Gettysburg: America’s Deadliest Battle

Gettysburg: America’s Deadliest Battle

It’s the bloodiest battle ever fought on American soil. From July 1 to July 3, 1863, the Battle of
Gettysburg raged in an anonymous corner of Pennsylvania. Pitching the Confederate forces of Robert
E. Lee against the Union Army of the Potomac, it saw some 160,000 troops clash in a history-changing
dust-up. Over the course of three days, 7,058 soldiers
were killed, with another 44,000 wounded or captured. Outside of WWII’s worst battles, no other
single event has definitively taken so many American lives. Pearl Harbor, 9/11, the Tet Offensive… all
of these are mere drops in an ocean of blood compared to Gettysburg. Yet the story of Gettysburg is more than just
the story of one spectacularly violent battle. More, even, than just the story of a war. It’s the story of two visions for America,
fighting for legitimacy, and of all the mistakes that led to the south and north breaking apart. But it’s also the story of one particular
town, in one particular corner of America, that – for three brief days – found itself
at the crossroads of history. Today, we’re visiting the most-famous battlefield
in America, and discovering what led to those days of carnage. Birth of a Town
The twisting path that led to Gettysburg started not with the birth of the Confederacy, or
even with the birth of the United States, but with with one family making one simple
purchase. In 1736, the descendants of William Penn – AKA
the guy “Pennsylvania” is named after – decided to buy some extra land from the
Iroquois Indians. Known as Marsh Creek, the Penns soon opened
it up to European settlers. It was from these humble beginnings that Gettysburg
would eventually be born. Note that keyword: eventually. Before they could found Gettysburg, the new
settlers would have to experience unfathomable violence. In 1754, George Washington – yes, that George
Washington – was sent to demand the French dismantle their frontier forts. Instead, the great general made the not-so-great
mistake of getting captured, inadvertently triggering the French and Indian War. Despite what hack stories might have you believe,
being a settler in colonial times didn’t normally involve having your cabin attacked
by bands of Indians. Unless that is, those Indians just happened
to be allied to the France your English overlords were currently fighting. In that case, then yeah, you might expect
the odd tomahawk to come smashing through your door. Over the nine years the war lasted, a number
of settlers in the future site of Gettysburg had their homes burned, or were killed in
raids. Yet the intermittent violence in this part
of Pennsylvania didn’t scare everyone off. On the contrary, some folks thrived. Folks like Samuel Gettys. In 1761, Gettys set up a tavern on the crossroads
of some major tracks running through the region. His plan was to take advantage of passing
travelers and build up his business and, boy, did it ever work. When the war concluded in 1763, people began
flooding through. All of whom were apparently seriously thirsty,
because Gettys’s tavern business boomed. By 1786, his son – James Gettys – had laid
out plots for 210 homes and a town square on the land around his father’s tavern. The name he chose for his flourishing town? You guessed it: Gettysburg. By now, the Thirteen Colonies had won their
independence from Britain, and the frontier was bristling with optimism. Like other new towns, Gettysburg began to
grow at a rapid pace. By 1800, it had become the county seat. A few years later, on March 10, 1806, it was
officially incorporated as a township. Jump ahead to 1860, and it was a bustling
place of 2,100 residents. There were tanneries, shoemakers, manufactories. Ten major roads now passed through, bringing
trade and money. In short, Gettysburg in 1860 had everything
a mid-19th Century town could ask for. And that was a problem. Because by 1860, America was already standing
on the brink of war. And when it finally came, that war was gonna
hit Gettysburg so hard it’d make the French and Indian War look like a teddy bears’
picnic. Birth of a Nation
While Gettysburg was busy building its tanneries and getting all prosperous, the US at large
was approaching breaking point. The thing that would finally cause it to snap
was a little line in the Declaration of Independence, when a bunch of guys had heralded the birth
of their nation by declaring: “We hold these truths to be self-evident,
that all men are created equal,” Only to then decide that some were more equal
than others and therefore slavery was still cool. At first, anti-slavery types had hoped that
this was an anomaly and the US would quickly course correct. But the opposite happened. More and more slaves were brought in chains,
until the institution began to fray the bonds holding the free and slave states together. The first major test of these bonds came in
