Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/3/2013 (1 year 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 (1 year 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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2015
Universal:
That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
Evangelization: That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More U.S.

Learning from the Wonderful Witness of 'Doubting' Thomas Watch

Image of Thomas the doubter became the Thomas the model believer, an example for each one of us. He is a great beacon of light for all of us as we cry out with him, MY LORD AND MY GOD!

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

What conclusion, dear brethren, do you come to? Surely it was not by chance that this chosen disciple, was missing in the first place? Or that on his return he heard, that hearing he doubted, that doubting he touched, and that touching he believed? It was by ... continue reading


Catholic Church in U.S. has weathered adversity before - and will emerge triumphant, historian says Watch

Image of As bishops warn of current threats to religious liberty in the United States, Catholics can take heart that such challenges have faced them before, and they have persevered, one Church historian says.

By Matt Hadro, CNA/EWTN News

As bishops warn of current threats to religious liberty in the United States, Catholics can take heart that such challenges have faced them before, and they have persevered, one Church historian says. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - "It's okay to realize that ... continue reading


After same-sex unions legalized, polygamous Montana trio demands same Watch

Image of The 46-year-old Nathan Collier owns a refrigeration business in Billings. He married 40-year-old Victoria in 2000. His second wife, Christine, was wed in a religious wedding ceremony in 2007 without a marriage license in order to avoid bigamy charges.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It was bound to happen. After the Supreme Court ruled same-sex unions legal in all 50 states, other proponents of non-traditional arrangements are clamoring for equality under the law. Nathan Collier, along with his wives Victoria and Christine have applied at ... continue reading


350-pound dolphin accidentally lands on cruise ship severely injuring woman Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

To kick off the summer break and celebrate Father's day, a family went aboard a cruise that ended with a traumatizing accident. As the cruise started to sail back to the harbor, a group of dolphins started to swim alongside the boat. However, as the passengers started ... continue reading


Episcopalians overwhelmingly vote to let same-sex weddings in churches Watch

Image of Episcopalians voted overwhelmingly this week to allow religious weddings for same-sex couples.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Episcopalians voted overwhelmingly this week to allow religious weddings for same-sex couples. The Episcopal Church has long been on the forefront of equal rights for homosexuals, ever since electing it first openly gay bishop 10 years ago.  LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


TERROR LEAK: ISIS learns of FBI command centers across U.S. for Fourth of July Watch

Image of One such likely ISIS candidate, 23-year-old Alaa Saadeh, was believed to be part of a group interested in detonating a pressure cooker bomb at a New York landmark.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It appears that an important bit of counter-terrorism may have landed into the wrong hands. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI is installing command centers around the nation to prepare for possible terror attacks for the coming Fourth of July holiday ... continue reading


Remaining U.S. troops in Afghanistan 'feel forgotten' Watch

Image of Several US Troops felt abandoned and forgotten by the US government

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A total of 10,000 American troops remain in Afghanistan. These troops believe they have been forgotten by the Obama administration, as the US Government shifts its attention to ISIS. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - The US Troops, 10,000 men and women left ... continue reading


Risk for massive earthquake in California increases as scientists find dangerous helium coming from fault zone Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Researchers recently discovered helium leaking from a giant fault in the Earth's crust near Los Angeles, as well as discovering an increase in chance for California to have an 8.0 magnitude earthquake. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - They did not expect the ... continue reading


United States prepares for Fourth of July amidst threat of ISIS attacks Watch

Image of The U.S. Government prepares for possible terrorist attacks this coming Independence Day celebration in the U.S.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Three days before the United States' Independence Day, the FBI has already began setting up command centers in all of the 56 field offices across the country prior to the fourth. The U.S. Government is preparing for possible terrorist attacks and terrorist threats that ... continue reading


America's MOST and LEAST patriotic states in 2015 Watch

Image of Virginia [not pictured] has been named the most patriotic state.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A recent American pride survey, published on June 29, 2015, revealed Virginia to be at the top of the current list of the most patriotic states in the USA. WalletHub, a consumer website, evaluated the military and civic engagement of all 50 states, included in the ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 2:19-22
19 So you are no longer aliens or foreign visitors; ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 117:1, 2
1 Alleluia! Praise Yahweh, all nations, extol him, ... Read More

Gospel, John 20:24-29
24 Thomas, called the Twin, who was one of the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 3rd, 2015 Image

St. Thomas
July 3: St. Thomas was a Jew, called to be one of the twelve Apostles. ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter