Battle of Gettysburg half dollar

Last updated

50 cent
Years of minting1937 (1937)
Obverse
Battle of gettysburg half dollar commemorative obverse.jpg
Designer Frank Vittor
Reverse
Battle of gettysburg half dollar commemorative reverse.jpg
Designer Frank Vittor

The Battle of Gettysburg half dollar was designed by Frank Vittor and minted in 1937, although it was dated 1936. [1] [2] It commemorated the upcoming 1938 75th anniversary of the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg.

Contents

Description

Two United States Civil War veterans, one from the Union camp and one from the Confederate camp, are featured on the obverse of the coin. E pluribus unum ("Out of Many, One"), the de facto United States national motto until 1956, is displayed prominently above the two war veterans, with the "E" serving as both the first letter of the motto and the middle letter of Liberty.

The Battle of Gettysburg

The Battle of Gettysburg was fought July 1–3, 1863, in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, by Union and Confederate forces during the American Civil War. The battle involved the largest number of casualties of the entire war and is often described as the war's turning point. [3] [4] Union Maj. Gen. George Meade's Army of the Potomac defeated attacks by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, halting Lee's invasion of the North. The battle took place over three days and took the lives of 23,000–28,000 (estimated) [5] [6] Confederates and 23,049 Union soldiers [7] [8]

See also

Related Research Articles

Battle of Gettysburg Battle of the American Civil War (1863)

The Battle of Gettysburg was fought July 1–3, 1863, in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, by Union and Confederate forces during the American Civil War. In the battle, Union Maj. Gen. George Meade's Army of the Potomac defeated attacks by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, halting Lee's invasion of the North. The battle involved the largest number of casualties of the entire war and is often described as the war's turning point due to the Union's decisive victory and concurrence with the Siege of Vicksburg.

Battle of Chancellorsville Major battle of the American Civil War

The Battle of Chancellorsville was a major battle of the American Civil War (1861–1865), and the principal engagement of the Chancellorsville campaign. It was fought from April 30 to May 6, 1863, in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, near the village of Chancellorsville. Two related battles were fought nearby on May 3 in the vicinity of Fredericksburg. The campaign pitted Union Army Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker's Army of the Potomac against an army less than half its size, General Robert E. Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.

The Battle of Antietam, or Battle of Sharpsburg particularly in the Southern United States, was a battle of the American Civil War fought on September 17, 1862, between Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia and Union Gen. George B. McClellan's Army of the Potomac near Sharpsburg, Maryland and Antietam Creek. Part of the Maryland Campaign, it was the first field army–level engagement in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War to take place on Union soil. It remains the bloodiest day in American history, with a combined tally of 22,717 dead, wounded, or missing.

George Meade Union Army general

George Gordon Meade was a United States Army officer and civil engineer best known for decisively defeating Confederate General Robert E. Lee at the Battle of Gettysburg in the American Civil War. He previously fought with distinction in the Second Seminole War and the Mexican–American War. During the Civil War, he served as a Union general, rising from command of a brigade to that of the Army of the Potomac. Earlier in his career, he was an engineer and was involved in the coastal construction of several lighthouses.

Edward Porter Alexander Confederate Army general

Edward Porter Alexander was an American military engineer, railroad executive, planter, and author. He served first as an officer in the United States Army and later, during the American Civil War (1861–1865), in the Confederate Army, rising to the rank of brigadier general.

John F. Reynolds Career officer of the United States Army

John Fulton Reynolds was a career United States Army officer and a general in the American Civil War. One of the Union Army's most respected senior commanders, he played a key role in committing the Army of the Potomac to the Battle of Gettysburg and was killed at the start of the battle.

Jacksons Valley campaign 1862 campaign in the American Civil War

Jackson's Valley campaign, also known as the Shenandoah Valley campaign of 1862, was Confederate Maj. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's spring 1862 campaign through the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia during the American Civil War. Employing audacity and rapid, unpredictable movements on interior lines, Jackson's 17,000 men marched 646 miles (1,040 km) in 48 days and won several minor battles as they successfully engaged three Union armies, preventing them from reinforcing the Union offensive against Richmond.

Battle of Franklin (1864) Battle of the American Civil War

The SecondBattle of Franklin was fought on November 30, 1864, in Franklin, Tennessee, as part of the Franklin–Nashville Campaign of the American Civil War. It was one of the worst disasters of the war for the Confederate States Army. Confederate Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood's Army of Tennessee conducted numerous frontal assaults against fortified positions occupied by the Union forces under Maj. Gen. John Schofield and was unable to prevent Schofield from executing a planned, orderly withdrawal to Nashville.

Picketts Charge Confederate infantry assault during the Battle of Gettysburg in the American Civil War

Pickett's Charge, also known as the Pickett–Pettigrew–Trimble Charge, was an infantry assault ordered by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee against Maj. Gen. George G. Meade's Union positions on the last day of the Battle of Gettysburg in the state of Pennsylvania during the Civil War.

William Dorsey Pender Confederate Army general

William Dorsey Pender was a General in the Confederacy in the American Civil War serving as a Brigade and Divisional commander. Promoted to brigadier on the battlefield at Seven Pines by Confederate President Jefferson Davis in person, he fought in the Seven Days Battles and at Second Manassas, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, being wounded in each of these engagements. Lee rated him as one of the most promising of his commanders, promoting him to major general at twenty-nine. Pender was mortally wounded on the second day of Gettysburg.

