April 26th, 2015
The greatest military battle ever fought on the North American continent, Gettysburg has often been considered the turning point of the American Civil War. Flushed with success from its smashing rout of the Union forces at Chancellorsville in May 1863, the Confederate government agreed to the audacious plan of their commander, Robert E. Lee, to invade the north and force a final showdown with the dispirited Union army in Pennsylvania. Only four days before the battle, President Lincoln replaced the Joseph Hooker, disgraced commander of the Army of the Potomac, with the taciturn Gordon Meade who immediately faced the prospect of another humiliating defeat that might break the Union will to fight on. In this podcast, we will learn how the unknown Meade managed to save the Union and defeat a seemingly invincible army that began a cascade of Union victories culminating at Appomattox less than two years later.