Union-Number of Soldiers : 82,289 soldiers engaged
Confederates-Number of Soldiers : 75,000 soldiers engaged
When : July 1, 1863 - July 3, 1863
Where : Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County
What (Brief Summary) : The Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (July 1–July 3, 1863), was the largest battle of the American Civil War as well as the largest battle ever fought in North America, involving around 85,000 men in the Union’s Army of the Potomac under Major General George Gordon Meade and approximately 75,000 in the Confederacy’s Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by General Robert Edward Lee. Casualties at Gettysburg totaled 23,049 for the Union (3,155 dead, 14,529 wounded, 5,365 missing). Confederate casualties were 28,063 (3,903 dead, 18,735 injured, and 5,425 missing), more than a third of Lee’s army.
Why : The Battle of Gettysburg occurred because of Robert E. lee trying to push north into Pennsylvania in attempt to move the bulk of the fighting in the east away from Virginia and into the Union territory.
Winner/Outcome : Union Victory; Casualties (Union) - 23,049 , Casualties (Confederacy) - 28,063
Battle of Gettysburg
Regardless of the heavy losses, Lee began moving north in June with an army of 75,000. Another victory-one on Northern soil-might persuade Britain and France to aid the Confederacy. Union general Hooker wanted advance against Richmond, nut Lincoln told him to attack Lee's army. When Hooker failed to do this, Lincoln replaced him with General George Meade. Meade's mission was to find and fight Lee's forces and to protect Washington and Baltimore from Confederate attack. the two armies met on July 1, 1863, near the small town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The three-day Battle of Gettysburg Began when Union cavalry surprised Rebel infantry, who were looking for shoes. Outnumbered, the Northerners fought desperately to hold the town before retreating to Cemetery Ridge, a line of hills south of Gettysburg. The next day of battle, Lee decided to launch an attack, determined to "create a panic and virtually destroy the [Union] army." This last attack, led by George Pickett, is remembered as Pickett's Charge. About 14,000 Confederate soldiers advanced across about one-half mile of open ground toward the Union lines. They made easy targets for Union fire as they marched. Barely half of the Rebels returned from the charge. Lee knew the battle was lost. "It's all my fault," he told his troops as they retreated to Virginia. Though the cautious Meade would be criticized for not pursuing the enemy after Gettysburg, the battle was a crushing defeat for the Confederacy. Union casualties in the battle numbered 23,000, while the Confederates had lost some 28,000 men–more than a third of Lee’s army. The North rejoiced while the South mourned, its hopes for foreign recognition of the Confederacy erased.Demoralized by the defeat at Gettysburg, Lee offered his resignation to President Jefferson Davis, but was refused. Though the great Confederate general would go on to win other victories, the Battle of Gettysburg (combined with Ulysses S. Grant’s victory at Vicksburg, also on July 4) irrevocably turned the tide of the Civil War in the Union’s favor. The Battle of Gettysburg is considered the most important engagement of the American Civil War. The Battle of Gettysburg occurred as a result of General Robert E. Lee's push north into Pennsylvania in an attempt to move the bulk of the fighting in the east away from Virginia and into Union territory. His ultimate goal was Philadelphia, but General George Meade's forces caught up with him at Gettysburg. Both sides arrayed their forces around the small town, and the bloodiest battle of the war began.