The Battle of Gettysburg begins
As the most important battle fought during the Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg claimed thousands of lives and was the largest military conflict in North American history. The showdown, which occurred in a quiet spot in central Pennsylvania, occurred after Confederate General Robert E. Lee crossed over the Mason-Dixon Line to plant some gravely toxic ambushes on his enemies. With Virginia war-torn and ravaged, Lee’s intent was to alleviate the tired troops of the South by planning an invasion in the North. At Gettysburg, plenty of Union troops were waiting for him, since the area was the convergence of roughly a dozen important roads coming from almost every direction of the country. While Lee had started moving on June 3rd, Union troops under the direction of General Joseph Hooker began following him. Hooker resigned on June 28th and was replaced by General George Meade. The three-day battle was epic; though it was drawn as a victory for the Union Army, it claimed about 50,000 lives equally divided between both belligerents. It severely changed the tone of the war, and is remembered in history books as one of the most important moments in American history.
Why do you think the battle lasted three days? What do you think victories of battles mean to the belligerents – or fighters – of a war?