On this day: Gettysburg: the South at dusk

”It was an awful spectacle! Dead soldiers, bloated horses, shattered cannon and caissons, thousands of small arms.” Tillie Pierce, the 15-year-old resident of Gettysburg recollected the hellish landscape created by the savage battle at the small town in Pennsylvania. The encounter, fought between July 1–3, 1863, that made a decisive impact on the outcome of the Civil War, is regarded as one of the bloodiest battles of the great 19th century American conflict.

The opposing sides suffered significant casualties: Union 23,000, Confederacy 28,000. Nearly 8,000 soldiers of both armies left dead on the battlefield. The only civilian victim of the clash was Jennie Wade who, while making bread, was killed by a stray bullet flying through the kitchen window.

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