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Number of casualties at the Battle of Gettysburg 1863

The Battle of Gettysburg, at the beginning of July 1963, was the largest and costliest battle of the American Civil War, and is often regarded as the turning point in the war. Confederate General Robert E. Lee sought to capitalize on his victories earlier in the year, such as the Battle of Chancellorsville, by launching his second invasion of the northern states. He did this in order to alleviate the pressure on the Virginia farmland, which had been ravaged by the preceding campaigns, and also in an attempt to force the Union into negotiations to end the war. In June, General Lee's forces marched through Virginia, into Pennsylvania, and were pursued by Union forces led by Major General Joseph Hooker, and later Maj. Gen. George G. Meade.

The Battle of Gettysburg

The armies met near the town of Gettysburg, PA, on the morning of July 1. In the first day of fighting the Confederacy won control of much of the area surrounding the town, while the Union held the lands to the south. On the second day reinforcements, arrived on both sides, and while the Confederate forces tried flanking the entrenched and heavily defended Union forces, they had limited success. At 1pm on the third day of battle, General Lee launched what was probably the largest artillery bombardment of the entire war, and two hours later he launched Pickett's Charge, which saw roughly 12.5 thousand Confederate troops charge the Union forces entrenched on Cemetery Ridge. The bombardment had little effect on the Union defences, and the oncoming soldiers suffered heavy casualties before being forced to retreat, marking an end to the battle and a victory for the Union. Gettysburg has been described as the bloodiest battle of the war, as, not only were the casualties higher than any other battle, but the depletion of ammunition stocks led to much close-quarters and hand-to-hand combat on the final day.

Legacy

Over 165 thousand men took part in the Battle of Gettysburg, with roughly one third becoming casualties. More than seven thousand men died in the fighting, and a further 33 thousand were wounded. The battle also saw the deaths of six Confederate and five Union generals, more than any other battle in the war. Although the war would not end for another two years, this battle is seen by many as the turning point in the war, and as the closest that the Confederacy came to accomplishing their goal of complete cessation from the Union. Prior to this the Confederacy had won more decisive battles than the Union, but after Gettysburg this shifted in favor of the Union, who would go on to win the war in 1865. Four months after the battle, President Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address, which paid tribute to the men who fell in the battle, and has gone on to become one of the most famous speeches in American history.

Number of casualties at the Battle of Gettysburg in the American Civil War in 1863

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Source

Release date

July 2019

Region

United States

Survey time period

July 1-3, 1863

Supplementary notes

Release date is the date of extraction for the data.

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Statistics on "American Civil War 1861-1865"

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