On July 3, 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg ended with a decisive Union victory. The Battle of Gettysburg would emerge as the turning point in the U.S. Civil War, often regarded the Confederacy’s last, best chance for an ultimate victory.
 
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, became the “High-Water Mark of the Confederacy.” This is not just a metaphor, but an actual location nicknamed “the Angle” in the Cemetery Ridge section of the Gettysburg battlefield. Hundreds of meters from the Angle, Confederate General Robert E. Lee ordered troops under General George Pickett to attack a Union stronghold. The High-Water Mark was the furthest north Pickett’s soldiers forced the Union to retreat, although nearly all Confederate soldiers were quickly captured or killed.
 
The devastating failure of “Pickett’s Charge” and the loss at Gettysburg were disasters for the Confederacy—although not immediately. Lee retreated, never organizing an offensive maneuver on the scale of the Gettysburg campaign. He surrendered, and the Confederacy collapsed, two years later.
battlefield
Noun

specific place where violence is carried out, as part of a larger war or other conflict.

campaign
Noun

activities designed to achieve a social, political, or military goal.

Civil War
Noun

(1860-1865) American conflict between the Union (north) and Confederacy (south).

Confederate
Adjective

having to do with the Confederate States of America (south) during the Civil War.

decisive
Adjective

able to make decisions with certainty.

devastating
Adjective

very destructive or damaging.

disaster
Noun

terrible and damaging event.

emerge
Verb

to develop or come into view.

Noun

position of a particular point on the surface of the Earth.

maneuver
Noun

a skillful movement.

metaphor
Noun

word or phrase used to represent something else, or an understanding of one concept in terms of another concept. 

offensive
Adjective

invading or attacking, not defending.

retreat
Verb

to go back to a familiar or safe place.

surrender
Verb

to give up.

troop
Noun

a soldier.

ultimate
Adjective

final or maximum.

Union
Adjective

having to do with states supporting the United States (north) during the U.S. Civil War.

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