Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/3/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Today we live with the implications of the Confederate defeat.

A hundred and fifty years after the actual battle, the town of Gettysburg is being invaded once again by two armies, one clad in blue and the other gray. Caught between them are an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 civilians, who have arrived to witness the spectacle.

The final, ill-fated Confederate charge at the Angle. Although the war would continue for another two years, this marked the turning point of the war.

The final, ill-fated Confederate charge at the Angle. Although the war would continue for another two years, this marked the turning point of the war.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/3/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Gettysburg, battle, reenactment, 150, Union, Lee, Meade, implications


GETTYSBURG, PA (Catholic Online) - A century-and-a-half ago, the last great hope of the Confederacy dashed itself against the rocks of "The Angle" at Gettysburg, turning the tide of war back towards the Union.

Until Gettysburg, and the surrender of the strategic city of Vicksburg in Mississippi on, July 4, 1863, the people of the Confederacy believed they had a reasonable chance to win their freedom from the Union. However, Lee made a series of mistakes.

The campaign that culminated at Gettysburg was intended to force a decisive battle between the Union Army of the Potomac and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. It was thought that a decisive, army-crushing battle would give bystanding nations such as England and France the confidence to recognize the Confederacy and provide significant material and possibly military support.

Lee carefully maneuvered his army in multiple columns as far north as Pennsylvania, then turned south to threaten Philadelphia and Washington. This forced the Army of the Potomac to pursue and would give Lee the opportunity to fight on ground of his choosing.

However, advance columns of the two armies blundered into one another at Gettysburg and the situation quickly spiraled out of control with the Union clinging desperately to the superior ground.

Lee took a pass on maneuvering his army away to seek better ground, fearing such a maneuver could demoralize the army and give the appearance of defeat. Instead, he ordered a second day of stacks which ended in stalemate on July 2.

Finally, on July 3, Lee announce his grand plan to finish off the Army of the Potomac. He would strike what he believed to be their weakest point, the center, which had gone untested. The attack would be preceded by the largest artillery bombardment in history until that time. What the artillery didn't accomplish, a massive charge of 15,000 troops would finish.

Until then, the Army of the Potomac was infamous for retreating before such powerful assaults. Lee went all-in.

What he did not know is that his opponent, Union General George Meade was using the center to rest and recuperate troops from the previous two days of fighting, so there were many thousands more men present than Lee thought. And the grand artillery bombardment enjoyed limited effect as shells overshot Union lines, troops sheltered safely behind a low stone wall, and other features of the terrain, and powder supplies ran low.

With the bombardment cut short, the final assault went in, led by General George Pickett's division of troops. The charge, later dubbed "Pickett's Charge" was doomed. Confederate troops led by General Armistead, managed to pierce the Union lines at the low stone wall, called "the angle" for about ten minutes before Union reinforcements pushed them back, killing and capturing most of the Confederate survivors.

The Army of Northern Virginia would never be the same, and lee would never again invade the North.

Conversely, the Union's Army of the Potomac became a hardened, capable force that would win most of its battles over the final two years of the war, grinding down the Army of Northern Virginia by attrition.

The aftermath of the battle saw 51,000 casualties and Lincoln's famed Gettysburg Address.

Today, the battlefield is a national park.

On its fringes, on private lands once tread by the actual soldiers, reenactors, numbering in the tens of thousands, repeat those battles for the public.

This weekend will see about 10,000 to 12,000 reenactors gathered for a recreation of Pickett's Charge. The public will also be led on a reenactment of the charge at the national park by rangers.

A hundred and fifty years later, the battle of Gettysburg remains perhaps the most well-known and most important battle in American history.

Today, the nation lives with the legacy of the Civil War. Although most students learned the Civil War was fought to end slavery, this is not entirely correct. At the core of the issue was the question of power --and who should wield supreme authority. Were state sovereign entities that could freely associate or disassociate with the Union, or was the Federal government supreme.

Today, we live in a nation filled no longer with New Yorkers, Pennsylvanians, Virginians, Georgians, and the like. We are Americans governed by the federal government, for better or worse.

This weekend is a time of remembrance. What happened on the fields around the town of Gettysburg so long ago, resonates today.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More U.S.