1820. Over the previous few years, Missouri had
repeatedly tried to gain entry to the union, only to be rebuffed because the 22 slave and
free states were perfectly balanced. To get around this, some congressmen from
free states had tried to pass laws requiring Missouri to slowly emancipate its slaves after
joining, which only served to make the slave states angry. When Missouri reapplied again in 1819, the
political fight became as bitter as cyanide. Writing at the time, Thomas Jefferson described
the rancour as being as frightening as “a firebell in the night.” Divisions opened up that became chasms, that
became a howling void separating people who felt they could no longer trust one another. Think just how divided and partisan the US
can seem right now, and then multiply that by a thousand. That was the atmosphere in 1820. The only reason the pot didn’t just boil
over and blow up the whole damn kitchen is thanks to Henry Clay. A moderate Senator from Kentucky, Clay was
a man so determined to sit on the fences of any debate that it’s a wonder he didn’t
develop hemorrhoids. Under his direction, Congress passed the Missouri
Compromise, which allowed Missouri to come in complete with slaves, but also invited
Maine in as a free state. Importantly, the compromise also fixed a permanent
border for slavery in the US. From now on, any states admitted north of
Missouri would have to be free. Although everyone accepted Clay’s compromise
with some grumbling, it was really just an exercise in kicking the highly-explosive can
down the road. Come 1849, that can was ready to detonate
all over again. That year, California applied to enter the
union as a free state, once again upsetting the balance. You know that old adage: “The definition
of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”? Well, its opposite – doing the same thing
over and over and indefinitely expecting the same result – could also work as a pretty
good definition of the insanity the US was experiencing. Faced with the new crisis, Henry Clay tried
to replay his compromise trick from 1820. But while his original bill had been a bitter
pill everyone reluctantly swallowed, his sequel was more like shoveling manure directly into
their throats. The Compromise of 1850 was such a dog’s
breakfast that you could bag it up and sell it as kibble. Among its tortured provisions, it promised
to admit California as a free state; but also pass a Fugitive Slave Act forcing free states
to return escaped slaves. It promised to ban the slave trade in the
District of Colombia; but also keep slave owning legal. Finally, it agreed to let the new territories
of Utah and New Mexico vote on the slave issue for themselves. This time, nobody was happy with Clay’s
compromise. Those in free states were horrified by the
Fugitive Slave Act and the free vote in the territories; while those in slave states were
angry about admitting a giant free state like California. If Henry Clay had successfully kicked the
can down the road in 1820, this time he barely managed to make it roll a few meters. In less than half a decade, his latest compromise
would finally explode in everyone’s faces. Death of
a Union On April 11, 1861, three grim-faced men boarded
a boat in Charleston harbor and sailed out to a meeting with destiny. Just ahead of them lay an anomaly: a US fort
off the South Carolina coast that now existed as an enclave of enemy territory. It had been just 11 years since Henry Clay’s
last compromise, and everything had changed. The first warning tremor had come as early
as 1854. That year, the Kansas Nebraska Act had been
signed, allowing both states to enter the union and then vote on whether or not to allow
slavery. And, no, your American geography doesn’t
deceive you. Nebraska is definitely to the north of Missouri,
blowing a hole right through Clay’s 1820 compromise. In preparation for the vote, free state militias
and pro-slavery settlers had all moved into Kansas, desperate to sway things in their
favor. And so had begun the low-intensity civil war
known as Bleeding Kansas. Running from 1854-1859, Bleeding Kansas saw
both pro-slavery mobs loot and destroy towns, and anti-slavery militias assassinate settlers
from the south. By the time it ended, around 56 people were
dead. But it wasn’t the numbers that made it so
significant as the loathing it generated on both sides. Loathing that would soon become turbocharged. Three years after Bleeding Kansas erupted,
the Supreme Court ruled on a case related to slavery in such a shockingly partisan way
that it split the last bonds between free and slave states. The Dred Scott decision firstly ruled that
the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional, and that states in the north had a right to
be slave states. Secondly, it ruled that African-Americans
