Battle Of Gettysburg Essay Research Paper Gettysburg — страница 3

  • Просмотров 310
  • Скачиваний 9
  • Размер файла 18

both the officers and the men in the ranks, to hold back the demonic fury about to descend upon them. Tens of thousands of pages have been written on this epic battle, and Day 2 may be the recipient of the lion’s share of this attention. On a day when leadership and bravery was everywhere along the Federal line, it is perhaps unfair to single out one man’s action in saving the Union on July 2. Yet, Brigadier General Gouverneur Warren did save the day for the North. Noticing that Little Round Top held the key that would unlock the security of the Federal line if taken by the Rebels, and noticing that the hill was literally undefended, Warren, on his own initiative, frantically searched for reinforcements. Even Major General George Sykes, whose nickname was “Tardy George”

because he moved so slowly, reacted quickly to Warren’s appeal on this all-important day. He ordered a brigade from his V Corps to rush to Little Round Top. The brigade turned out to be that of Colonel Strong Vincent, who took it on his own initiative (Brigadier General James Barnes, the division commander, could not be found) to rush his men into position. He got them there with ten minutes to spare. Any hesitation on the part of Warren, or Sykes, or Vincent, could very well have meant disaster for the AOP–every minute counted. Vincent would pay for his initiative with his life, and one of his regimental commanders, Colonel Joshua Chamberlain, would earn the Medal of Honor for holding the Union left flank. Some of the greatest heroes of the War, Chamberlain and his men

simply refused to succumb to repeated and determined attacks. The famous 1st Minnesota bought their fame with blood, incurring the highest casualty rate of any Union regiment during the War. A Confederate brigade was coming disastrously close to piercing the Union line when Hancock desperately looked for men to plug the gap. He found the 1st Minnesota. With only 262 men in their ranks, they charged the Confederate brigade, gaining precious time for other blue units to fill the gap. But it cost the valiant unit 200 casualties in only 15 minutes. The third and final day saw more of the carnage, and more of the bravery so ably displayed on July 1 and 2. Many people now view the repulsed “Pickett’s Charge” as a foregone conclusion, but desperate fighting, and superior

leadership, was needed to repel the gray attack. Hancock was seriously wounded on this day, but he refused to leave the field until he knew the charge was repelled. Artillery work from Lieutenant Alonzo Cushing and Captain Andrew Cowan devastated the Confederate lines as they approached the stone fence that marked the blue line. Brigadier General Alexander Webb furiously tried to rally beaten Yanks while Colonel Arthur Devereux led a decisive counterattack against the few Rebels that penetrated the Federal line. These are only a few of the heroes of Gettysburg. Many, many pages would be required to list all the men that performed great deeds on July 1, 2, and 3. The men of the Army of the Potomac had always known they could fight, if properly led. At Gettysburg, they were, and

they did. From Meade, to virtually all of the Corps commanders, to divisions and brigades, to regiments and companies, and to individuals who fought the fight of their lives, goes the credit for saving the Union at Gettysburg. Decisive, and correct, decisions were made and properly executed throughout the three days. When events looked bleakest, it was Federal skill and daring that saved the day, and the country. The Army of Northern Virginia did not lose the momentous Battle of Gettysburg. The Army of the Potomac won it.