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Interpreting the Evidence

Reunion at Gettysburg, 1913

  • Documents in this Activity:
  • Historical Eras:

    Civil War and Reconstruction (1850 - 1877)

  • Thinking Skill:

    Historical Analysis & Interpretation

  • Grade Level:

    Lower Elementary
    Upper Elementary
    Middle School
    High School
    College University

  • Topics:

    Civil War

  • Primary Source Types:


  • Regions:

    United States

  • Creator:

    NYS Archives Partnership Trust Education Team

  1. Load Reunion at Gettysburg, 1913 in Main Image Viewer

Suggested Teaching Instructions

Document Description
Civil War 50th anniversary reunion at Gettysburg with hospital, tents and ambulance of Pennsylvania State Department of Health, 1913.
Historical Context
In June of 1863, General Lee led his Confederate Army across the Virginia border into Pennsylvania.  The Union reacted by ordering General Mead to lead his Union Army north from Washington into Pennsylvania.  On July 1, the Confederate Army raided the town of Gettysburg for shoes.  By chance, they encountered Union cavalrymen, and the battle began.  The fighting lasted three days and ended on July 3, 1863 with a Union victory.  Some 75,000 Confederate troops and 80,000 Union troops fought at Gettysburg.

The small town of Gettysburg (population 2,400) was left with a total of 51,000 battlefield casualties.  The battlefield encompassed twenty-five square miles. General Lee retreated south into Virginia. The Confederate troops would never recover from the devastating losses at Gettysburg and never again attempted an offensive operation.

Essential Question
How does war impact a society?
Check for Understanding
Describe the scene in the photograph and evaluate the impact of the Civil War on the lives of these men.
Historical Challenges
Who was the only civilian casualty of the Battle of Gettysburg? How many people from Gettysburg actually fought in the battle?
Interdisciplinary Connections
English Language Arts: Pretend you are a resident of the town of Gettysburg. Write a diary entry explaining your feelings and what is happening after the battle is over.