June 3 -July 14 1863

Gettysburg, viewed by many as the pivotal battle of the American Civil War, was also it’s costliest, with some 50,000 casualties. During those three days in July, 1863 more than 160,000 men clashed in and around that quiet rural town in southern Pennsylvania in a struggle which even today, some 150 years later is studied by professional, as well as amateur historians and enthusiasts. While many see this so-called “turning point” in the war as a three day battle, those familiar with its history recognize it as a campaign spanning weeks. Beginning in Virginia on June 4, when General Robert E. Lee decided to take the war north, he began moving his army up the Shenandoah Valley. It did not reach a conclusion until July 14 when, that army was again south of the Potomac river. During those six weeks, numerous cavalry engagements took place, including the largest ever fought in North America, Brandy Station. This was followed by the Second battle of Winchester, where 4000 Union prisoners were taken. Then the oft forgotten battles of Aldie, Upperville and Middleburg. Various towns in Pennsylvania were occupied by invading forces, ransoms of cash and supplies were demanded and the state capital was under imminent threat of attack. The commanding general of the Union army was replaced. The largest artillery bombardment ever seen on this continent took place followed by a charge forever after remembered, Pickett’s Charge. In the years and decades which followed, controversies and disputes arose. Some individuals and military units were immortalized;  while others, just as important were seemingly forgotten. In some cases history was distorted, either willfully or simply through the passage of time, and reputations were burnished or tarnished. It is my hope, through this site, to remember some who have been forgotten or perhaps diminished, bringing them out from the shadows cast by our ever changing view of Gettysburg.

canons