were not – and could never be – US citizens. For anyone not chillaxing on their cotton
plantation, the ruling was like Chief Justice Roger Taney had personally kicked them in
the testicles. But the slave states had nothing to smile
about, either. Because Taney’s ruling had just handed a
brand new party the political gift it had been waiting for. Formed on March 20, 1854, the Republican Party
was a home for disaffected, anti-slavery northerners. Had the Dred Scott decision not been passed;
had Bleeding Kansas not happened, it’s possible they’d have faded into obscurity. But the 1850s were like stuffing a firecracker
up the asses of anyone even remotely ambivalent about slavery. Terrified the whole US would soon become a
shining plantation upon a hill, whose beacon light guided racists everywhere, northern
voters flocked to the new party. The result was a tight win for Abraham Lincoln
in the 1860 election – the first man to ever win the presidency without any support from
the south. For southern slave states, Lincoln’s election
was just too much. On December 20, South Carolina seceeded from
the union, specifically citing Lincoln’s anti-slavery credentials. The following month, Mississippi, Florida,
Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana jumped ship. On February 1, Texas went too. Three days later, the Confederate States of
America was born. Orders went out to take over all forts held
by United States soldiers. Which is how, on April 11, 1861, three men
found themselves sailing across Charleston harbor to the last holdout in South Carolina:
Fort Sumter. As the men arrived, the garrison commander
– Major Robert Anderson – came out to meet them. The Confederate representatives ordered Anderson
to evacuate Sumter. But they also promised safe passage to the
north, and that the soldiers would be allowed to salute the Stars n’ Stripes as they left. After all, they told Anderson, “You have
upheld so long…under the most trying circumstances.” Anderson thanked the men for their “fair,
manly, and courteous terms,” but told them: “It is a demand with which I regret that
my sense of honor, and of my obligation to my Government, prevent my compliance.” The three men nodded, then politely took their
leave. As they sailed away, the fate of America was
sealed. The very next day, South Carolina militiamen
loyal to the Confederacy bombarded Fort Sumter. The last bonds had broken, the Civil War was
here. By the time it ended, over 620,000 people
would be dead. Before The Battle
But what, you might be wondering, of Gettysburg? When we last left the town, it was 1860, and
Gettysburg was flourishing nicely – a haven from all the bad politics swirling around. So, what had happened during the Civil War? So close to the Mason-Dixon Line, it must’ve
been invaded like a gazillion times, right? Well, no. For most of the Civil War, the Confederacy
fought from a defensive posture, meaning battles mostly took place in states like Virginia. In the whole of the war, the north only suffered
a couple of invasions and a couple of raids, all of which had completely passed the Keystone
State by. So, in summer, 1863, there was nothing that
would’ve made the citizens of Gettysburg worry they might have two gigantic armies
come crashing down on them. Unfortunately, that illusion of safety was
about to be proven just that: an illusion. Below the Mason-Dixon Line, Robert E. Lee
was looking to cap off a triumphal year. The previous September, he’d launched an
invasion of Maryland that had failed, resulting in Antietam – the bloodiest single-day battle
of the Civil War. Since then, though, he’d won a string of
handy victories, including crushing the Union at the Battle of Chancellorsville. Now Lee was looking to invade the North once
more. And this time, he’d do it right. Lee’s plan was simple. First, he wanted to move the fighting out
of devastated Virginia. Second, he wanted to take food and supplies
from Pennsylvania. Thirdly, and most-importantly, he wanted to
win a major victory in the North and force a negotiated end to the war. On June 3, Lee set off at the head of 75,000
men. On June 15, he crossed the Potomac River,
entering Maryland and Union territory. He wasn’t alone: Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker’s
90,000 man strong Union Army of the Potomac was trailing him at a distance. But Hooker was reluctant to force a fight,
and instead let Lee march onwards north. When word got back to Lincoln, he furiously
replaced Hooker with Major General George Gordon Meade. But by now, it was too late. In the dying days of June, Lee marched into
Pennsylvania, marking the first Confederate invasion of a free state. Shortly after, he got wind that Major General
Meade was in pursuit. So Lee ordered his army to concentrate around
a convenient, defensible town, one which part of his army had already reached. That town, of course, was Gettysburg. And it’s here that we have the joy of wading
