New Bedford Blood Was Spilled at Gettysburg 159 Years Ago
Gettysburg was the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War. The war lasted three days, from July 1 to July 3, 1863. When it was over, there were more than 51,000 casualties. Among them were many New Englanders and at least seven New Bedford men.
The American Battlefield Trust at battlefields.org states there were a combined 165,620 forces engaged at Gettysburg: 93,921 Union soldiers under the leadership of Gen. George G. Meade, and 71,699 Confederate soldiers commanded by Gen. Robert E. Lee.
There were an estimated 51,112 casualties – 23,049 for the Union and 28,063 for the Confederacy.
WBSM has written about the celebrated Massachusetts 54th Volunteer Infantry Regiment, which mustered in New Bedford, and Rhode Island's 2nd Volunteer Infantry Regiment and their heroism in the Civil War.
Curt Brown wrote a piece in 2013, the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, for the Standard-Times detailing the deaths of New Bedford soldiers who died at Gettysburg.
In addition to the remains of more than 3,500 Union soldiers buried at the Gettysburg National Cemetery, the cemetery contains the remains of American soldiers and dependents from the Civil War to Vietnam.
The remains of more than 150 Union soldiers from Massachusetts, a dozen from Rhode Island, and others from New England are at the Gettysburg National Cemetery.
President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address during the dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery on November 19, 1863, not far from where the fallen Massachusetts soldiers rest. There is a Gettysburg Address Memorial at the Gettysburg National Cemetery.
Next year marks the 160th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. This weekend, as we observe Memorial Day, remember the many lives lost on the battlefields of Gettysburg and throughout the American Civil War.