Friday, July 25, 2014

The Battle of Gettysburg.

I learnt so much about American history -- from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War -- during my recent trip to the USA. Our group had a very illuminating battlefield tour led by Bobby, a former soldier and current history teacher, at the site of the horrendously bloody Battle of Gettysburg, acknowledged to have been the turning point in the Civil War.

I am glad I found this website below which reaffirmed in detail what Bobby eloquently told us as he took us from one key location to another at the actual battlefield site:

Battle Summary: The Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (July 1–July 3, 1863), was the largest battle of the American Civil War as well as the largest battle ever fought in North America, involving around 85,000 men in the Union’s Army of the Potomac under Major General George Gordon Meade and approximately 75,000 in the Confederacy’s Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by General Robert Edward Lee. Casualties at Gettysburg totaled 23,049 for the Union (3,155 dead, 14,529 wounded, 5,365 missing). Confederate casualties were 28,063 (3,903 dead, 18,735 injured, and 5,425 missing), more than a third of Lee’s army.

These largely irreplaceable losses to the South’s largest army, combined with the Confederate surrender of Vicksburg, Mississippi, on July 4, marked what is widely regarded as a turning point—perhaps the turning point—in the Civil War, although the conflict would continue for nearly two more years and witness several more major battles.

Politically, Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, in the aftermath of that battle, marked the political turning point as he sought to explain why the war that pitted Americans against Americans had to be fought to the bitter end. This YouTube video below is a recitation of one of the most powerful speeches ever made:


The nearby Gettysburg Cyclorama -- depicting the climactic Confederate attack on Union forces on the fateful third day -- was a truly moving experience:


Finally, why is the scourge of war still present today? This classic song attempts an answer:

Where Have All The Flowers Gone?

Photo: A. Khoo

1 comment:

  1. The art of embalming started with the American Civil War. FYI.