into a surprisingly heated historical controversy: was the Battle of Gettysburg fought over shoes? On June 30, the first of Lee’s divisions
arrived at Gettysburg, including one led by Major General Henry Heth. Heth ordered his men to search the town for
supplies, specifically shoes. A small force under a guy named Pettigrew
went to check out some Gettysburg shoe stores, and wound up bumping into some Union troops. And so you have the story that the Battle
of Gettysburg was fought over shoes. But make no mistake. Lee was concentrating his army around the
town. The Army of the Potomac was heading toward
him. While it was a search for shoes that triggered
the battle, there was gonna be a major dust-up here regardless. The day after their quick shoe-skirmish on
June 30, Heth’s men again bumped into Union troops. At 07:30am on July 1, the first shot was fired. But rather than a small skirmish, this time
the fighting quickly snowballed into something much bigger. When General Lee got word that Heth was ignoring
his orders to simply amass at Gettysburg, he was forced to make a quick choice. Send the reinforcements in, or risk losing
Heth’s division. What else could the general do? He sent the reinforcements. And so began the bloodiest battle ever fought
on American soil. The Battle
One of the interesting myths about Gettysburg is that the first day was a minor fight before
the carnage. While Day One was comparatively bloodless,
it was only in the sense that, say, the Jonestown Massacre was comparatively bloodless compared
to 9/11. 50,000 troops clashed, leaving 16,000 dead,
wounded, or missing. Even if the fighting had stopped here, Day
One of Gettysburg would still be one of the biggest battles of the Civil War. But, of course, it didn’t stop. And things quickly went from bad to worse. As the fighting erupted, the Confederate Army
came rolling into town, pushing the Union troops back. In the face of Lee’s well-oiled fighting
machine, the Army of the Potomac raced for the cover of Cemetery Hill. Lee actually ordered an attack on the hill,
but Confederate general Richard S. Ewell bottled it at the last moment, convinced the Union
position was too strong. Sadly for Ewell, it was only gonna get stronger. That night, as both armies waited for the
dawn, four more Union corps arrived. At the same time, Lee’s forces swelled as
everyone converged on Gettysburg. As dawn broke on July 2, Lee took a good look
at the armies’ relative positions. Then he ordered a direct attack to dislodge
the Union. At 4pm, the Confederate advance began in earnest. It was a slaughter. Seriously, there’s no other word for it. Over the next few hours, a relentless forward
attack by Lee would leave another 18,000 men dead, wounded, or captured. The Union forces were sent running from most
of their positions, beaten back from nearly all the ground they’d fortified. But not all of it. As night fell on Day Two of Gettysburg, Lee
could see the Union troops still just about clinging on at Little Round Top, Culp’s
Hill and East Cemetery Hill. The darkness shrouding the battlefield was
a blow to the Confederate general, who was sure he’d been mere hours from victory. Sadly for the Confederacy, this belief would
be what led to their defeat. On the third day, the bloodshed finally reached
its climax. Just 9 years earlier, in 1854, British forces
in the Crimean War had sent a cavalry brigade on a suicidal charge against Russian artillery,
wiping them out. By 1863 “the charge of the light brigade”
was already shorthand for a doomed, noble, and pointless action in war. Little could Lee have know that he was about
to top it. At 3pm on July 3, Lee rolled everything on
smashing the Union lines with a final assault. Thinking his enemies on the verge of crumbling,
he sent 15,000 troops racing up Cemetery Hill, led by George Pickett. But Pickett’s Charge was no more glorious
than the Light Brigade’s had been. The Confederate troops who ran towards the
Union lines found themselves being fired on from all sides. The massacre was like something from WWI,
with soldiers simply being mown down. By the time the retreat was sounded, fewer
than half the 15,000 men were still standing. Pickett’s Charge was the death knell for
Lee’s second invasion of the north. The next day, the general turned around and
led his broken army out of Gettysburg. By now, over 7,000 men lay dead. Photos of the bodies lying in open fields
or piled up in woodland still exist, as haunting as the day they were taken. But while the Battle of Gettysburg might have
been over, the story wasn’t. Because there’s one other thing people think
about when they hear the word “Gettysburg”, aside from battle. Yep, it’s time to talk about the Gettysburg
Address. “Four Score and Seven Years Ago…” Today, the Battle of Gettysburg is recognized
