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This year, 2013, is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. If you have never been to the battlefield in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, this would be the year to plan for it. There will be a live re-enactment of the battle with 15,000 participants taking the parts of both Union and Confederate units. For example, Pickett's charge that came very close to winning the day for the Confederate side will be re-enacted. This was the last full-on, Napoleonic charge in history and one of the bloodiest.
This battle would prove to be the turning point in the war. The Confederate troops under Robert E. Lee had invaded the North and if they had succeeded there at Gettysburg, our national history would have been very different.
If you would like to learn a bit about it, there are some excellent novels that will give a sense of the epic nature of this particular battle in the civil war. Jeff Shaara's "Gods and Generals" is one of the best. It is the middle book in a three part series of novels by Shaara and his son. This one deals entirely with the battle at Gettysburg. You won't be able to put it down. I am including below a link to a film on YouTube that was produced by the History Channel. I am also including the Gettysburg Address. This famous speech is short, but its words defined the nation better than anything before it or since. Its meaning may even have greater importance for us today. Read it and reflect on it this coming 4th of July weekend, the 150th anniversary of the Battle at Gettysburg.