Credit: Library of Congress, created and published by Currier & Ives, New York, 1863.
In early July 1863, Union and Confederate forces fought the Battle of Gettysburg in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It was the bloodiest battle of the Civil War-both sides combined suffered 50,000 casualties. Confederate General Robert E. Lee ended his invasion of the North at Gettysburg and the battle marked a turning point in the war. It was also the site of Abraham Lincoln’s famous speech, the Gettysburg
The Civil War conflict began April 12, 1861 when southern forces attacked a federal armory at Fort Sumter in South Carolina. Eleven southern states seceded and formed the Confederate States of America, led by Jefferson Davis. Northern states formed the Union, which was led by President Abraham Lincoln and the Republican Party, and opposed the expansion of slaveryan extreme form of human oppression whereby an individual may "own" another person and the... More. In the first year of the war, the Union took control of the border states and established a naval blockade as both sides raised large armies. In September 1862, Lincoln issued a preliminary Emancipationfreedom from legalized slavery gained by most enslaved persons of African descent immediately following the... More Proclamation, which proposed freeing the slaves in rebellious states. This made the abolitionThe abolition movement consisted of organized efforts to do away with legalized slavery, in the... More of slavery a primary goal of the war-one bitterly opposed by the Copperheads, northern Republicans who opposed the war. Emancipation ensured that Britain and France, which had by then abolished slavery, would not intervene to help the Confederates and also allowed the Union to recruit blacks for reinforcements-a resource the Confederacy did not exploit until it was too late.