Turning point of the American Civil War

There is widespread disagreement among historians about the turning point of the American Civil War. A turning point in this context is an event that occurred during the conflict after which most modern scholars would agree that the eventual outcome was inevitable. While the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863 is the event most widely cited as the military climax of the American Civil War, there were several other decisive battles and events throughout the war which have been proposed as turning points. These events are presented here in chronological order. Only the positive arguments for each are given.

Gettysburg campaign 1863 Confederate offensive in Pennsylvania during the American Civil War

The Gettysburg campaign was a military invasion of Pennsylvania by the main Confederate army under General Robert E. Lee in summer 1863. The Union won a decisive victory at Gettysburg, July 1–3, with heavy casualties on both sides. Lee managed to escape back to Virginia with most of his army. It was a turning point in the American Civil War, with Lee increasingly pushed back toward Richmond until his surrender in April 1865. After his victory in the Battle of Chancellorsville, Lee's Army of Northern Virginia moved north for a massive raid designed to obtain desperately needed supplies, to undermine civilian morale in the North, and to encourage anti-war elements. The Union Army of the Potomac was commanded by Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker and then by Maj. Gen. George G. Meade.

J. Johnston Pettigrew American Confederate general

James Johnston Pettigrew was an American author, lawyer, and soldier. He served in the army of the Confederate States of America, fighting in the 1862 Peninsula Campaign and played a prominent role in the Battle of Gettysburg. Despite starting the Gettysburg Campaign commanding a brigade, Pettigrew took over command of his division after the division's original commander Henry Heth was wounded. In this role, Pettigrew was one of three division commanders in the disastrous assault known as Pickett's Charge on the final day of Gettysburg. He was badly wounded during the assault and was later mortally wounded during a Union attack while the Confederates retreated to Virginia near Falling Waters, West Virginia, dying several days later.

Stephen Dodson Ramseur

Stephen Dodson Ramseur was a Confederate general in the American Civil War, at one point the youngest in the army. He impressed Lee by his actions at Malvern Hill and Chancellorsville, where his brigade led Stonewall Jackson’s flank attack, taking 50% casualties. On the first day of Gettysburg, he dramatically routed a Union brigade, sending it running through the town, though his superiors did not authorize further pursuit. Ramseur also distinguished himself in the Overland campaign and the Valley campaign, where he was mortally wounded at Cedar Creek.

Maryland campaign First invasion of the North in the American Civil War

The Maryland campaign occurred September 4–20, 1862, during the American Civil War. Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's first invasion of the North was repulsed by the Army of the Potomac under Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, who moved to intercept Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia and eventually attacked it near Sharpsburg, Maryland. The resulting Battle of Antietam was the bloodiest single-day battle in American history.

Richard B. Garnett

Richard_b_garnett_disputed.jpg

Battle of Gettysburg, first day First day of the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War

The first day of the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War took place on July 1, 1863, and began as an engagement between isolated units of the Army of Northern Virginia under Confederate General Robert E. Lee and the Army of the Potomac under Union Maj. Gen. George G. Meade. It soon escalated into a major battle which culminated in the outnumbered and defeated Union forces retreating to the high ground south of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Battle of Gettysburg, second day

During the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee attempted to capitalize on his first day's success. His Army of Northern Virginia launched multiple attacks on the flanks of the Union Army of the Potomac, commanded by Maj. Gen. George G. Meade. The assaults were unsuccessful, and resulted in heavy casualties for both sides.

George P. Doles

George Pierce Doles was a Georgia businessman and Confederate general during the American Civil War. His men played a key role on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg in driving back the Union XI Corps.

The Confederate Army of Northern Virginia began its Retreat from Gettysburg on July 4, 1863. Following General Robert E. Lee's failure to defeat the Union Army at the Battle of Gettysburg, he ordered a retreat through Maryland and over the Potomac River to relative safety in Virginia. The Union Army of the Potomac, commanded by Maj. Gen. George G. Meade, was unable to maneuver quickly enough to launch a significant attack on the Confederates, who crossed the river on the night of July 13 into South Mountain through Cashtown in a wagon train that extended for 15–20 miles, enduring harsh weather, treacherous roads, and enemy cavalry raids. The bulk of Lee's infantry departed through Fairfield and through the Monterey Pass toward Hagerstown, Maryland. Reaching the Potomac, they found that rising waters and destroyed pontoon bridges prevented their immediate crossing. Erecting substantial defensive works, they awaited the arrival of the Union army, which had been pursuing over longer roads more to the south of Lee's route. Before Meade could perform adequate reconnaissance and attack the Confederate fortifications, Lee's army escaped across fords and a hastily rebuilt bridge.

References

  1. Harper, David C.; Miller, Harry (May 2012). 2013 U.S. Coin Digest. p. 188. ISBN   9781440229619 . Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  2. "1936 Battle of Gettysburg Half Dollar Commemorative Coin" . Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  3. The Battle of Antietam, the culmination of Lee's first invasion of the North, had the largest number of casualties in a single day, about 23,000.
  4. Rawley, p. 147; Sauers, p. 827; Gallagher, Lee and His Army, p. 83; McPherson, p. 665; Eicher, p. 550. Gallagher and McPherson cite the combination of Gettysburg and Vicksburg as the turning point. Eicher uses the arguably related expression, "High-water mark of the Confederacy".
  5. Busey and Martin, p. 260, cite 23,231 total (4,708 killed;12,693 wounded;5,830 captured/missing).
    See the section on casualties for a discussion of alternative Confederate casualty estimates, which have been cited as high as 28,000.
  6. Official Records, Series I, Volume XXVII, Part 2, pages 338-346
  7. Official Records, Series I, Volume XXVII, Part 1, page 187
  8. Busey and Martin, p. 125.