This week marks the sesquicentennial of the Battle of Gettysburg. The bloodiest battle of the American Civil War, during the hottest days of the Pennsylvania summer, was a turning point in which General Robert E. Lee would be forced to end the Army of Northern Virginia’s most ambitious invasion into the North. Before the Confederate retreat, however, more than 51,000 Americans would become casualties over the course of the three-day battle.
For the bravery that took place there, 63 Medals of Honor would be awarded, and the battle site is now a national park. A short speech by President Abraham Lincoln months later would ensure that history books would not forget to mention the little town in southern Pennsylvania.
July 1st – that’s today, for all of you suffering from your Monday – was the first day of the battle. Only a fraction of each army engaged on the first day, but July 2nd and 3rd would prove to be much more devastating.