Civil War: Why The South Lost
October 13. 2014
The south ultimately lost the war because of two things, the will to fight and the emancipation proclamation. The emancipation proclamation basically took a huge chunk of what could have been Lee’s army of African Americans and welcomed them to the free Union army. The slaves were tripping over themselves at the opportunity to escape north and become free. The confederates stayed on the defensive most of the time; rarely did they go into union territory, because most of the times they did it turned out to be a big loss for the confederates. After being beaten down so many times, the confederates lost ...view middle of the document...
If Lee wants to coordinate with the opposite side of his line, he has to go six miles around to do so. The Meade, the union commander, only had a two mile distance inside his perimeter. Meade is also on the defensive; mead has more men on a more compact line. Lee’s troops are more strung out and Meade finally has the home field advantage.
On the second day of the battle, Robert E. Lee decides to take 15,000 to 20,000 troops under Longstreet and attack the union left and then takes maybe 5,000 to 10,000 troops and attacks Culp’s hill. The attack on the unions left flank happened first, so the confederates have to get over there without being seen opposite the union lines. Ultimately Longstreet’s men, who make fierce attacks on devils den and little round top, then onto the wheat field where they have found a small gap in the union line where some troops had gone to reinforce fighting in other areas. The confederates can’t push through it because where ever they show up; union reinforcements from inside meads strong fish hook position arrive and push the confederates back.
The bloodiest fighting at Gettysburg, the second day at the south end will come to a close without a decisive resolve. While Longstreet is attacking the union left flank, the confederates are beginning a huge artillery bombardment on the union right flank on Culp’s hill. That bombardment didn’t do anything, because the confederate attack doesn’t come till the fighting on the left flank was mostly over. Then the confederates tried to attack east Cemetery hill and actually captured some of east Cemetery hill. They captured nine cannons, this was the key union position and it’s about to fall to the confederates. Quick reaction by the union army ends up pushing the confederates back again. The confederates had a little more success on Culp's hill, this was night fighting, very odd for the civil war. The confederates very easily capture the lower hill, but they are unable to capture the upper.
The next day the fighting resumes on Culp’s hill and the confederates try again. The union returned fire with more reinforcements and regained their lines in the lower Culp’s hill. Since the confederates had already tested the unions left and right flank they opted for the center which is known as “Pickett’s charge”. 12,000 confederate troops charged across the field, while the union fired volleys of artillery into the confederate charge. As the confederates reached the road, union soldiers pour into the area from the union flanks and tried to flank the confederates. Nonetheless the confederates pushed on and begin to claim some the union ground but the confederates are quickly pushed back. 6,000 of the 12,000 confederates that started the attack were either killed or captured. Lee lost 23 battle flags in that attack, more than he had lost in the war up to that point. Lee failed miserably during pickets charge but he stayed another day anyway waiting for Meade to make a counter attack, but...