Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Calamitous Decision: The Battle of Gettysburg.

January 4, 2024

Pickett's Charge, July 3, 1863. Gettysburg, Pa. Courtesy to Public Domain - Encyclopædia Britannica

Pickett’s Charge, July 3, 1863. Gettysburg, Pa. Courtesy to Public Domain – Encyclopedia Britannica.

In early July 1863, the losses of both Gettysburg and Vicksburg were the beginning of the end of the Confederacy. Time was running out for the South, and General Robert E. Lee was aware that the enormous disparity of resources between the North and the South would soon bring the collapse of the Southern cause. Within a year, bread riots would break out on the streets of Richmond, and the ranks of Confederate deserters would swell. Even Southern women would begin to turn against the war and write their husbands to desert and come home because they were starving. The war would go on for nearly two more years, but the tide began to turn at Gettysburg.

By late June 1863, two years into the conflict, President Abraham Lincoln was worried that the South was still holding its own and winning nearly all the battles. Despite fighting most battles on Southern soil and having the advantages of resources, the Confederate army could outfight and outmaneuver the larger Union. Many thought the Southerners had superior commanders. In April 1861, Lincoln even offered the highly respected Robert E. Lee the leadership of all Union forces. Lee had declined and accepted a generalship with the Southern army. Lincoln struggled to find good generals firing a list of Union generals, including five commanding generals.

Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was sometimes referred to as “invincible,” as “Bobby Lee,” as Lee was affectionately referred to by Southerners, would magically lead his smaller army to victories in Second Bull Run, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville. Lincoln was acutely aware that Lee’s army would invade the North again, and the war would hopefully change and end. The previous year, Lee invaded the North at Antietam, Maryland; the result was the bloodiest single day in U.S. military history. Outnumbered 2 to 1, Lee’s army inflicted more casualties than the Yankee army, and there was no clear winner. Lincoln was not confident that his generals could defeat Lee, and the record favored Lee and not his generals. Lincoln was determined, however, to preserve the Union at all costs.

Lee understood that a battlefield victory in Gettysburg was his only chance of ending the war, and there was no time to delay. He was a practical man and recognized that compared to the North, the South’s lack of resources – men, money, and overall industrial strength, would ultimately bring its downfall. Lee knew that the battlefield did not win wars and that the South’s situation was quickly moving toward desperation. A decisive victory on northern soil could sway Yankee opinion enough for Lincoln’s administration to relent to a truce. Lee hoped this would lead to the recognition of the Confederate States of America as an independent nation.That new nation, however, would continue to perpetuate the horrors of a slave based economy, one that had existed in the South for over two hundred years.

President Lincoln, Major General John A. McClernand and E. J. Allen near Antietam, Maryland, October, 1862 , courtesy – Alexander Gardner, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Cautiously, Lee led his army into enemy territory, crossing the Potomac River from Virginia into Maryland, realizing in Frederick that the Army of the Potomac was close behind; Lee then proceeded into Pennsylvania, organizing the many pieces of his army, and began looking for a battle site.

He ordered General Jeb Stuart to take his 4,000-strong cavalry division, deploy around the Union army, and report to him with intelligence of the enemy’s movement. Much of Lee’s battlefield success had been because of the reliable intelligence received from his trusted friend Jeb Stuart.

Because of the recent successful winter and spring campaign battles in Virginia, the Southern army was incredibly desperate for shoes and was short on supplies. Confederate General Henry Heth wrote,

“I ordered Brigadier General [Johnston] Pettigrew to take his brigade to Gettysburg, search the town for army supplies (shoes especially), and return the same day.”


These were not only Heth’s orders, but Lee had clearly stated that he was not ready to engage in a “battle with the enemy.” General Lee’s concern was the location, and he was unsure that Gettysburg would favor his army. Parts of General Meade’s Union army were also in Gettysburg. When a small detail of opposing sides accidentally met, tensions quickly escalated, and shots rang out. Lee’s men promptly overwhelmed the scattered Union soldiers chasing them out of Gettysburg. The front page of the highly biased Richmond Examiner excitedly proclaimed,

“Our Army Victorious at Gettysburg – The Yankee Army is Retreating.” and the Richmond Whig expressed an exaggeration by stating, “The army was in fine condition, full of enthusiasm for the coming battle, and confident of success” adding “The battlefield and their hospital in our hands.”

