(Gettysburg Convention and Visitors Bureau)
One hundred and fifty years ago today, General Robert E. Lee ordered his troops to attack Union forces on the hills south of Gettysburg. It was the third and final day of brutal fighting between the Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of the Potomac.
When Lee’s defeated army began its retreat the next day, he left behind 28,000 casualties. Union forces under General George Meade lost 25,000. It was the costliest battle in American history. Of the 172,000 men (and a few women) who fought there, nearly 8000 died.
Of all the sites on the internet that describe the three day battle, one of the best I have ever seen is an animated timeline of the battle presented by the Civil War Trust. It can be viewed here. In a few minutes you can view the entire battle, complete with an informative narrative.
A few months later President Lincoln encapsulated the sadness, the dignity, and importance of the Battle of Gettysburg in a two minute speech known forever after as the Gettysburg Address.