The Battle of Gettysburg was a Revolution in fighting style and how much was at stake for both Union and Confederate armies.

  1. The Battle of Gettysburg was a Revolution because it introduced a new fighting style to the Confederate Army.  As opposed to playing a strong defense, the Confederate plan was to attack aggressively.  
  2. The South fought with a very offensive strategy and for the first time in the war leading to the South invading the North.  
  3. Robert E. Lee, the Southern General, was allowed to march North to invade Philadelphia, in hopes of destroying Union morale. 
  4. Lee made it to Pennsylvania where his supplies dwindled.  Lee then brought the Confederate Army into the town of Gettysburg, PA to resupply and continue fighting.  
  5. In a nearby field, the legendary battle took place.  With the South's aggressive fighting style, winning the war was at stake on this field.  (See The Battle)
General George Meade was given command of the Army of the Potomac for the Union Army three days before the Battle of Gettysburg.
Confederate General Robert E. Lee whose aggressive fighting style changed the way the Civil War was fought.

Prelude to the Battle of Gettysburg

The Union Strategy
In the Civil War, the Union Army fought using an Anaconda battle strategy, to choke off the South by:
  1. Fighting to close the southern ports to shut off trade and block critical fighting supplies.
  2. Attacking the Confederate Army in major cities like Chancellorsville, VA.
  3. Quickly attacking Vicksburg, MS and marching East.
The result was to "suffocate" the South by cutting off trade, surrounding the Confederates, and capturing major cities.  The suffocation would force the South to rejoin the North.

The Confederate Strategy
The Confederate Army played a defensive battle strategy up until September 1862 when General Lee became the more aggressive fighter. 
  1. The South was not effective at being aggressive at first, preferring to dig in and just fight defensively.
  2. Instead of trying to defeat the North, the South's defensive strategy of just trying to protect themselves from  the Union forces gave them a "lower standard of victory", meaning that the South was trying to just outlast the North.
  3. The Confederate Army had a much easier time than the North winning each individual battle. (See Confederate Battle Plans)
  4. That changed during the Spring of 1863.  Lee's march into Gettysburg brought both aggressive armies together for a critical battle.

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