The most famous battle of the Civil War took place July 1-3, 1863 at Gettysburg, PA. When it was over, the Confederate Army retreated, never to carry the war north again. At a cost of 51,112 dead, wounded and missing on both sides, Lincoln’s forces thwarted the Confederacy’s last, best hope to force a negotiated peace—but failed to end the war. Yet their efforts inspired great oratory and reminiscence—as well as distortion—by mythmakers who romanticized the battle at the expense of its terrible impact and inconclusive result. With special focus on Pickett’s Charge at the culmination of the Battle of Gettysburg, this panel re-examines the leadership, lapses, and consequences of a storied clash.
John F. Marszalek is executive director and managing editor of the Ulysses S. Grant Association and the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library and Museum at Mississippi State University. Craig L. Symonds, a distinguished historian of the Civil War and maritime history, is professor emeritus at the U.S Naval Academy and served as chairman of the history department. Harold Holzer (moderator), one of the country’s leading authorities on Abraham Lincoln and the political culture of the Civil War era, is the author, co-author, or editor of more than 50 books.
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