as a major turning point in the Civil War. Combined with the Union victory at Vicksburg
just one day after, it effectively sealed the fate of the Confederacy. But that’s not how the residents of Gettysburg
saw it. No. All they saw was a colossal waste of human
life. In the town, every field, every garden, every
free patch of land was stuffed with corpses. Churches, private homes, schools… all had
been turned into makeshift hospitals for over 20,000 wounded troops. As far as the residents were concerned, somebody
needed to do something. Fast. In late summer, they began petitioning Pennsylvania
governor Andrew Curtin to build a proper cemetery. The idea wasn’t just to clear Gettysburg
of the dead. It was to create a place where soldiers – specifically
Union soldiers – could be honored for their sacrifice. To make this wish come true, Curtin selected
Gettysburg lawyer David Wills. Wills was the guy responsible for buying the
land, for getting in the landscape architects to design it, and for dealing with the opening
ceremony. As summer gave way to fall and the cemetery
neared its completion, Wills decided that a memorial site of this significance needed
an equally significant figure to dedicate it. Someone with gravitas and a way with words. Someone with the stature to give an address
that would echo through history. Someone like… …Edward Everett. Yep, the actual, official Gettysburg Speech
was done by some dude you’ve never heard of. And, dear God, did Wills get his money’s
worth. Everett wrote a speech that clocked in at
two hours, a length of time that’s pushing it for a superhero crossover film, let alone
a speech. It was only when November 2, 1863 rolled around
that Wills seems to have thought, “hey, maybe we should get someone important in?” So Wills messaged the president, asking him
to make a few “appropriate remarks.” To everybody’s amazement, Lincoln said yes. From our 21st Century perspective, it seems
obvious Lincoln would be expected to speak at Gettysburg, site of one of the key battles
of the war. But in fall of 1863, that wasn’t the case. Although it was becoming clear that the Confederacy
was now spent, the war wasn’t over. Even as late as mid-1864, the South would
be capable of attacking Washington, D.C. Then there was the fact that Lincoln had proclaimed
he wouldn’t leave the capital until the war was over. Not even in your paranoid uncle’s worst
nightmares of government overreach does the District of Columbia include southern Pennsylvania. Yet go, Lincoln did. Famously, he finished writing the address
on the train to Gettysburg. When he finally stood up at the end of Edward
Everett’s snooze-fest, he spoke for only two minutes, saying a mere 275 words. Yet those 275 words changed everything. Aside from including both the most famous
opening line of any speech, and to date the only one to feature in a Bill and Ted’s
movie, the Gettysburg address was a remarkable bit of political footwork. By appealing to ideals, Lincoln raised the
Civil War above a factional fight over state’s rights, turning it into something bigger. A war fought over what kind of nation the
US would be. It’s been said that parts of the Gettysburg
Address read more like a prayer, and it almost is one. A prayer for a reunited United States. Perhaps its no surprise that those 275 words
quickly became famous. Still, Lincoln would never live to see the
promise of his address fulfilled. And neither will we today. Our video’s story ends with Lincoln sitting
back down after showing Everett how a real speech is made, and normality at last returning
to Gettysburg. Yet the anonymity this corner of Pennsylvania
once enjoyed would never come back. For the last 160-odd years, Gettysburg has
remained one of the most famous places on Earth, its name recognizable to anyone with
even a passing knowledge of American history. In some ways, this is to be expected. Gettysburg remains one of the bloodiest battles
the US ever fought, killing more soldiers than even the taking of Iwo Jima. In other ways, though, Gettysburg’s enduring
fame points to something even more poignant. It was here, outside this small town, that
the future of the US was decided, not just with fighting, but with words, too. The US may have sometimes struggled to live
up to it, but it was here that Lincoln’s ideal of a perfect nation was truly articulated. A nation united in which all men – no matter
the color of their skin – could be free. If we remember places for what they represent,
then what Gettysburg represents is both a nightmare, and a powerful dream: a dream of
a renewed, fairer America reborn. It might have been a slaughter. It might have ended over 7,000 lives. But, ultimately, the carnage at Gettysburg
would come to mean symbolize something beyond mere death and destruction. Hope for the future. A hope we are still trying to live up
to today.


