Volume Five |
1863: The Universe of Battle
Summer, 1863. After the spring's great victories and feeling his Army invincible,
Lee drives north again with 73,000 men. He meets 90,000 Federals at the small
Pennsylvania farming town of Gettysburg. And for three of the most crucial days
of the war, the two armies are locked in what one Massachusetts private terms
"a perfect hell on earth;" 51,000 men fall, one in every three, and when the
firing dies, Lee is in retreat, never again to threaten the North. Meanwhile,
in the West, Grant seizes Vicksburg and the Rebels are soundly defeated in Tennessee.
The first military draft provokes a series of bloody anti-war, anti-black riots, and
the politicians in New York City talk loudly of their own secession. Scarcely noticed
in all the hub-bub is Lincoln's visit to Gettysburg, and the address in which in two
minutes and 269 words, he defines the Union and the war.