Battle of Gettysburg

July 1-3, 1863

The Battle of Gettysburg was a significant Union victory considered by many to be the turning point of the Civil War.

In the summer of 1863, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee launched his second invasion of the Northern states. Lee sought to capitalize on recent Confederate victories and defeat the Union army on Northern soil, which he hoped would force the Lincoln administration to negotiate for peace. Lee also sought to take the war out of the ravaged Virginia farmland and gather supplies for his Army of Northern Virginia. Using the Shenandoah Valley as cover as he moved north on June 3, Lee was pursued first by Union Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker, and then by Maj. Gen. George G. Meade, who replaced Hooker. Lee’s army crossed into Pennsylvania mid-June, and by June 28 had reached the Susquehanna River. The opposing forces collided at the crossroads town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on the morning of July 1. In severe fighting, the Confederates swept the Federals from the fields west and north of town but were unable to secure Cemetery Hill and Culp’s Hill to the south. The following day, as reinforcements arrived on both sides, Lee attacked the Federals all along their line but failed to dislodge the defenders. On July 3, Lee attacked the Union center on Cemetery Ridge and was repulsed with heavy losses in what is now known as Pickett’s Charge. Lee’s second invasion of the North had failed and had resulted in an estimated 51,000 casualties on both sides, the bloodiest single battle of the entire war.

LEARN ABOUT THE BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG IN FOUR MINUTES!
Battle Stats
RESULT OF THE BATTLE
Union Victory
COMMANDERS

UNION

George C. Meade

CONFEDERATE

Robert E. Lee

NUMBER OF SOLDIERS PARTICIPATING
165,620
TOTAL ESTIMATED DEATHS
51,112
Union
23,049
3,155 killed
14,529 wounded
5,365 missing and captured
Confederate
28,063
3,903 killed
18,735 wounded
5,425 missing and captured
  • The town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

  • Confederate dead awaiting burial

  • The gate house at the entrance of the Gettysburg cemetery

  • Little Round Top and Big Round Top

  • Three Confederate prisoners posing for a photograph after being captured after the battle.

  • The only known photograph of the day of the Gettysburg Address given by President Lincoln.

Same place, but what it looks like today.
Union dead in the Devil's Den at Gettysburg

Resource Used:

Battle of gettysburg facts & summary. (2020, December 15). Retrieved March 12, 2021, from https://www.battlefields.org/learn/civil-war/battles/gettysburg?ms=googlepaid

Photograph Resource Used:

Civil war – about this collection. (2000, January 1). https://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/civwar/.