If you’ve been studying the history behind the Gettysburg Battlefield, possibly in preparation for an upcoming visit, one of the questions you may be wondering is, “How long did the Battle of Gettysburg Last?” The short answer is:
The Battle of Gettysburg lasted a total of three days, from July 1-3, 1863.
Keep reading if you’re interested in learning more about the history surrounding the battle itself.
How Did The Battle of Gettysburg Begin?
Motivated by his recent military victories, Confederate General Robert E Lee moved north through Virginia, intending to take more ground in hopes of making some big strides in winning the Civil War.
At the same time, the Union army advanced south, weary and under the new leadership of Union Major General George Meade.
Both armies met in Gettysburg PA, and the battle began on July 1 with each army desperately trying to hold their ground. At the end of the first day, things were not looking very hopeful for the Union army.
How Did The Battle of Gettysburg End?
After 3 full days of intense battle, on July 3, 1963, the Confederate army launched an assault on the Union army in what is known now as “Pickett’s Charge” in which they incurred significant casualties and got pushed back. This resulted in the end of the Battle of Gettysburg, with the Confederate army retreating south.
How Many Soldiers Were Killed At Gettysburg?
Between the Confederate and Union armies, more than 7,000 soldiers died during the Battle of Gettysburg, with the Confederate army suffering the greater loss. In addition to deaths, more than 33,000 soldiers were wounded. Out of a total of approximately 165,000 soldiers (total between both armies), that means 4.2% of the soldiers died and 20% were wounded.
What Happened After The Battle of Gettysburg?
After a blowing defeat on July 3, 1863, General Lee’s Confederate army retreated south. Although additional battles ensued afterward, the Battle of Gettysburg was the most pivotal, as it marked a turning point in the Civil War. Eventually, almost 2 years later in April 1865, the Confederate army surrendered their last army, resulting in the end of the Civil War.
In terms of what happened locally after the battle ended, the town of Gettysburg was left with thousands of dead bodies to bury and even more soldiers that needed care. Needless to say, residents took a defeating blow economically with many of the crops burnt, structures demolished, and not enough food to go around for everyone. Some wounded soldiers remained in the area as long January 18641, causing additional strain to Gettysburg residents’ livelihoods.
There is so much more to learn about the Battle of Gettysburg and its far-reaching impact. Come tour the Battlefield in person and learn more about this historic event on one of our bus tours! If you catch it in time, you may still be able to get tickets to the Battle of Gettysburg reenactment!