Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922, May 18, 1913, EDITORIAL, Image 13

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    The Omaha Sunday Bee
Boys Who
N THE FIELD at Gettysburg, where
fifty years ago two great armies, one
from- the north and one from . the,
south, fought three days for what,
each thought was the right, on July
1, 2 and 3 of the present year, with
one flag waving above them, and
that the Stars and Stripes, survivors w4H meet
around the camp fires and all together celebrate
the anniversary of ono of the bloodiest battles iu
all tho history of the world and one that marked,
the "beginning of aiuera of peace that has ever
since continued, wiping off the' map the Mason
Dixon line and uniting, all parts of a nation that
for three years had been torn apart by strife and
war. . " , .
Tho battle' of Gettysburg, fought almost within
the corporate -limits of the town, one of the fairest
and most important In tho southern portion of tho
state of Pennsylvania, and which resulted In tho
crushing defeat of the confederate forces under
General Robert B. Leo, has always been regarded
as tho closing event of tho war of the rebellion that
liad continued for more than, three years, though
peace was not restored until some months later.
This" battle that has Lad an Important place
In American history commenced on July 1, 1863,
and continued almost without Intermission until
July 4, when completely routed, Lee withdrew from
. the field, retreating into Maryland with only a
remnant of what had been an army- that was the
flower of the southland.
Invasion of the North.
Early in June, 1863, General Lee conceived the
Idea of an Invasion of the north. The treasury and
the granaries of tho confederacy were empty and
needed replenishing if the war to continue
The south had been overrun, Its towns and cities
destroyed and Its business In all lines prostrated.
Knowing this, Lee felt that If be cot Id invade tha
north he could strike bis enemy in his home, and
perhaps tlr up a revolution and that peace would
follow on such terms as he himself might dictate.
With this idea in view, he organized three army
corps, commanded by Longstreet, Ewell and Hill,
H 0 "y- years ago two great armies. one lt UT i !' . "tfHIIW-V -c. Sr " ' 1 C
I J i Tom -toe north and one from, the, 'tjftT IXKSSSmSS vMP''' . V-
InmTiirrJ souh fout three days for what. , (I PO -CV ct'W!-. YrnvWCi s '
Fought at
II''! Ill
i' r
i r- v ii
( I II I 111 M
U"UBU' mm "" lu uu,u u.u6. ivvnw.
on June 3 that General Lee ordered the movement
of. his troops constituting the other divisions, w
making up ' the finest and greatest army that the
confederacy had put into the field. In the onward
move, battle after battle was fought, victory almost
always coming to the armyof the stars and bars.
Like the waves of the dceaa, the army of Gen
eral Leo swept on, the union forces seemingly
powerless to resist the onslaughts. Swell was
marching up the Shenandoah valley; Harper's
Ferry was in the hands of tho confederates and
apparently the way into Pennsylvania was cleared
for the invaders.
City after city surrendered and, for a time It
looked as if thero was no power 'that could stop
Lee's onward march from Virginia to New York.
The people of Philadelphia and other Pennsylvania
cities and towns gathered their families and their
valuables and fled", to far-away places in the north
for safety.
In the meantime General Hooker of the union
forces was guarding Washington and preparing 4o .
cut through the Clue Ridge mountains and inter
cept Lee. He laid his plans before General Hal
v leek, commander-in-chief, but they metvwlth dis
approval. Hooker then asked to be relieved of the
command of the army of the Potomac and tho re
quest was granted June 27, General Meade suc
ceeding him.
Governors of northern states issued calls or
,.UuW0i,Ou.u1i,m( roo.u.ouw uu u.uiancD
of raw recruits were soon on the field, armed and
for the defense of their homes and .firesides, Leo
received notice of the uprising of tho masses pro
pared to give him battlo and became alarmed, -but
still be pushed on. To concentrate, his forces he
directed General Ewoll to fall back to Gettysburg
and Generals LongBtreet and Hill to advance on the.