“Fine condition” is not how residents of Gettysburg described the Southern soldiers they saw standing in the streets of Gettysburg before the battle. Sarah Broadhead, age 31, of Gettysburg, wrote in her diary:

“They were a miserable-looking set. They wore all kinds of hats and caps, even heavy fur ones, and some were barefooted. The Rebel bands were playing Southern tunes in the Diamond. (Gettysburg town square). I cannot tell how bad I felt to hear them and to see the traitors flag floating overhead.”

The battle was to begin early in the following day. Still, General Longstreet delayed complying with Lee’s orders until 3.30 in the afternoon, complaining that the enemy might be too strong; other reports suggest that Longstreet misunderstood the orders, and other historians say that Lee’s orders came late. Regardless, the strong-willed James Longstreet had a history of questioning orders, even Lee’s. Some historians suggest that Longstreet’s delay was paramount in Lee losing the battle. Most of this criticism was fueled by General Jubal Early, the late Stonewall Jackson’s replacement. Early was also criticized for his lack of aggressiveness, which may have contributed to the Confederate loss. This encouraged the “if Stonewall Jackson had been at Gettysburg” argument. Jubal Early simply fell short of filling Jackson’s shoes and was later sacked by Lee. Jeb Stuart finally arrived on the evening of July 2 after missing nearly two days of battle. Referred to as “the eyes and ears of the Confederacy,” Stuart arrived just too late to provide valuable reconnaissance for Lee; Stuart’s delay added another reason for Lee’s ultimate defeat at Gettysburg.

Still, Lee’s forces pushed the Yankees from their positions, and they retreated to higher ground on Cemetery Hill. By the end of day two, Lee was unaware that his army would soon be overwhelmed by the stream of Union reinforcements entrenching and fortifying their positions on Cemetery Hill. Nonetheless, the reporting from the Richmond Examiner claimed,

“Our army again victorious – Meade’s army annihilated – 40k prisoners enemy taken.”

The headline was misleading and utterly false regarding the number of captured Yankee prisoners. At best, neither side could claim an advantage. Despite the mounting problems for the Southern army, July 2, 1863, the day has become famous with the historical references to the battle of Gettysburg – The Wheatfield, The Peach Orchard, The Slaughter Pen, Devil’s Den, and Little Round Top.

Lee was known as a risk-taker who gambled that his three-pronged attack would destroy General Meade’s army on the third day. Lee was gambling, but his actions seemed more determined by the quickly deteriorating resources back home. He was hurrying to end the war before his army had dwindled to nothing. The activities of the day, however, were disastrous for the Confederates.

Fighting resumed on Culp’s Hill as Union troops attempted to recapture ground lost the previous day, and the Confederates began their assault on the right and left flank. An artillery bombardment goes on for over two hours, supposedly softening the center of Cemetery Ridge before the third infantry assault begins. General Lee gives General George Pickett of Virginia the mission to take the center of Cemetery Ridge. He is betting it all on this risky strategy. Lee planned to overwhelm the enemy at Cemetery Ridge with his “Invincible” men led by Pickett; Lee was confident that the Yankee center on Cemetery Ridge was their weakest defense spot.

Pickett’s charge included a division of experienced Virginia infantry and could be considered the defining moment of the war. If the battle had gone according to Lee’s plan, Meade’s weakened center line on Cemetery Ridge would retreat, and the struggle would be over. Lee had placed his bet on two things: that his army was invincible and that the 2 hours of bombardment had left the center of Cemetery Ridge without any Yankee defense. His plan, however, was based more on fiction rather than facts.

At 2 pm on July 3, 1863, Pickett’s Virginia division and two other divisions on the right and left flank began advancing to Cemetery Ridge. It was a blistering hot day, and Pickett’s men marched over one mile of unprotected farmland. The preceding heavy bombardment on the ridge had done little to loosen the enemy’s grip; many canon shells had shot over the hill, and others had defective fuses. The Union forces were well-protected and unloaded their firepower on the targets coming at them.

“Remember, you are from Virginia,” Pickett shouted to his men as they were about to be slaughtered.

Pickett’s division represented about half of Lee’s attacking force and, within the hour, had sustained casualties approaching 60 percent. Only one Confederate brigade reached the top of the ridge, and, for only a brief time. The enemy killed, wounded, or captured them. It was referred to as the High Watermark of the Confederacy. Repulsed by close-range Union rifle and artillery fire, this time, it was the Confederates who retreated.

