Gettysburg Day 1- On this date in 1863

The most famous battle of the American Civil War-began on this day 149 years ago at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. There are always big crowds in Gettysburg on the anniversary of the battle. Next year will be crazy with it being the 150th anniversary.

The key to the action on Day 1- was something that wasn’t done. Confederate General Robert E. Lee understood if the Union held the high ground they would have a great defensive position. He sent orders to General Dick Ewell to take Cemetery Hill “If practicable” Ewell decided it wasn’t a good idea and didn’t attempt an assault. Historians see this as a great missed opportunity. By morning the Union had more troops on the hill. The Union would have the high ground from Culp’s Hill to Little Round Top.

Ewell had replace Stonewall Jackson who had been killed at Chancellorsville in May. There are those who say if Stonewall would have been there the results would have been different.That Jackson would have been aggressive and made the assault and would have been successful. We will never know.

The Commanders at Gettysburg would be Robert E. Lee for the Confederates and George Meade for the Union. There would be many heroes in this battle. Happening at the same time as Gettysburg-to the west- Vicksburg where the Confederates would finally surrender on July 4th.

I have no idea how many times I’ve been to Gettysburg. I’d guess somewhere around 40-50. I do know I’ve made at least 1 trip there each year the past 15 years. One year I was there 8 times.