why was gettysburg a turning point for the south
In addition to the strategic events outlined above to consider the battle a turning point, the Battle of Gettysburg was both a tactical and moral defeat for Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia. PWhen Lee's army retreated from Maryland, it had suffered not only a loss in irreplaceable personnel but, perhaps more important, a loss in its sense of invincibility. Up until the Battle of Gettysburg, Lee (and his troops) believed that his troops could--under almost any circumstances--defeat the Army of the Potomac. PThe Army of Northern Virginia, up to that point, had rarely been defeated in a strategic (its overall goals) or tactical P(its fighting capability) sense.
PIn fact, one could argue that the Confederate Army under Lee had yet to be completely beaten in a major battle up to July 3, 1864. P
Lee's army, therefore, firmly believed that if they encountered the PFederals Pon roughly equal terms they would win. PThe Battle of Gettysburg, which resulted in very similar casualties on both sides, proved to Lee and his army that the Federal army was willing to incur any level of losses in order to stop the Confederates, and this realization provided a psychological shock to the Confederates--an important turning point in their belief in their invincibility. When the Army of Northern Virginia retreated into Virgina in the days following the battle, it left Gettysburg with the awareness that it had been beaten.
PAlthough many historians argue that the battle was a tactical draw, most consider it a strategic and psychological defeat for the Confederates. P The Battle of Gettysburg was a turning point in the Civil War. General Lee was willing to abandon the Southвs war goals by invading the North. The South wanted to avoid large battles, but at times, they deviated from that plan. At Gettysburg, General Lee's forces were in desperate need of food. By invading the North, he could get food as northern farms werenвt as damaged as Southern farms. Thus, plenty of food was available.
General Lee also wanted to get a significant military victory. If he could win at Gettysburg, he could get help from foreign countries. It would also increase pressure on President Lincoln to negotiate a peace agreement as opposition to the war was increasing in the Union. However, General Lee and his forces were defeated at Gettysburg. As a result, the South would never be on the offensive again in the war. General Lee had to retreat to the South and never received the foreign aid he desperately wanted. The Battle of Gettysburg turned the war in favor of the North. From this point on, things would only deteriorate for the South.
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