  1. I was actually just watching the movie Gettysburg with Martin Sheen.

    People criticize Picketts Charge but Lee had already wasted most of the soldiers and supplies he had. The North had way more men and materials. The South was more agricultural and had a finite amount of materials and men.

  2. I don’t recall exactly where I heard this, but it refers back to the very bricks of London having history going back long centuries,
    sort of. An English fellow, with this sort of history in mind said oh so condescendingly, “You Americans don’t have history, you have habits.” Ouch.

  3. Among your consistently superb work at Geographics, I think this video stands as one of the best, if not THEE best video on this channel. Almost choked me up a couple times. Keep up the great work!!

  4. Wow sincerely disappointed, thought it was a long video about Gettysburg, but no it was a drawn out overview of what lead to the civil war which was literally more than half the video. You barely even talked about Gettysburg or a lot of the weight that was put on that battle.

  5. I've been wondering what happened to Dollar shave club. Your beard is on point. More so lately. I almost thought you up'd your beard standard grooming out of spite.

  6. As a Mainer, I am much disappointed in the lack of mention of Joshua Chamberlain and how he and the 20th Maine saved the whole Union army on Little Roundtop.

  7. I'm sorry but this is only a half truth. Antietam was America's deadliest battle, not Gettysburg. Gettysburg was arguably the most important, but not the deadliest. It has more casualties than Antietam but that's because it lasted 3 days, instead of a single day at Antietam. Which brings the question, how long does can a "battle" last? Is a year-long siege considered a single battle?

  8. WAY too much background. Actual coverage of the battle doesn't start until about 16:30 and ends about 21:00 leaving about 4 1/2 minutes for the actual battle history. After that it rambles off about the Gettysburg Address and the background for that. Bla, Bla, Blaaa… MORE title story, LESS background please. If you want to know about the Battle of Gettysburg, THIS AIN'T IT. Stick to the topic!!! And PS: It's Cemetery RIDGE, not Cemetery Hill. You need better writers.

  9. A Dollar shave club sponsored video? Why? because the confederate forces got TRIMMED DOWN LIKE MY BEARD?! HA

    ….sorry, bad joke, or good joke, depending on a few things, but maybe tasteless.

  10. It is currently now on Amazon Prime Video as of 3/2/2020; it used to be on Netflix. I recommend any Ken Burns documentaries you can watch. EDIT: No longer on Netflix but on Amazon Prime Video as of 3/2/2020.

  11. I was in Virginia the other day driving into PA, I saw a sign saying Mason Dixon Road, then a few miles up I saw a sign for Gettysburg and then I realized what I was driving through, a place of civil war history! It was pretty cool seeing the landscape and wondering where soldiers once marched.

  12. This video should be titled: 17 minutes of superficial discussion of the antecedents and early events of the American Civil War, followed by 4 minutes of superficial coverage of well-documented and significant battle, finished off with an account of the cemetary and the address and a wrap up. Still, I guess not many people would click it then. I'll be blocking this channel for sure

  13. Being a county seat in Adams county is not a big deal. Trust me. It's basically just apple orchards, corn fields, and Trump supporters.

  14. Rocking a thicker beard, eh? I liked the slimmer facial hair myself, perhaps because it's closer to what my own face looks like.

  15. I love your head. I love your brain 😍 I love your programs!
    Simon Whistler. You really are the best

  16. You have some kind of long strangely hair on the left side of your head and that’s all I can look at

  17. I've been to Gettysburg I would not walk that Battlefield at night even during the day you can just feel the presence of the battle

  18. Simon, I am subscribed to all of your channels and have watched a lot of your videos. But this is by far my favourite. Thank you and your staff for making this. Well done sir 🙂❤

  19. Gettysburg isn't Americas deadliest battle that title goes to the Muse-Argonne offensive of WW1 it isn't even the deadliest of the civil war which goes to Antietam. Gettysburg's claim to fame is that it's the largest battle ever fought in the western hemisphere.

