The damaged, allowing the South to continue pushing North.

The Civil War, in the late Spring of 1863 was going into its third year with the South in favor of winning. However, it wasn’t until 75,000 Confederate troops fought 75,000 Union troops at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania that the tide shifted in favor of the North. For three long days, General Robert E. Lee fought to push the North to defeat, while Abraham Lincoln was determined to win, end slavery, and reunite the country. The Battle of Gettysburg became a turning point in the war for the North because of three reasons having to do with geography, casualties, and morale. The South’s deepest push into the North became one of the reasons why the Battle of Gettysburg was a turning point in the Civil War (Document A). General Robert E. Lee, in an attempt to change the direction of war with the Gettysburg campaign, failed and ended up confusing his army in which direction they were. If the SOuth would have won this battle, the North would have been severely damaged, allowing the South  to continue pushing North. With a significant loss of men for both sides, the map shows that neither side was willing to accept defeat with fighting continuing throughout Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia (Document A). But the South’s choice to continue fighting led to a more significant loss of men for the Confederacy (Document B). Although both sides suffered from numerous losses, General Robert E. Lee and his army suffered more. The number of casualties for the North was about 23,000, while the South had about 20,000-25,000 (Document B). However the South’s casualties represented 30% of those who fought at Gettysburg, 3% more than the North. The North also had five times as many men of military age presenting the North with more men to fill the spots of those wounded, killed, or captured (Document B). Because of the amount of men available to fill those spots the army for the North in the field was much bigger than the SOuth. The South due to the North’s advantages suffered a great deal more. The morale presented throughout the battle by both General Robert E. Lee and Abraham Lincoln is another reason that Gettysburg was a turning point in war. After multiple defeats, General Robert E. Lee, on August 8, 1863, wrote a letter to Confederate President Jefferson Davis, expressing his loss of confidence in himself (Document C). Lee in this letter accepts defeat and offer his resignation (Document C). On the other hand, however; Union President Abraham Lincoln three months later, gives a determined speech that the North must “highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain.” He is determined “that the government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth” (Document D). General Robert E. Lee’s resignation was vastly different than President Abraham Lincoln’s determination speech. General Robert E. Lee’s acceptance of defeat, marked the beginning of the end for the confederacy.


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