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Battle of Gettysburg

Gettysburg, Battle of, central conflict of the U.S. Civil War, fought July 1–3, 1863. In a daring maneuver, Confederate general Robert E. Lee struck deep into Union territory, reaching Pennsylvania in June 1863. He and the Union Army of the Potomac, under Gen. George G. Meade, converged upon Gettysburg, Pa. On July 1 and 2 there were many inconclusive attacks and counterattacks. Union reinforcements arrived on July 2. On July 3 suicidal Confederate attacks broke the Union line on Cemetery Ridge but were driven back in disorder. On July 4, after a day of stalemate, Lee retreated under cover of night and rain. Union losses were over 23,000, around 25%; Confederate losses were around 25,000, a similar percentage. The costly battle marked a reversal in the fortunes of the Confederacy, paving the way for the eventual Union victory.

See also: Civil War, U.S.

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