  20. Actually I was mistaken Antietam is the single deadliest daylong engagement of the civil war Gettysburg does have a higher 3 day toll but it still pales to the Muse-Argonne which resulted in ~26,000 Americans KIA.

  21. Great video but it really bothers me that everyone has been taught that Abraham Lincoln who was against slavery that is not true whatever if you don't believe me research it.

  22. Great video, but anyone notice the contrast issue with the side of his beard… It's solid black, driving my a little crazy.

  23. Great job on a very complex story. At least a few of the 134,000 views might of paid attention and they should. Too many died to not learn the lesson of Gettysburg.

  24. In the famous picture of Lee surrendering to Grant in 1865 is the proof that the Civil War was fought over slavery story is a lie.
    In that picture, Lee, who despised slavery and never owned a slave, surrenders the Confederate army to U.S. Grant. Grant would soon be President. And he owned six slaves.
    Slavery ended as a result of the Civil War.
    It wasn't fought over it.

  25. Heth thought there was only Militia in Gettysburg and on the 1st it was Bufords Cavalry Division that was experienced and well disciplined…. By the way Lee told Ewell to take the hill “If practicable”.. Ewells men were tired and it would have taken him until dusk to organize the attack…. Lee at least in some part lost the battle because he didn’t listen to Longstreet to redeploy the Army south on ground of their choosing. Threatening Washington and forcing the Army of the Potomac to attack…. Although even though in hindsight it’s a meaningless afterthought…. Oh and I knew about Edward Everett but I’ve studied the Civil war since I was 8 years old…. Vicksburg and the Capture Of Atlanta were strategically more important than Gettysburg. However Gettysburg was politically more important being the Army of the Potomacs first True victory against Lee… Sharpsburg was a draw that was proclaimed a victory so the emancipation proclamation could be introduced…. I suggest if you were to cover another civil war battle to do The Wilderness…. It was a blinding, vicious battle that was Grants first movement towards Richmond… The battle lost And Grant having over 15,000 casualties he simply did what no other commander did before him after losing in Virginia. He simply flanked around to the left and continued his offensive.

  26. As you are covering aspects of the American Civil War, maybe you can do a short video about the Anderson POW camp. A hidden horror of the war few people know about, but should. Loving your Geographics and Biographics videos. Thank you for your effort.

  27. Thanks for the history! But you skipped over the part about the states being forced into union with the federal government.
    The feds are identical to a "protection" racket, where we (states) must pay them and obey their "regulations" or else be harmed by them legally (financially).

  28. This is a great video.

    And that is coming from somebody's paranoid uncle who has nightmares of government overreach.

  29. Imagine a republican winning the white house without the south THESE days. Fu*king Nixon and his southern strategy! It was POLITICALLY brilliant, but morally and socially repugnant. The damage it has done is directly responsible for the stupid, hate filled recidivist far right assholes that ARE the GOP.

  30. You should do a video about the Battle of Corydon In. Took place on July 9th 1863. Corydon militia vs Morgans Raiders. I live about a mile from park where it took place.

  31. My family farm was on Gettysburg in the Peach Orchard. Dozens of men from both sides were buried on the farm following the battle along with their horses.

  32. As a Mainer, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain is an absolute legend. You shouldn't have glossed over Little Round Top so quickly, but good video otherwise. I just about threw up in my mouth when I talked to a high school student in my town and realized that they had no idea who he was and they weren't teaching anything about him in history class. Real Mainers will never forget the "Lion of the Round Top". He was wounded several times during the war and basically considered on his deathbed after the 2nd Battle of Petersburg. His story is very interesting, I encourage fans of history to check it out.

  33. I believe my ancestors fought on both sides of the Civil War. I still do not know the names of my Southern ancestors and relatives!
    Many in the South are still angry! Unfortunate.

