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The Battle of Gettysburg Analysis

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The battle of Gettysburg occurred over three hot summer days, July 1 to July 3, 1863, around the small town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It began as a meeting engagement, but by its end involved approximately 170,000 Americans. The battle is considered to be the turning point in the American Civil War and is one of the most studied battles in American history. The events that took place at Gettysburg had a tremendous impact on the outcome of the Civil War and the fate of the United States. It is far easier for us in the present than it was for those at Gettysburg, to look back and determine the path that the leaders should have taken. As students, studying battles such as this, we have the advantage of hindsight, knowing the outcome. Nonetheless, we can still learn valuable lessons from it. To do so, this analysis will explore some of the decisions of the leaders at Gettysburg, and how they were affected by the operational variables. This essay will scrutinize some of the leaders at Gettysburg, and the impact of their actions. The outcome of this analysis will show that what was true in 1863 is still true today. While many variables are vital to a successful army on the battlefield, none should be neglected. Each variable discussed in this examination will prove to be important, but the information battle will be paramount in the battle of Gettysburg. Gettysburg After the Confederate victory at Chancellorsville in May of 1863, General Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia embarked on their 2nd invasion of the north. General Lee’s first campaign into the north resulted in the Confederate defeat at Antietam. The failure of Lee’s first northern campaign raises the question of his motives. The Confederate Army was... ... middle of paper ... ...dy in Command. Carlisle Barracks, PA: U.S. Army War College. Retrieved from http://www.csl.army.mil/SLEPImages/AY13%20Gettysburg%20SLSR%20Book.p df Gottfried, B. (2010). Maps of Gettysburg: An Atlas of the Gettysburg Campaign, June 3- July 13, 1863. Havertown, PA: Savas Beatie. Retrieved from http://site.ebrary.com.proxy- library.ashford.edu/lib/ashford/docDetail.action?docID=10498889 Reardon, C. (2013). The Gettysburg Campaign, June-July 1863. Washington, D.C.: United States Army Center of Military History Rhodes, J. (1899). The Battle of Gettysburg. The American Historical Review, 4(4), 665- 677. Spruill, M. (2011). Decisions at Gettysburg: The Nineteen Critical Decisions that Defined the Campaign. Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press. Retrieved from http://site.ebrary.com.proxy- library.ashford.edu/lib/ashford/docDetail.action?docID=10466853
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