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Gettysburg was the turning point in the American Civil War More importantly Gettysburg was the climatic clash between the two major American cultures of their time the North and the South The victory on Gettysburg was brought by three different aspects within these three days Bufords defense Picketts charge and the defense of Lil Roundtop A climax of a conflict between two cultures with such vastly different ideals that they could not coexist in one nation under God indivisible with liberty and justice for allThe battle began on July 1 when some of General Ambrose Powell Hills advance brigades entered the town of small town Gettysburg Pennsylvania looking for shoes Because of General Stuarts failure to complete his mission of tracking the Union army Hills troops encountered a Union cavalry division commanded by Major General John Buford During battle in front of Cemetery Hill General Hill encountered stubborn resistance from the Union forces trying to hold until the rest of forces could arrive and dig in The fighting went on until General Richard S Ewell arrived and forced the federal troops to retreat to better ground southeast of Gettysburg Although the Confederates won the day Ewell made the mistake of not allowing General Hill to force the Union forces further back leaving the Union troops with the high ground On the following day July 2 General George Gordon Meade commander of the Union Army of the Potomac arrived along with the majority of the army He formed his forces in the now widely recognized horseshoe anchored at Big and Little Round Top on the west and Culps Hill on the east and dug in behind a stone wall along Cemetery Ridge The numerically superior Union forces faced an ad-hoc deployment of Southern troops preparing for a hasty attack as opposed to a deliberate attack The Confederate forces roughly mirrored the Union line commanded left to right wet to east by Longstreet Hill and Ewell
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