3 Confederate prisoners after Gettysburg - courtesy of Library of Congress July 1863
Three confederate prisoners after Gettysburg – courtesy of Library of Congress July 1863

Lee withdrew his army from Gettysburg late on the rainy afternoon of July 4 and struggled back to Virginia with his wounded and severely reduced ranks of battle-weary men. Lee and his Southern army would never be the same, and Robert E. Lee’s hope of ending the war on his terms was over.

The reporting by the Richmond newspapers suggests the distorted efforts made by the Confederate government to put a positive spin on the battle. Lee resented the lies that were starting to be used to prop up the faltering Confederacy. He seemed tired and lacked his old talents from previous battles, leaving it up to his staff to pursue the enemy and even writing vague commands to Early stating “if he found it practicable, but to avoid a general engagement.” There was a lack of direction and clarity from Lee. Pickett’s charge was a high-stakes disaster, an insane decision made by a desperate man. All the arguments for the loss amount to little, as it was Lee’s responsibility.

Sources:

U.S. Park Service
Gettysburg National Military Park
Archives of Richmond Examiner and Richmond Whig newspapers.
“Altars of Sacrifice”. Drew Gilpin Faust

More about Allen Cornwell

Allen Cornwell is a self-employed business owner and an adjunct American History professor at a small college. He lives in rural Virginia and enjoys history, sports, old movies and visiting all types of museums. Cornwell has had a number of American history articles published and he earned his M. A. degree in American History from Virginia Commonwealth University. He can be contacted at: allencornwell@mac.com

91 Comments
    1. Even if we had won I think it would have just prolonged the struggle and the end would have been far worse than it was I’m proud of my southern roots but I can see where death was more than just a war for independence it would have broken both side’s

    1. Gettysburg was the end for the south and Lee knew it. Sadly he chose to continue

    1. Good to see that you Americans are so history conscious. That a 160 years old civil war is still very much top of mind. History is important for interpreting the present.

    1. The battle of the Wilderness came very close to a Union disaster more than it was. Anyhow the South was on the way out at Fort Sumter. Oh we tried and had resolve. And we lost some best and bravest first 3 years. I had a ggguncle that made it from 1861 to High Bridge. My ancestor was wounded captured in late 1863 and finished the war at Camp Douglas.both were in Barksdales, 17th Ms.

    1. You know what a sad to think that people can’t leave this war alone. Let’s learn from the past concentrate on the future. By reading your comments in this, everybody has their opinions as far as who was right who was wrong who did what wrong who did what right. Let’s just concentrate on the future of our country, and what we’ve learned from the past and not dwell on it. After all there was wrong done on both sides, especially in the POW camps. Like I say learn from the past concentrate on the future

    1. Let us learn from the past and not repeat it. Learn to be a proud American 🇺🇸

    1. Any commander looks great when defending. Lee went on the offensive and got hammered.

    1. The Battle of Gettysburg was the beginning of The Army of Northern Virginia. But, the fall of Vicksburg was the wound the Confederacy could never recover.

    1. He was hoping and praying for Great Britain to aid the south and turn the tide.

    1. Longstreet’s strategy was much more prudent and reasonable. I wish Lee would have taken it. I believe it would’ve worked out much better

    1. If Lee had let Jackson try his plan a few years before things may have gone differently – we’ll never know .

    1. The siege of Charleston was the 3rd big battle in 1863, lasting 58 days and the Confederates were able to hold the city from being taken and assure the south that Independence was still possible however the battlefield where the siege took place is half under water and still badly needing recognition in the form of a memorial on the island where the brave men died I need to contact some group that would sponsor the memorial or plaque

    1. It’s like all wars the side that has more men and equipment wins just like world war II there was more of us than them

    1. When I think of all the sacrifices made in this war to free slavery and how we are being paid back today with so much contempt and wanting more and more without any changes on their part,it makes one almost sick to their stomach!!!

    1. I visited Gettysburg and walked the distance of ‘Pickett’s Charge’ in the fall. I cant imagine how the Rebels felt with wool uniforms, on a hot July day with guns and cannons firing at you and you had to fight when you got to the ‘WALL’.

    1. I don’t believe Lee ever was delusional about the Souths chances. His love of his state and the Constitution were strong in him.

    1. Both sides made huge war battle mistakes.Pickett made the last one as a huge southern battle loss.Lee was against it.But out voted.

    1. Let it happen today and i think it would be a different story.

    1. Had we not had this war, we would not be the country we are now.
      Brave men and women on both sides deserving of our respect and honor.

