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Gettysburg This most famous and most important Civil War Battle occurred over three hot summer days July 1 to July 3 1863 around the small market town of Gettysburg Pennsylvania It began as a skirmish but by the time it ended it involved 16000 Americans Before the battle major cities in the North such as Philadelphia Baltimore and even Washington itself were under threat of attack from General Robert E Lees Confederate Army of Northern Virginia which had crossed the Potomac River and marched into Pennsylvania the Union Army of the Potomac under its new and untried commander General George G Meade marched to intercept Lee On Tuesday morning June 30 an infantry brigade of Confederate soldiers searching for shoes headed toward Gettysburg population about 2400 The Confederate commander looked through his field glasses and spotted a long column of Federal cavalry heading toward the town He withdrew his brigade and informed his superior Hen Henry Heth who in turn told his superior AP Hill he would go back the following morning and get those shoes This kinda of tells you how much of an advantage the North had over the South Desperate bare-footed men risked their lives for shoes Wednesday July 1 two divisions of Confederates headed back to Gettysburg They ran into Federal cavalry west of the town at Willoughby Run I have Willoughby Run on my model here and the skirmish began Events quickly escalated Lee rushed 25000 men to the scene while the Union had less than 20000 After much fierce fighting and heavy casualties on both sides the Federals were pushed back through the town of Gettysburg and regrouped south of the town along the high ground near the cemetery which is here on my map Lee ordered Confederate General RS Ewell to seize the high ground from the battle tired Federals Gen Ewell hesitated to attack thereby giving the
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