The greatest and most crucial battle of the civil war, the battle of Gettysburg; began as a quest for shoes. It was, and still remains, the bloodiest battle on North American soil. It was the turning point of the war and ultimately led to the beginning of the end of the war. .
The battle of Gettysburg started July 1, 1863. The South (Confederates) came in to Gettysburg from the north and the North (Union) came from the south. Confederate General Hill received a report that morning, from one of his divisions, that shoes were available in Gettysburg. Unaware of the Unions presence there, Hill ordered that division togo get those shoes?. No more than three miles away from town the Confederate advanced guard ran smack dab in the middle of General John Buford's Union cavalry. Both sides sent out for reinforcements. .
Soon after the word for reinforcements were sent out, the Confederate and Union divisions in the area converged on Gettysburg. The Confederate forces, out numbering Buford's cavalry, pushed the advancing Union forces back through the town. General Reynolds's division arrived at noon to relieve the exhausted cavalry. Reynolds was killed within the hour of his arrival. General Winfield Scott Hancock rallied the troops into defensive positions on Culp's Hill and Cemetery Hill. These two points would be crucial to the battles to come. .
General Robert E. Lee, the highest general of the Confederate army, arrived in the middle of the after noon and ordered General Richard Ewell to renew the attack on the high ground before nightfallif practical.? But Ewell decided that his men needed to rest more so no further attack was made that day. General George Meade had been placed in charge of the Union army on June 28th, just three day before this great battle began.
July 2, 1863. All through the night the two armies had continued to gather. By morning, 65,000 Confederates faced 85,000 Federal troops.