A campaign to award the Medal of Honor to a Union hero at Gettysburg, Lieutenant Alonzo Cushing (1814–1863), culminated 151 years after the battle. Lee’s forces began marching in Virginia on June 3, 1863, and by late June elements of the Army of Northern Virginia were scattered, in various concentrations, across southern Pennsylvania. A historian of the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey, he is a publisher of popular history, a podcaster, and online course creator. Stopping a Clever Plan. The Battle Of Gettysburg was important because if the Confederates won this battle, they would win the war. After gathering food and much-needed clothing in the prosperous region of southern Pennsylvania, Lee could threaten cities such as Harrisburg, Pennsylvania or Baltimore, Maryland. More importantly, this key win gave the Union a much greater control over its adversary. Heroic cavalry charges led by a young cavalry officer who had just been promoted to general. More than 50,000 men fell as casualties(men listed as killed, wounded, or missing/captured), a scale of suffering neve… Union officers including Col. Strong Vincent and Col. Patrick O’Rorke who died defending Little Round Top. This battle took place for three long days, which started from July 1, 1863 and lasted on July 3, 1863. Site created in November 2000. This battle was so important that a victory could mean complete control of the U.S. government. Brimming with confidence, Lee decided to go on the offensive and invade the North for a second time (the first invasion had ended at Antietam the previous fall). Click here for our podcast series Key Battles of the Civil War. This battle produced massive numbers of casualties, which made it one of the bloodiest wars in the nation’s history. When traveling towards Gettysburg with his army, Lee had his sights set on invading the North. If his plan worked and he managed to pass through Maryland and Pennsylvania, where he … Over time, the battle seemed to increase in importance. The importance of the Battle of Gettysburg of the United States' Civil War was evident at the time of the colossal three-day clash across hills and fields in rural Pennsylvania in early July 1863. The clash at Gettysburg was enormous by any standards, and a total of 170,000 Confederate and Union soldiers came together around a town that normally held 2,400 residents. Additional Information and Other Interesting Details About the Battle of Gettysburg. The United States would have been forced to accept peace with the Confederate States of America. It caused the Confederates to retreat all the way back to Virginia. Would you like to learn the complete history of the Civil War? More … Let’s have a take on U.S. history and learn the importance of the Battle of Gettysburg. As one of the most important chapters in U.S. history, the Battle of Gettysburg greatly influenced the outcome of the American Civil War. In November 2014, at a ceremony at the White House, President Barack Obama awarded the belated honor to distant relatives of Lieutenant Cushing at the White House. Having lost about a third of his army to casualties, Lee was forced to withdraw and head back toward Virginia. California – Do not sell my personal information. This battle was very important because it served as a turning point in the American Civil War. The thousands of Confederates who marched across a mile of open ground under heavy fire during Pickett’s Charge. After this all-important victory, then-U.S. President Abraham Lincoln addressed the nation and redefined the meaning as well as the purpose of the war. The federal government could have been disabled, and high government officials, including even President Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865), might have been captured. Later on, this burial ground was renamed Gettysburg National Cemetery, which together with Gettysburg National Military Park are under the management and control of the United States National Park Service. This battle was very important because it served as a turning point in the American Civil War. At the end of this three-day face-off, the Union lost about 23,055 of its men while the Confederacy lost a total 23,231 of its soldiers. Why was the Battle of Gettysburg important? It was almost as if the roads just happened to bring their armies to that point on the map. Dispatches telegraphed to newspapers indicated how enormous and profound the battle had been. And Lincoln took the opportunity to give a speech which would provide a justification for the war. This event gave the Confederates a very tough loss to swallow. The Battle of Gettysburg fought on July 1–3, 1863, was the turning point of the Civil War for one main reason: Robert E. Lee's plan to invade the North and force an immediate end to the war failed. These five reasons why Gettysburg mattered provide a basic understanding of the battle and why it occupies a pivotal place not only in the Civil War but in the entire history of the United States. Although his “Pickett’s Charge” assault managed to penetrate the Union lines, he was met with a lot of resistance and eventually failed. Some observers likened it to an American Waterloo. Cavalry Fight at the Battle of Gettysburg, Union Commanders at the Battle of Gettysburg, The Fight for Little Round Top at Gettysburg, Confederate Commanders at the Battle of Gettysburg, American Civil War: Battle of Gettysburg - East Cavalry Fight, American Civil War: Major General John Buford, Battle of Bull Run: Summer of 1861 Disaster for the Union Army, American Civil War: Battle of Fredericksburg. The text of the speech is short yet brilliant, and in less than 300 words it expressed the nation’s dedication to the cause of the war. But why was the Battle of Gettysburg so important and is it considered to be a turning point of the war? What Lee (1807–1870) hoped to do was cross the Potomac River from Virginia, pass through the border state of Maryland, and begin waging an offensive war on Union soil, in Pennsylvania. Countless human dramas took place, and legendary acts of heroism included: The heroism of Gettysburg resonated to the present era. If the proper circumstances had presented themselves, Lee's army could even seize the greatest prize of all, Washington, D.C. Had the plan succeeded to its greatest extent, Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia might have surrounded, or even conquered, the nation’s capital. Why Was The Battle of Gettysburg Important? One of the major highlights of this battle came on July 3, 1863, when an estimated 12,500 Confederate soldiers assaulted the Union at Cemetery Ridge. Gettysburg was the largest battle ever fought in North America. The Union repulsed this massive attack with heavy artillery fire. Why was the Battle of Gettysburg important? The Confederates never attempted to invade the North again after Gettysburg. Why Was the Declaration of Independence Important. When traveling towards Gettysburg with his army, Lee had his sights set on invading the North.