Why and How Did the North Win the Battle of Gettysburg?      - Essay Prowess

Why and How Did the North Win the Battle of Gettysburg?     


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Why and How Did the North Win the Battle of Gettysburg?     

The Battle of Gettysburg took place for three days on the rocky fields and hills surrounding Gettysburg, where 75,000 Confederate troops clashed with 90,000 Union troops (Scott 12). On July 3, General George Pickett was ordered by Lee to launch an attack at the center of the Union boundary; this turned out to be a crucial mistake (Donald 15). The Union gained the advantage based on this command, and they directed heavy fire towards the ridge, and the Confederates were overwhelmed. As a result, the Confederates withdrew and waited for the counterattack from the Union. 

           The Union had long-term tactical benefits, which reflected immensely in their victory. Brenneman and Sue indicated that the Confederates believed that agricultural production was significant in winning the war and diplomacy (24). On the other hand, the Union relied on industrial-strength, which was more significant in winning the war. Donald suggested that the North won had a surplus resource in comparison to the South, and this enabled it to win the battle with fewer soldiers. 

           The North created a fishhook-shaped defense around the ridges and hill in the south of Gettysburg and used the five infantry corps remaining from the attack. At the same time, the Confederates surrounded the position of the Union using a long line. During the attack, the Union used the shorter interior lines and managed to reinforce their attack faster than the South. Once they got where they needed to, the Confederate advances were successfully blocked (Brenneman and Sue 30). Even though the Confederates covered more ground on the Culp’s Hill and East Cemetery Hill via their long line formation, the defenders from the Union maintained a stronger position, especially during nightfall on the battlefield (Hippensteel 25). 

           On the last day, Union troops wanted to recapture the ground that was lost and added more reinforcements on Culp’s Hill, but the South perceived as if they were weakening their enemy and made the error of adding more reinforcements to attack the line formed by the North. As a result, they failed to maintain their offensive force, and Lee decided to withdraw on July 4 (Scott 26). The North won the war because they had better strategies and more resources, and the overconfidence of the South assuming they would win the war was advantageous to them as well because proper planning was not done. 

Why and How Did the South Lose the Battle of Gettysburg?

           The North overpowered the South because of its vast resources and numbers. Based on this, the Union began the was with immense advantages linked with personnel, resources, military and logistic capabilities (Hylenaj and Astrit 110). Lee did not consider these facts because he believed that they had the operational and strategic conditions to win. Yet, they lacked the morale and physical ability to maintain the war. Hippensteel asserted that the North lost the war due to the fact that the North possessed more ammunition, soldiers, and enhanced logistic strategy (87).  

           The strategic, psychological, and economic capacity of the Confederacy was broken by the time of the war because of the Atlanta takeover, and this gave the North a higher advantage (Hylenaj and Astrit 23). The policies of scorched earth during the Atlanta Campaign had a negative impact on the South, and this contributed to their loss in the war (Hylenaj and Astrit 24). Furthermore, the South was carrying out a naval blockade that was leveled against the Union for some years. This had taken immense economic and psychological effects on the military, which lasted even after the defeat (Hippensteel 19). 

           The Confederacy had commanders that were not accurately applying the strategies necessary to win the war, but rather they were ignorant and assumed they had already won it even before they began; this eventually cost them victory (Hylenaj and Astrit 30). The lack of strategic foresight by the South was a tragic weakness, especially since the North had exceptional leadership. Such factors were significant for the result of the war even though there was still a chance the Confederacy would win the war, the loss of subsequent battles and territory determined their fate. Therefore, the South lost the war from their internal factors rather than the external ones (Scott 63). 

           President Lincoln’s strategic decision during the war also contributed to the loss because the Emancipation Proclamation favored the North and led to more shortcomings for the South from the military domain and the political level (Brenneman and Sue 87). Furthermore, the military did not have sufficient motivation to win the war because, unlike the North, they failed to engage forces sufficiently for them to engage in the war simultaneously. Hylenaj and Astrit state that the main reason the South lost in Gettysburg was the fact that the North forces gained higher ground in the Northwest, and this made the North lose many soldiers whenever there were attempts to attack the hill; hence; the high ground was advantageous to the Union during the war (76). 

Work Cited

Brenneman, Chris, and Sue Boardman. The Gettysburg Cyclorama: The Turning Point of the Civil War on Canvas. Savas Beatie, 2015.

Scott, James KP. The Story of the Battles at Gettysburg. Stackpole Books, 2017.

Wedo, John D., and Terrence L. Salada. “Good Enough to Win: An Analysis of Federal and Confederate Command Systems at Gettysburg.” Generalmeadesociety. Org (2018).

Hippensteel, S. (2019). Gettysburg. In Rocks and Rifles (pp. 51-77). Springer, Cham.

Hylenaj, Valmir, and Astrit Haliti. “Why Did the South Lose the American Civil War.” Contemporary Macedonian Defense/Sovremena Makedonska Odbrana 35.2 (2018).

Donald, David Herbert. Why the North Won the Civil War. Pickle Partners Publishing, 2015.


The Gettysburg movie that you will be watching was made in 1993. It was directed by Ronald F. Maxwell.  Three of the main stars in the movie are Martin  Sheen, Jeff Daniels, and Tom Berenger.  After watching the movie, I will need you to write a 3 page Essay. The Title of your full 3 page essay is: “Why and how did the North win the battle of Gettysburg and Why and how did the South Lose the battle of Gettysburg.” There should also be a Cover page and Work Cited Page. This gives you a total of 5 pages. (MLA format, 12 font, Doubled spaced, and Times New Roman. Thanking you in advance.

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