Lee Marches North
Synopsis of events leading up to Gettysburg:
In early June, 1863, Lee headed north using the Shenandoah Valley and
J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry to mask his movements). Lee's Army
comprised of three Corps: Ewell in the front, followed by Longstreet
and A.P. Hill.
brigade at Brandy Station.
Shortly after beginning the march north, Stuart was surprised by
Though the Union cavalry suffered more casualties than Stuart, it gained
much needed confidence.
In the end, J.E.B. Stuart
held the field, but he perceived the battle as an embarrassment.
Milroy attempted several
times to break past the Confederates, but to no avail.
withdrew to three forts outside of Winchester.
Jubal A. Early's Division (under Ewell) headed north and attacked
Union outposts at Winchester, VA.
The Union defenders (under
took one of the forts, Milroy
attempted to evacuate his forces to Harpers Ferry, but was stopped by George H. Steuart's
and J.M. Walker's Brigades.
On June 15, most of the Union force was taken prisoner with little Confederate
Meanwhile, J.E.B. Stuart had been given permission to
harass the Union army and prevent its cavalry from probing Lee's
movements. Stuart, sensing an opportunity to regain lost honor, left two
Brigades to guard Lee's mountain passes and took the other three Brigades to
run circles around the Union forces for the next eight days. Unfortunately, Lee
counted on Stuart to provide vital information on the Union's movements.
At Salem, VA, Stuart
superior-numbered force and decided to bypass the threat entirely by riding to
the east. He then turned north and rode to Rockville, MD where he captured a
huge Union supply train. Unable to move the west (because of the large Union
force between him and Lee) Stuart continued north to link with Ewell's
troops at Carlisle, PA. In the process, he fought several skirmishes with the
Union cavalry and disrupted rail and telegraph lines. After arriving at
Carlisle on July 1, Stuart found the town held by Union general
Smith and demanded his
After several hours of Confederate shelling, a courier sent by Lee,
notified Stuart of the pressing engagement to the south at Gettysburg.
Later that night, Stuart departed for Gettysburg.
R.E. Rodes' Division (under Ewell)
The next day, Rodes' and Edward Johnson's Divisions moved toward
Carlisle. Early's Division marched eastward toward York, PA and reached
Gettysburg on the evening of June 26. Early demands $10,000 in goods
from the town, but to no avail.
He does notice a shoe factory and sent word to A.P. Hill of its
potential before continuing on to York.
The next day, Early occupied York, but discovered the bridge across the
Susquehanna has been burned. Unable to cross the river and reach Harrisburg, PA
from the southeast, Early remained in York and awaited further orders
On June 29, Lee ordered Ewell's Corps to withdraw and headed south to
At his Frederick, Maryland Headquarters,
Hooker asked Lincoln to be relieved of
command. Frustrated, Lincoln obliged, and immediately replaced
Hooker with George
Meade although other generals are senior.
The next day, Meade
learned that A.P. Hill and Longstreet are east of Chambersburg
enroute to Gettysburg and ordered Sickles'
III Corps to join Reynolds'
I Corps and Howard's
XI Corps outside of Emmitsburg.
The Union cavalry, under John Buford's
lead, entered Gettysburg about 11 AM.
Buford soon realized that a Confederate
infantry brigade under J. J. Pettigrew (looking for shoes) had just
occupied the town. But, minutes earlier, withdrew from the town after observing
the Union approach.
for the night and posted two brigades on the Chambersburg Pike Northwest of
The next day, the Battle of Gettysburg begins...