The Battle of Gettysburg represented the final effort of General Robert E. Lee to invade the north. He knew that if
|Battle of Gettysburg|
After his success at Chancellorsville, lee led his army through the Shenandoah Valley to continue his invasion of the north. His army was confident and ready to fight. Feeling that he was on a roll, he was trying to shift focus off the war ravaged southern states onto northern turf to pressure the politicians in the north into a negotiation to cease the war. His plan was to push to Harrisburg -- or even as far as Philadelphia if he had to to make that happen. President Lincoln responded by sending General Hooker up against Lee, and then three days before hostilities began he replaced him with General Meade and his army. Lincoln had been losing confidence in Hooker by mid-1863, and Meade's army was larger. This gave Lincoln the excuse he needed to oust Hooker from this pivotal engagement.
|The Dead at Gettysburg|
However, over on the Mighty Mississippi, General Ulysses S. Grant and the Union Army had made an effort to take the fort at Vicksburg that defended the river in April of 1863. The Confederate forces led by General Pemberton put up a strong fight and stood their ground. As Grant's men continued to peck away, they laid in siege cutting off the area from any communication of resupply, fighting a war of attrition. And on Independence Day -- July 4, 1863 -- a week after Union troops blew apart the Confederate line with an underground explosive under the 3rd Louisiana Redan which devastated any chance the Confederates had at winning the battle, General Pemberton officially surrendered his 30,000 starving and sickly troops.
The victory at Vicksburg significantly impacted the Confederate's ability to maintain any war effort. This Union victory gave the north control over the Mississippi River and made the victory at Champion Hill possible. The victory at Champion Hill stopped all southern traffic on the river for the balance of the war. The ceasing of this main avenue of supply put a strangle hold on the Confederate war effort. This, in combination with the thrashing General Lee had received the previous day at Gettysburg, was the writing on the wall. And while the Civil War would continue for two more years, it would not rage on. It would whimper into submission as these events created the stage for which Generals Grant and Sherman would march through the south and leave in their wake no doubt that the south and its dreams of an independent nation were indeed defeated, and dead.
Bruce holds a degree in Computer Science from Temple University, a Graduate Certificate in Biblical History from Liberty University and is working towards a Masters Degree in American History at American Public University. He has worked in educational and technology for over 18 years, specializes in building infrastructures for schools that work to support the mission of technology in education in the classroom. He also has served as a classroom teacher in Computer Science, History and English classes.
Bruce is the author of five books: Sands of Time, Towering Pines Volume One:Room 509, The Star of Christmas, Philadelphia Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel and The Insider's Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel -- with a new book, Learn the Basics: Digital Forensics, due soon.
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