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The Battle of Gettysburg-An Alternate History

It is hard to imagine that the tiny Pennsylvanian town of Gettysburg, with a population of
only 7,000 in 2010, was the site of the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War. The Battle of
Gettysburg remains the largest battle ever fought in the Western Hemisphere, with over 150,000
participants. From the 1st to the 3rd of July 1863, the Union and Confederate Armies clashed, the
end result being the beginning of the end for the South. The final day of fighting proved to be
decisive as the well prepared Union mowed down the Confederates. In this alternate history, the
Confederates manage to cunningly avoid mass slaughter, overrun the Union defenses and capture
the town of Gettysburg.
Night of Day 2 (Union Perspective)
After enduring two failed Confederate assaults on both flanks of the Union line, General
Meade of the Union Army held a council of war meeting to predict General Lee’s next attack.
“I believe that Lee will attack your division tomorrow, General Gibbon” said Meade.
“You’re saying he plans to go through the center? How do you know that?” asked a
perplexed Gibbon.
“My years of experience and my gut tell me so. Now stop arguing and deploy your men.”
snapped Meade.
Gibbon’s men took shelter behind fences and stone walls and prepared their weapons for
the upcoming fight. General Meade went to bed confident that his prediction would win the
battle for the Union.
Night of Day 2 (Confederate Perspective)
General Lee also held a meeting to discuss his plans for the next day. Two days of
pitched battle had diminished his army’s strength, so the next day’s battle would be a make or
break moment. He called in Generals Ewell and Longstreet to tell them of his intentions.
“Generals, you are to mount an all out assault on the center of the Union line” Lee told
them.
“But sir, surely they would expect that! We couldn’t breach the line from the left or right,
so the logical choice would be to attack from the center” protested General Ewell.
“We can’t afford another mistake. We can only absorb so many casualties” added
Longstreet.
Just then, the cavalry commander, Jubal Early, burst in and reported what he discovered
on his reconnaissance of the Union Army.

“Oh. George Pickett came in moments later and discovered he would be leading the charge up the center. Today is the day we break the enemy’s will to fight. Day 3-The Battle General Meade raised the binoculars to his eyes and scanned the trees on the edge of the battlefield. just to fool Meade. although vastly outnumbered. Ewell. Sure enough. “Ok. Shells rained down and kicked up dirt just meters from the General. I have spied on the Union camp and I overheard Meade saying that you’ll most likely attack the center of his line” Early said. he could just make out the grey uniforms of the Confederates. “send in Pickett to see me” he told Ewell. Standing up. Don’t fire until they are within 100 meters of your position. Union artillery. while the bunker shook with each near miss. killing or maiming many.” Just as he finished speaking. For over two hours. Meade concentrated most of his men and artillery at the center to counter your planned assault. he’s completely exposed on the two flanks” replied Early. In other words. I plan to do just that. especially Pickett’s division. Most of Union shells landed right in the middle of the waiting Confederates. “That is madness!” cried Pickett. There’s been a change of plan. “I’ll have artillery support for your men. Each of you must kill 10 of the enemy before you die. He was forced to take shelter in a bombproof dugout. Why do you bother?” asked Lee. “Don’t worry. on the other hand. began reply. the battle is approaching. “Indeed. “Men.“General Lee. the two sides exchanged shells. you take your men and go up the right flank. Finally. spent the night preparing for a mass slaughter. you take your men save one division and attack the left flank” ordered Lee. “Yes sir!” replied the Generals and made to exit. Longstreet. .” consoled Lee. he turned with his back towards the enemy to deliver a speech to his troops. missed their intended targets and instead exploded in a field next to the Union headquarters. and by the way.” said Lee. Soon the enemy will march from the cover of the forest and attempt to breach the center of our line. he made up his mind. “Well. May the Almighty look down upon us with favor and grant us victory.” The Army of Northern Virginia. Meade sat in his bunker contemplating what to do. Confederate shells. the Confederates began a massive artillery barrage of the Union lines in support of the upcoming assault.

000 Confederates abandoned the safety of the woods and marched in a column a half mile wide and a mile long. it is time to lead your suicidal. However. The main attack force crept out and ran towards the Union line under heavy covering fire. “Men. but the Union will have lost a field army once the main attack begins” consoled Lee. the North’s artillery reserves were expanded and so ceased fire. Your division has caused the Federals to waste their precious ammunition” said Lee. Soon. the Confederates were already in complete control of the flanks. By the time the reinforcements arrived. He ordered the range to be adjusted to hit the Union lines this time around. I mean heroic charge across the center of the enemy line.“Tell the artillery battalion to cease fire. it was too little. too late. to conserve ammunition. Seeing this. I have lost 85% of my division!” “We may have lost a division. General Meade finally understood the futility of the current situation his army was in. We must exploit our advantage while we still can” ordered Lee. If we can hold out for just a few more hours. opting instead to lay down their weapons and raise the white flag. The fight to regain the lost territory raged on all afternoon with the Union finally repulsed by sunset. Meanwhile. “Why was I chosen to be the scapegoat?” sobbed Pickett. however. The devastating fusillade cut down scores of men. Lee. Then we’ll whip the rebels bloody” said Meade. I want the impression that our batteries were knocked out by the Confederate fire” he ordered. Union artillery raked them with grapeshot while Union troops opened up with breech-loading rifles. “Because of your so called brilliant plan. anticipated Meade resorting to such a trick and actually stopped the shellfire 15 minutes before Meade made his decision. reinforcements will arrive.” 3. it is time to retreat to our last line of defense. the artillery battalions are to split into two groups with one supporting Longstreet and the other Ewell. his soldiers refused to cooperate. Meade saw what was happening and ordered his men to cover the left and right flanks. However. General Meade emerged from his bunker to watch the spectacle. . “You have done well Major Pickett. When the Confederates were 200 yards away. but do so gradually. Meade decided that any further resistance was futile and the only way out of the situation was to surrender. “Tell Generals Longstreet and Ewell to prepare to attack the right and left flanks respectively. Pickett led his decimated division back to the forest where Lee confronted him. “General Pickett. but they simply closed ranks and continued to advance.

the two generals were meeting in the middle of an open field still strewn with bodies to discuss the terms of surrender. I believe I have your answer” General Ulysses S. You and your men shall walk free today and I will not pursue you” Lee told Meade. .“Hey you!” he called out to a soldier. “Walk over there to the Confederate lines and tell General Lee that I wish to surrender.” Minutes later. Grant said. And just like that. July 4th 1863 Abraham Lincoln paced the floor of the Oval Office. what a sad 4th of July this will be. “You have fought valiantly and I admire that. “God. “Oh. How will we ever stop the Confederate advance towards our nation’s capital?” “Sir. the bloodiest battle ever fought in the Western Hemisphere was over. I wish this stupid war would be over now so we could all go back to our lives” Meade replied.