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Newspaper Page Text
THE MOST SPECTACULAR FOURTH IN ALL HISTORY
By Nelson A. Miles, Lieutenant
General, U. S. Army, Retired.
With the one exception the
original Fourth that Fourth of
'63 will be longest
ay marked the
turning point in the
Civil war, theiall of,
Vicksburer and the
Union victory at
fireworks were real
than: the loss of
life on both sides
- was great.
ville, General Lee
invaded Mar yland
and P e nnsylvama
He hoped, by an offensive
campaign'partly to relieve the
Confederate army in the West,
then being besieged by Grant at
Vjcksburg, and alsoto threaten
Washington, and to gain the
. great advantages, bold and suc
cessful offensive move always of
fers." , '
, His movement caused grea't
consternation throughout the
eastern states, and eyery effort
was made to resist it. - The Con
federate army had been increased
ly the addition of Longstreet's
corps, and the success at Chancel
lorsville had inspired it with .the
The Union army was maneu-v
vered so 'as to protect Washing
ton and Baltimore. General
Hooker was relieved, -and Gen
eral Meade given command. The
contending forces gradually ap
proached each other near Cham
bersburg, Pa., and finally met on
the field at Gettysburg.
After fighting a successful en
gagement on July 1st, Lee found
himself confronted by the entire
Army of the Potomac, holding a
strong position on the heights
To attack was a desperate
measure, but, inspired by the
magnificent confidence of his
army and by his reecnt victories,
Lee resolved there to end his
campaign in failure or to win thet
war by-the complete overthrow
of the Union army.
For 48 hours the battle raged
almostincessantly, but the Union
lines were held against all as
saults. This battle was thei
Waterloo of the continent. It
was the crisis and turning point'
in the great tragedy. The North
lost 23,000; the South 20,000
The victory affected the per
petuity of the nation. In this;
great battle of Americans against'
Americans, their military genius,
heroism and sacrifice were amply:
illustrated and will ever remain!
one of the glories of the military!
power and spirit of our people.
On the Fourth of July Lee re
tired his flanks and began a re
treat to the Potomac, with
Gregg's cavalry in pursuit. He"'
fell back to Williamsport, where,..
after again offering battle, he
crossed into Virginia on the nighq
of the 14th.
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