The Hinge of History: Gettysburg 150 Years Later

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Abraham Lincoln was going through generals one after the other. And in May General Robert E. His goal was to move north to Pennsylvania, where he hoped to draw the Union troops into a battle he expected to win. The Army of the Potomac has at last found a general that can handle it, and has stood nobly up to its terrible work in spite of its long disheartening list of hard-fought failures….

Copperheads are palsied and dumb for the moment at least. The human carnage of the Battle of Gettysburg is almost impossible for us to comprehend. And as Joel K. Bourne, Jr. But these horrific losses were hardly in vain. The Civil War, after all, achieved two monumentally important things: It ended slavery and it preserved the Union, which meant it preserved and extended liberty in America and the world.

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If the North had lost instead of won at Gettysburg, America, as we know it, would have ended. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers. Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed.


  • Gettysburg address: US marks Lincoln speech - BBC News;
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Thank you for supporting real journalism. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.

We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.

5 Alternate Histories of the Civil War

Winters is posited on a very different outcome of the war. If there are an awful lot of alternate histories of the Civil War, we have to admit that many of them are not very good. These are some of the best. Officially, the Civil War began when Confederate gunners fired on Fort Sumter, but in reality the conflict had been going on for a long time already.

But what if it had been better prepared and better equipped? A group of Union soldiers came upon a bunch of cigars that had been left behind by a unit of Confederates.

The Meaning of Gettysburg - Commentary

Being the man he was, McClellan still hesitated, enough so that when it finally happened the Battle of Antietam was a draw rather than the conclusive victory it might have been. Even so, the draw was enough to allow Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, which changed the moral character of the war and made it virtually impossible for Britain or France to intervene on behalf of the Confederacy.

But if the cigars had not been lost? But the consequent peace is unsatisfactory to both sides, leading to a second Civil War in the s. A year after he had been turned back at Antietam, Lee took his armies north again. This time, Union and Confederate forces came together at Gettysburg.

Civil War witness trees

The battle itself came about almost by accident, and fought over three hot days in July the battle swung first one way then the other. The first day, before the main forces had arrived, was clearly a Confederate victory.