the time it ended, it

involved 160,00 Americans.

Before the battle, major cities in the North such as Philadelphia, Baltimore and even Washington itself, were under

threat of attack from General Robert E. Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia which had crossed the

Potomac River and marched into Pennsylvania.

the Union Army of the Potomac under its new and untried commander, General George G. Meade, marched to

intercept Lee.

On Tuesday morning, June 30, an infantry brigade of Confederate soldiers searching for shoes headed toward

Gettysburg (population about 2,400). The Confederate commander looked through his field glasses and spotted a

long column of Federal cavalry heading toward the town. He withdrew his brigade and informed his superior, Hen.

Henry Heth, who in turn told his superior, A.P. Hill, he would go back the following morning and "get those shoes".

This kinda of tells you how much of an advantage the North had over the South. Desperate bare-footed men risked

their lives for shoes.

Wednesday, July 1, two divisions of Confederates headed back to Gettysburg. They ran into Federal cavalry west of

the town at Willoughby Run (I have Willoughby Run on my model here) and the skirmish began. Events quickly

escalated. Lee rushed 25,000 men to the scene while the Union had less than 20,000.

After much fierce fighting and heavy casualties on both sides, the Federals were pushed back through the town of

Gettysburg and regrouped south of the town along the high ground near the cemetery (which is here on my map).

Lee ordered Confederate General R.S. Ewell to seize the...