Chambersburg road through Gettysburg to Balti
more. Realizing that a battle of more than ordinary
importance and with sanguinary results must soon
be fought. General Meade massed bis army with
the Idea of sweeping the enemy from the midst of
the. terrified citizens. During tho night of June
80, 6,000 cavalry under General Buford arrived be
fore Gettysburg for the protection of tho city and
Its inhabitants. The following morning the cou
federates, who had almost reached the city, at
tacked JDuford, buy ho held the force In check until
General Howard's corps camo to his relief. Tho
following day tho battle Commenced in earnest,
though neither Lee nor Meade bad intended that
Gettysburg should be the scene of the engagement.
Meade was at Pipestone, fifteen miles away,'
while Lee bad stopped at Gettysburg as a base for
defensive operations. The attack, however,, was
made by the confederate forces and General
Doubleday was pushed back to Seminary Ridge,
taking with him 800 confederate prisoners. Ab he
moved back through the village his troops scat
to Meet There A
tored and 3,000 of them were taken prisoners.
Reinforcements for both armies commenced to ar
rive and during tho afternoon the battle bocamn
general, the union lino extending throo miles along
tho front of the town and in the form of a triangle.
Having ranked Doubleday, Howard continued
the retreat' to Comotory Ridge, covered by Bu
ford's. cavalry. This ended thp first , day of .tho.
battle, but all night troops kopt arriving and tak-
Jng pOBjuon - th0 union forces on Comotory and
the confederate forces on Seminary Ridge.
Second Day of Battle. - - t
The morning of July' 2 dawned clear and bright
una early both armies wero astir, but both com
manders seemed loth to order an attack, appar
ently Lee wishing to draw Meade from his position
and the latter being unwilling to leavo It. About
noon General Sickles. took position on the left from
Round Top, in front of Meade's intended line of
battle. This was a bait and Lee swallowed it. Ho
directed Longstreet to crush this force, Ewell to
attack the union right and Hill ,the center, thus
securing Llttlo Round Top. Meade was thus
forced to support Sickles, who was finally forced
back to Cemetery Ridge after a desperate hand-to-band
struggle. Here Sickles stood firmly.
Elated by what seemed a victory, tho con
federates rushed up to the very foot of the union
position, but wero repulsed with heavy loss. At 10
o'clock that night, after various, charges and
counter charges, Ewell succeeded In getting a foot
hold on Culp's Hill, but l 4 o'clock tho morning
of July 3 he was forced back after a struggle that
lasted until after sunrise. '
Leo spent all the morning of July 3 in prepara
tion for a crushing blow on Meade's center. Dur
ing the night batteries hod been placed and at
1 o'clock Lee opened fire with ISO guns, which
wore answered promptly by the union forces, who
Cfa.p6 Joseph 2laJjson
Capt. tfo.2. 9V&3?e$'t MY. Vols
brought '100 cannon into action. For two hoars
the artillery battlo raged, tho air being alive with
solid shot and shell, the explosions shaking the
ground and boihg heard twenty miles away.
Pickett's ruinous Cttnrge.
When tho artillery flro ceased tho confederate
line made a general advance, General Pickett tak
ing the lead in a charge that has gone down into
history as one of the bravest evor conceived. His
mon scaled the union breastworks thrown up In
front of Cometery Ridge, and, though hurled back;
.time after time, continued the assault until only a
handful of them were left, and many of them
maimed and wounded.
The two armios, practically 80,000 each, had
met and tho flower of the south had been van
quished by the flower and youth of the north. The
losses had been enormous, those of tho union army
being estimated at 23,000 and those of the con
federate at 36,000, besides many thousands of
prisoners, and thousands of small arms and hun
dredB of cannon captured."
The following day, July 4, thero was some
fighting, -but tho battlo was only a skirmish us
compared with' what had occurred on the days
previous, and most of the time was devoted to tha
burial of tho dead.
Every band of the union army played "Yankes
Doodle," "The Star Spangled Banner," and other
patriotic airs, while the Stars -and Stripes waved
over positions occupied by the confederates for
three days previous.
. ,Lato in tho day, Leo, with the remnant of his.
army, commenced the retreat, but Meade did not
follow, rapidly, and at Rapid Anna he was allowed
to rest and nurse his command for a lay,' when
be resumed his march back toward rginifc, ta
(Continued on Page Ton.)
i . x ...