Some notes about The Battle of Gettysburg:
Lee was a brilliant general, but he was a brilliant defensive general. As long as he was on the defensive, which he was in Virginia, he defeated the Union Army--he was defending Virginia. But once he was on Union soil, Pennsylvania, his defensive instincts didnít work so well. The Union army drew him into a fight in Gettysburg which was to the Unionís advantage. The rebel army did well on the first and second day of the fight. The union pulled back to the high ground out side of Gettysburg. Lee saw this as a weakening of the Union lines. He was unaware of the courage and determination of the Union officers and troops not to let the rebels have a victory on Union soil. If Lee had re-deployed his troops closer the Washington DC, he might have had a chance. But as he told one of his generals, he considered that a retreat which he was not willing to do. The third day of the fight resulted in the defeat and retreat of the rebel army. The turning point of the civil war. After that the rebel cause was lost despite two more years of bloody fighting. Lincoln finally found his General in Grant. Grant was an aggressive general. Vicksburg had fallen and Sherman took Atlanta and marched to the sea completely destroying the Confederacy. The United States of America had defeated the rebellion resulting in an unconditional surrender.
Leeís first mistake was to think that Union resolve had been weakened. It hadnít. His second mistake was to send 12,000 men in a charge against the Union center across an open field with no cover thinking the Union line would break and run. They didnít. The rebels experienced 60% casualties. The Confederates had to retreat. They went back to Virginia a broken army leaving 28,000 dead behind.