    1. As long as Lee Fought a Defensive War the North could not beat him, it was a mistake to take the offensive on unproven ground. Lee could have stayed on the other side of the Potomac and defended the Southern Cities, even dragged the war out to an Unwinable stalemate by not surrendering and going to gorilla, insurgency warfare.

    1. Lee should have attacked the center of the union line at night

    1. I can’t blame Lee for pushing hard. The reason his army was way up there was to force a victory to counter balance Grant and the impending loss of Vicksburg . Anything less than a decisive win in Pa.was already a defeat. Yes, as Longstreet cautioned , Picketts charge was probably a bad idea. But Lee is at the end of a rope. So he rolls the dice that he can find one more improbable victory . The CSA had been winning those since day one.

    1. It’s about time again for another one. The division in this country is beyond repair

    1. There big mistake was In Gettysburg was having the cannons take out reserves behind the front lines. Union had non. They should of aimed cannons at front line.

    1. The beginning of the end of the confederacy what is the loss of forts Henry and Donelson in the Tennessee valley campaign in the first year of the war. Lee knew the war could not be won. Best hope of the south what is for the north to get sick of the war and sue for peace and let them go their own way. That explains both of his incursions into the north in my mind.

    1. I would just like to say to the people here who think something is funny about any of this. Nothing here is funny. Brave American soldiers on both sides of this terrible war died! Thousands upon thousands! Grow up.

    1. Sounds like to me the north wanted to force the the south to pay taxes to them and wanted to control them with a federal government. Mysteriously similar to how the English parliament operates. Could this mean that England actually won the revolutionary War and that is why America democracy was called an experiment instead of just people wanting to be free from being ruled over by a federal government

    1. It’s a shame it happened at all for the reason that caused it.

    1. Well if women were turning against the war and bread riots, im sure they didnt want to keep up slaves or feed t hem they would free them or let them go, the south new they were out resourced and out manned, yet still they fought there was something more going on than slavery, lincoln threw in slavery near the end because he wasnt winning as fast as he thought and turned the slaves to rebell and fight their captors to gain freedom why did blacks have to fight for it, why didnt the north just grant it, the north still had slaves

    1. The disgrace was the slave owners knew they couldn’t win, but kept sending the poor farm boy to their deaths anyway. Two more years of slaughter.

    1. As Confederate I would not have stayed past 10:00 am of 2nd day. I think the signs were obvious! Not just hind sight by that time

    1. The north had most of the manufacturing, and of course, the north had the navy. It was just a matter of time before the south would be exhausted from superior resources, and of course, superior men on the battlefield.

    1. We were never defeated at Vicksburg we were starved out . big differenc

    1. Gscott Welker
      I believe it might have been different if it went Longstreet way

    1. Lee got somewhat of a fat head after Chancellorsville and lost site of the goals originally set with the army. Got drawn into battle with an inexperienced green division leader Henry Heath who was put out front of the army…. Bad decision, and the resources were starting to dwindle…

    1. The South had success, early in the war, due in part to having the most capable generals. Eventually the superior resources and numbers prevailed for the North.

    1. The Civil War was a disaster for the South. They should have freed the slaves and sent them back to Africa where they belonged. Would have saved everybody a lot of trouble.

    1. If Jackson had been there it might of turned out differently.

    1. Major General John Reynolds, commander of the Union Army 1st Corps that was 1st on tge scene at Gettysburg, was my forebear, killed July 1, 1863 by a sharpshooter at Gettysburg. Can I demand restitution?

    1. When you count the war dead you have to count starvation.

    1. There is some account which suggests that General Lee had suffered a heart attack and was under the influence of Laudanum when he ordered what became known as Pickett’s Charge. Pickett being the always unquestioning general accepted the order. Gen. Longstreet on the other hand raised several doubts about the success of such an assault. But Gen. Lee insisted.
      In spite of such a loss to their cause the Confederacy Army of Northern Virginia, with Lee at its helm, was still able to fight the Union Army for two more years until running out of food, medical supplies, ammunition, and especially gold to purchase these items from Great Britain, the Confederate government had no other choice but to capitulate.

    1. They may have been still able to fight but they couldn’t stop Sherman’s march to the sea. They got what they deserved.

