Battle of Gettysburg Essay

1839 Words May 24th, 2012 8 Pages
References: Day 1: July 1, 1863
On the morning of July 1, Maj General Heth, of Lt General A.P. Hill’s Third Corps, sent his 7,500-man division down the Chambersburg Pike toward Gettysburg. Encountering resistance, they initially assumed it was more of the Pennsylvania Emergency Militia that they’d been skirmishing with during the campaign.
In reality, Colonel John Buford had deployed part of two brigades of Union cavalry as skirmishers in the brush along Willoughby’s Run three miles west of town. Two weeks prior, they were issued breech-loading carbines, and they used the guns’ fast-loading
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Lee expressed a desire for General Ewell to assault the hills without waiting for further reinforcement, but he failed to make it an express order. Ewell did not press his tired men forward, giving Meade time to reinforce the troops on the hills.
Day 2: July 2, 1863
Lt Gen Longstreet’s corps had arrived with 20,000 men and were sent to outflank the Union left, which was anchored to the south by two distinguishing hills known as Little Round Top and Big Round Top. Gen Lee learned early that morning from a reconnaissance report that the hills were unoccupied and offered a great position to flank the Union Army. The Union didn’t put troops on those hills until it’s position was recognized to be valuable. Ewell was to make a demonstration against Culp’s and Cemetery hills on the Union right and to use his own discretion about launching a full-scale attack.
Longstreet’s men, moving toward their objective, had to revise their route after Brig Gen McLaws discovered the planned route would put them in full view of the Federals, taking away any advantage of surprise. This cost valuable time but, as events turned out, a Union general was about to present them an unexpected opportunity.
All but one of Meade’s seven corps were now on the field, deployed in a fish-hook shape with its center along Cemetery Ridge; the defensive positions on Culp’s and Cemetery hills formed the hook at one end. The left was held by Maj Gen Daniel Sickles, whose men were positioned along the base

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