The 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg
This week commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. Lasting from July 1 to July 3, 1863, it was one of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War. Often described as the turning point of the war, Union Maj. General George Gordon Meade successfully defeated attacks by Confederate General Robert E. Lee, thus ending Lee’s invasion of the North.
The Battle of Gettysburg
After his success at Chancellorsville, Virginia in May 1863, General Lee led his army through the Shenandoah Valley to begin his second invasion of the North. Lee believed that a victory in the North would be yet another blow to the Union’s will to continue fighting. On July 1, 1863, Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia collided with Meade’s Army of the Potomac. For three days, the bloody battle waged on until Lee was forced to lead his army on a retreat back to Virginia. In the end, both sides suffered from considerable casualties with over 50,000 lives lost from both armies.
Three Confederate prisoners captured at Gettysburg, 1863
In honor of this historic anniversary, we’re highlighting the Battle of Gettysburg project on Geni. The project is devoted to all soldiers of every rank who fought at the Battle of Gettysburg and to the families of those soldiers. The project presents a list of every officer who commanded either a brigade or a larger military unit. For many during the war, families found themselves torn apart often with brothers fighting brothers on the battlefield. The project aims to connect all the men of both sides together to the World Family Tree. It is with this project that we continue to honor the memories of all those who engaged in this battle.
As President Abraham Lincoln stated during his Gettysburg address:
“The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Do you have ancestors who fought at the Battle of Gettysburg? Share their stories with us in the comments below!