The Gettysburg Battle Analysis

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One of the most decisive engagements of the Civil War took place in early July 1863 in and around the sleepy southern Pennsylvania town of Gettysburg. The principal armies of both sides fought over woods, cornfields and hills from July 1 to July 3 with the Union emerging victorious. The defeat of Confederate General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia by Union Major General George G. Meade's Army of the Potomac during the three day battle dealt a crushing blow to already dwindling Southern hopes for independence. The Confederacy was in a desperate military situation in late May 1863. The Union seemed about to seize the besieged city of Vicksburg, Mississippi and capture an entire Confederate army, which was trapped up in the town. This would cut the Confederacy in two and give the Union free navigation of the entire Mississippi River. The position of General Braxton Bragg's Army of Tennessee was little better. Not only had Bragg's invasion of Kentucky been repulsed in the autumn of 1862, but also his defeat near Murfreesboro, Tennessee in early January of 1863 had nearly driven his army out of Tennessee…show more content…
General Ewell, of the Confederacy, faced a difficult decision over whether or not he should attack the Federals on Cemetery Hill. Lee had ordered him to attack, but only if he thought there was good chance of success. Ewell could not be certain of that. His men were tired and disorganized after their victory. They had lost momentum while pursuing the Federals through the town, and needed to be reorganized before continuing. Ewell also saw that the Federals were preparing formidable fortifications, and that they had artillery support. A Confederate assault, conversely, would not have many cannons to aid it. Ewell therefore made the controversial decision to wait. During the night, both sides received
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