  34. The next battle of Gettysburg will be the Republicans fighting the Democrats again over freedom and equality. With the Democrats yet again believing that racial identity equals superiority.

  35. Lets just say it, the american civil war was started because of slavery! The south seceded because they did not a want abolitionist president! They created their own safe space called the confederacy and had a meltdown like the bunch of snowflakes they where.

  36. wait wait wait.. so Washington triggered the French and Indian War, which turned into the Seven Years War, the expense of which resulted in the King of England increasing the taxes of the American colonies to pay for the war (thanks Washington) which led to the War of Independence. No wonder litigation and counter-suing is so popular in the US. Blame your King for what you started and then join your enemies to drive off your rightful rulers.
    Edit: this is sarcasm, but like all good sarcasm it contains that which bears thinking about

  37. America you mean the whole continent? or the country United States? . Would you acknowledge America is not a country please??

  38. You left out the Manor of Maske from the early history. The Scots-Irish settlers who got there before the Penns had the manor surveyed rioted and threatened the surveyors, and it actually took several years before the land could be laid out and proper title acquired. This has been called "the Marsh Creek Resistance".

  39. He left out how the war was the most deadly in American history

    Side note the former Confederate states don't call it the civil war but the war of northern aggression

  40. really appreciate you posting this! this chronicle of us history with its appropriately soaring words and tone is what should be shown in every american classroom!

  41. You know I almost skipped this one bc I knew a lot about it. But dammit whoever wrote this knows how to write.

  42. Actually the Missouri Compromise split Missouri half-free, half slavery. Clay said fine lets make Maine a free state, oh boy the fire was lit by slave owning landowners in Missouri.

  43. Interesting but gloomy facts: the locals would round up the families and have battleside picnics watching the shooting like its a spectator sport. It was reported hundreds of Gettysburg residents went to the countryside to watch the entire battle unfolded like it was a reality TV show. The Battle of Gettysburg was heavily documented thanks to the observant locals watching the battles from their picnics.

  44. Thanks for making History so much more interesting then my High School days. My wife and I visited Gettysburg and they have done a fantastic job making it come alive. A definite item for everyone's BUCKET list.
    Again Thankyou

  45. Gettysburg was the largest and deadliest battle fought on American soil but Antietam was the single bloodiest day in American history.

  46. America? That's a made up word. There is no such thing as an American genetic phenotype or race. Such bullshit.

  47. IT was not so cut and dry. Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland and Missouri- all Union states, all had legal slavery. Lincoln only freed the ones he had no control over- those in the south.

  48. "We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal"

    I can't be the only one who sang this part for the schuyler sisters

  49. "A dream we're still trying to live up to today." No kidding. I live in the south in the US in what was a confederate state. There are Confederate monuments, streets named for confederate generals, people who fly the confederate flag and argue that their ancestors who seceded were just, that it was about freedom and states rights, not slavery. Confederate flags flown next to Texas flags at homes and on trucks. As far as we've come today, we still have far to go.

  50. Man!! Simon sounds stuck-up even for an Englishman!! Very interesting history, especially about the town history. Thorough.

  51. The actual death toll was much higher than 7K. In the Civil War only those who were killed outright were counted as killed. The toll was over 10,000 when you realize the badly wounded soon died and gangrene took many more directly from the wounds from the battle is counted. I have visited the battlefield 5 times and counting.

  52. I felt that this was a particularly good programme, in your cannon (if you’ll forgive the unintended but afternoticed pun.Hussah, from England! Just enough detail and a beautifully wry delivery. Tragedy is oft salved by folly’s spastic dance.

  53. And I am hearing history, American history from a Brit… I am related to generals on both sides… 5th Corp Division commander Union 5th corp. and Robert E. Lee…

  54. Hey Simon, I'd love for you to make a video on Mexico city/tenochitlan. From when it was built by the Aztecs, to the conquest of cortes to the rebuilding and renaming by the Spanish etc, I think that would be a cool topic?

  55. The downside of having a shaved head….lint will find its way to sticking to it. Trying running a towel over a freshly shaved head, its like Velcro.

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