FBI arrests Cliven Bundy leading to protesters' surrender in Oregon occupation Watch

Image of Cliven Bundy was arrested by the FBI moments after stepping off a plane (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy stepped off a plane at the Portland International Airport Wednesday evening and was taken to Multnomah County jail, where his sons Ammon and Ryan Bundy were already being held. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - On Thursday morning the ... continue reading


Beauty and the Priest - Cleric indicted for murder in cold case from 1960 Watch

Image of Irene Garza was 25 at the time of her death. No motive has been established in the death of the beauty queen from McAllen, Texas, but John Feit is the only suspect.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A former priest has been indicted for a 1960 cold case murder of a woman. According to Texas authorities, then 27-year-old priest, John Feit, heard the confession of Irene Garza, then asphyxiated her afterwards. Her body was found in a canal days later. Feit will now ... continue reading


Former Catholic priest arrested in connection with beauty queen's murder - 56 years later Watch

Image of Now a married grandfather, former Catholic priest John Feit is accused in the 1960 murder of 27-year-old Irene Garza in 1960 (CNN).

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Many thought, but few actually believed that a small town Catholic priest would be capable of such a savage crime. Fifty-six long years later, former priest John Feit, now a married grandfather living in Arizona has been arrested in connection with the 1960 ... continue reading


Ash Wednesday and Lent. It Works if you Work It Watch

Image of After receiving the ashes, we are exhorted to leave the Church as penitents and pilgrims and continue in a Christian way of life every day

By Deacon Keith Fournier

If we enter into the observance of Lent with our entire person, it can draw us, at its' closure, into a deeper embrace and experience of the power of the Resurrection, beginning right now and stretching into eternity. Our frequent liturgical celebrations present ... continue reading


No Catholic or other Christian Should Support the Candidacy of Bernie Sanders Watch

Image of Senator Bernie Sanders, a candidate for the Presidency of the United States of America, denies the fundamental Human Right to Life of children in the womb.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Legalized abortion on demand is an open rejection of the entire ethic of being our brothers (and sisters) keeper. There can be no enduring lasting solidarity upon which to build a secure future in a culture that kills its own children and calls it a right. No ... continue reading


Mardi Gras' several names and traditions: How is it celebrated around the world? Watch

Image of Mardi Gras is famous for its colors, masks, beads, food, floats and more (Pixabay)!

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

People around the world celebrate Fat Tuesday each year with regional traditions - but did you know it is a celebration with roots in Christianity?  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Fat Tuesday" is English for the French "Mardi Gras," and is traditionally ... continue reading


7 Fun facts about Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras celebrations Watch

Image of Mardi Gras first became a holiday in 1582.

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday; it comes directly before Ash Wednesday. "Mardi Gras is a raucous celebratory affair that serves as a final shebang before the 40-day abstinence of Lent," explains The Huffington Post. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Amidst all ... continue reading


605,000 undocumented immigrants to receive driver's licenses in California Watch

Image of California driver's licenses do not bestow any federal benefits to the recipient. State sources say the law is intended to make California roadways safer.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Thanks to a new California law known as AB60, which took effect on January 2, 2015, the Department of Motor Vehicles, or DMV has handed out 605,000 driver's licenses to undocumented workers. It is estimated that 1.4 million migrants will receive licenses under ... continue reading


Center for Medical Progress releases another Planned Parenthood video despite injunction Watch

Image of Pro-life CMP stands against abortionists NAF (imgsuccess).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

After ousting illegal actions performed by Planned Parenthood clinics, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), and its founder Daniel Daleiden, have been ordered to cease further distribution of illegally-obtained Planned Parenthood footage. Unfortunately for the ... continue reading


Huff Po Gestapo, beats down Trump, First Amendment with editorial billy club Watch

Image of Huffington Post has found a way to turn the First Amendment into a billy club for their PC police duties.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Liberal mouthpiece, The Huffington Post (not to be confused with an actual news organization) is pandering to liberal readers by posting an addendum at the end of every story about Donald Trump. The addendum labels Trump a "racist" and a "serial liar." LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Stations of the Cross - Fifth Station: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to ...
  • Daily Readings for Sunday, February 14, 2016
  • Can you answer these four challenging questions about Lent?
  • St. Valentine: Saint of the Day for Sunday, February 14, 2016
  • Saint Valentine and why we offer roses
  • Prayer in Time of Anger HD Video
  • 5 of the best non-traditional ways to celebrate Valentine's Day

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 58:9-14
9 Then you will cry for help and Yahweh will answer; you will call and he ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 86:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Prayer Of David] Listen to me, Yahweh, answer me, for I am poor and ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 5:27-32
27 When he went out after this, he noticed a tax collector, Levi by name, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 13th, 2016 Image

St. Catherine de Ricci
February 13: St. Catherine was born in Florence in 1522. Her ... Read More