Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Battle of Gettysburg... 150 years and 15 days in the making

It was last year I decided that this year was the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, and so I should be there to celebrate the occasion. And about the time I decided that my cousin announced the date of her wedding would be two weeks before. So I had a true dilemma on my hands, because I couldn’t do both right. So, I chose family and Seattle (shudder) and went out west this summer, missing my awesome history trip entirely.

“Regardless,” I told myself, “I can still blog and then in some way celebrate this amazing moment!” And then I came back from my first vacation and nearly died from my workload at work. So when the day actually came, I simply tweeted a few things and attempted to survive another day at the office.

So here I find myself almost two weeks after the fact actually having time to sit down and blog about this event. Because it was truly important; not only was it the deadliest battle fought in the war, it is often described as the turning point of the war.

Up until the Battle of Gettysburg, the tides of war were undeniably with the Confederacy. They had the stronger general, they had the momentum, they had the ability to know the landscape, and they had the motivation to fight. They were fighting to preserve their way of life.

But at this decisive battle, the Union was able to finally turn around and defeat the Confederate troops. Lead by General Meade, the Union soldiers were able to stand up to Lee and thwart his advances further north. They were also able to hold their lines against numerous attempts to break, ultimately sending the Confederate Army back into Virginia.

Many would argue that you can still see the affects of the Civil War today, and I would agree with those arguments. The South was almost completely destroyed, and it is pretty evident they are still recovering from the Civil War and decisions made after today. My personal goal is to eventually visit these battle sites on the anniversaries. It definitely wasn’t this year, but perhaps I can be there for the 200 year anniversary.

Happy History!