    1. “Best to not leave open the sores of war.”
      (R.E. Lee on civil war statues)
      After Appomattox, Lee also told his men to “…. fold the flag and put it away, else it
      will be devisive. ”
      It’s amazing how many people in our modern day defy his wisdom.
      Confederate statues have no business on US Government property. 🇺🇸
      They do belong, however, on battlefields, in cemeteries, museums, etc

    1. There were bread riots in New York, too. Don’t forget the draft riot

    1. Lee knew the blockades were choking the south and the North was increasing in strength. The now or never decision.

    1. The south lost basically because of bad timing.The south produced the material for clothes ,uniforms,but it was in the north that manufactured them and of course munitions.

    1. l
      The war was started when Lincoln was elected president with no southern electoral votes and southerners said it was not possible so the south said Jeff Davis was president. This started the southern states leaving the union. Slavery wasn’t an issue for the north till 1863. So the war was started over money cause the north depended on the cotton from southern states for a large part of the resources

    1. Lincoln invited Douglas to the White House to talk about a plan that he had two take all the black people to South America but Douglas refused the plan and War continued own

    1. If the South had won, the Southern Border would be secured to this day !!

    1. Nicki Haley was right, the Civil War wasn’t merely about slavery, it was about how America was going to establish itself as the “United States” when southern states pretty much did their own thing, made their own laws and penalties despite federal laws.
      Slavery was a money maker, even former slaves who got their freedom decided owning slaves was their best option to make money. So they bought them and made money off their own people.
      Getting rid of slavery allowed for a completely different economic boom to establish itself across our nation. Once the gilded age began there was no turning back and the industrial revolution grew thanks to technological advances.
      So let’s tell the truth about the blue and the gray…they fought and died for two very different concepts of how to live.

    1. It’s really ashame how the North ( carpetbaggers )went into the south and took the plantations buy hook or crook .. the south was treated terribly after the war.. I understand their hatred towards the north

    1. R.E.Lee could care less at how many people died , soldier or civilian . Has long as he could go back home , and watch the rest of his neighbors pick up the peaces of their shattered lives !

    1. Pennsylvania and Massachusetts outlawed Slavery in 1780 and 1781 even before the Revolutionary War was over, basically as Soon as they were Independent States capable of writing their own laws. Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey all followed with-in @ 25 years. Vermont abolished Slavery as an Independent Republic in 1777 even before it joined the Union. 14 of the 18 States in the North had Voluntarily abolished Slavery at the time the Civil War broke out. Only one State, Delaware, could be construed as a Northern State being North of the Mason-Dixon Line. Yep, 3 Slave States South of the Mason-Dixon or Compromise of 1820 Line, Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri more or less Chose to remain Loyal to the Union, but the saying the North had Slavery is a Huge Exagerration. Delaware had Slavery, would be more accurate. No Crime on the 3 Border Slave States for choosing to stay Loyal to the Union instead of becoming Traitors….

    1. Lee took his army north two times and got his ass kicked two times. He lost men and materials he couldn’t replace. Those were two of the reasons the south lost. So why is he considered a hero in the south?

    1. Everyone brags of Gen. Lee ability as a military tactician but, Gettysburg was stupidity personified in regards to military tactics during that time period. Gen. Lee NEVER commanded a military victory outside of Virginia.

    1. GRANT won by superior numbers and sheer determination. Even Lincoln recognized this when he said: “I can’t spare this man, he FIGHTS!”

    1. Ernie Latwaitis General Longstreet should have relieved General Lee as unsuitable for command for giving Pickett orders to walk and ride into certain death. A Cub Scout could seen the folly of this order.

    1. I HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF BEING ON THE CONFEDERATE ARTILLERY, FOR THE BATTLE OF LITTLE ROUNDTOP. 125 TH ANIVERSARY REINACTMENT.19TH GA.12POUND FIELD HOWITZER. WE HAD A TOTAL OF 63 CANON ,ON THE FIELD. (both sides) THAT is about 1/2 of what the CONFEDERATES had for the battle.

    1. Pickett never forgave Lee for ordering the charge.

    1. To all the great southern who died rest in peace thank you all God bless the genera

    1. Jeanette Anderson
      Except they can’t see what they’re shooting out at night. That’s how Stonewall Jackson was mortally wounded.

    1. Yes Brave Americans fighting each other. Foolish Southern sentimentalists tried to keep their Old Ways, to No Avail. 4 years of a harsh and bitter War. Costing over 600, 000 American lives.

    1. The war was started when Lincoln was elected president with no southern electoral votes and southerners said it was not possible so the south said Jeff Davis was president. This started the southern states leaving the union. Slavery wasn’t an issue for the north till 1863. So the war was started over money cause the north depended on the cotton from southern states for a large part of the resources

    1. Longstreet’s strategy was much more prudent and reasonable. I wish Lee would have taken it. I believe it would’ve worked out much better.

    1. If the South had won, the Southern Border would be secured to this day !!!

    1. David Fogg Yes Brave Americans fighting each other. Foolish Southern sentimentalists tried to keep their Old Ways, to No Avail. 4 years of a harsh and bitter War. Costing over 600, 000 American lives.

    1. Visited Gettysburg twice, awesome historical place.

    1. well if women were turning against the war and bread riots, im sure they didnt want to keep up slaves or feed t hem they would free them or let them go, the south new they were out resourced and out manned, yet still they fought there was something more going on than slavery, lincoln threw in slavery near the end because he wasnt winning as fast as he thought and turned the slaves to rebell and fight their captors to gain freedom why did blacks have to fight for it, why didnt the north just grant it, the north still had slaves.

    1. Lee should have attacked the center of the union line at night.

    1. William Cook
      Where Lee’s illness and ego, plus Grant’s determination, led to the fall of the Confederacy.

    1. If you’ve never visited the Civil War battlefields then I highly recommend doing so.
      My Dad took me to all the battlefields of the Civil war.
      Very somber feeling.
      Gettysburg was incredible.
      Highly recommend the tour.
      The Civil War history is never to be forgotten.

    1. I would argue that the last chance to win was when Special Order 191 was lost…

    1. He failed on 2 tenants of Sun Tzu here. “If the orders are unclear, it is the fault of the general. If the orders are unfollowed it is the fault of the solider.” He should have taken little round top on day 1 regardless of cost. “If the enemy has the high ground, do not attack him. If he attacks down hill, do not oppose him. Some ground should never be contested.”

    1. That is General Lewis Addison Armistead with his hat on the end of his sword. He and my Great-great Grandfather, Henry Addison Armistead, were cousins and both were at Gettysburg during that battle. General Armistead was wounded during Pickett’s charge on July 3, 1863 and died from his wounds on July 5, 1863. My Great-great Grandfather, Henry Addison Armistead, was captured at Gettysburg and spent the remainder of the War as a prisoner-of-war. God Bless them all.

    1. “Best to not leave open the sores of war.”
      (R.E. Lee on civil war statues)
      After Appomattox, Lee also told his men to “…. fold the flag and put it away, else it
      will be devisive. ”
      It’s amazing how many people in our modern day defy his wisdom.
      Confederate statues have no business on US Government property. 🇺🇸
      They do belong, however, on battlefields, in cemeteries, museums, etc. 🌹

    1. Good to see that you Americans are so history conscious. That a 160 years old civil war is still very much top of mind. History is important for interpreting the presen

    1. Put All The Monuments Back -You Don’t Learn How To Keep From Making The Same Mistakes If You Make All The Problems Of Yesterday Wars Erased-You Learn From The History What Lessons To Cherish And What Great Men Fought On Both Sides Of The Great Civil War!Let History Not Repeat Itself

    1. If Lee had let Jackson try his plan a few years before things may have gone differently – we’ll never know . . .

    1. r
      Both sides made huge war battle mistakes.Pickett made the last one as a huge southern battle loss.Lee was against it.But out voted.

    1. CSA arty was notorious for overshooting. Lt. Alonzo Cushing’s battery was messed up by the barrage though. He only had 2 working guns when the charge began.

    1. Yes Brave Americans fighting each other. Foolish Southern sentimentalists tried to keep their Old Ways, to No Avail. 4 years of a harsh and bitter War. Costing over 600, 000 American live

    1. Black soldiers were seen fighting for the South in some units and that frightened Lincoln. Forty well-armed black soldiers rode with Nathan Bedford Forrest , who later remarked that they were among the best soldiers he had.

    1. Read the Cornerstone speech by Alexander Stephens, VP of the Confederacy. In it he says without slaves there would be no war. Also, the seceding states sent Articles of Secession to Congress outlining they’re reasons for leaving the union and all of them stated the loss of the slaves was the cause. I’m born and raised in the south and hate to admit we did something so monstrous but we did. The cause of the Civil War was slavery.

    1. Too bad so sad….the CSA was very explicit And specific as to why the left the union. Slavery. That’s it period… No debate necessary. It was in their founding documents. So get over the state’s rights thing.

    1. There were bread riots in New York too. Don’t forget the draft riots

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