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The Battle of Gettysburg Timeline

Brigadier General Edward Ferrero, Commanding 4th Divsion 9th Vision, , 9th Corps; and Staff. In front of Petersburg, August 1864, near Meads’s Station with a black soldiier (c. U.S. Army Military History Institute)

Key Events Leading up to the Battle at Gettysburg

  • 1820- Congress passes the Missouri compromise, prohibiting slavery in most of the western territories.
  • 1854- Congress passes the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which repeals the Missouri Compromise.
  • 185- July Antislavery northerners found the Republican Party.
  • 1857- In the Dred Scott decision, the Supreme Court rules that congress cannot prohibit slavery in the territories.
  • 1859- White northerner John Brown, who hoped to start a slave rebellion, attacks the government with a raid at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia.
  • 1860- Upon Republican Abraham Lincoln’s election as president, 11 southern states secede from the Union.
  • 1861- April 12 The Confederates attack Fort Sumter and the Civil War begins.
  • 1863- May 1-3 General Lee leads Confederate troops to victory at Chancellorsville, Virginia.
  • 1863- June 28 General Robert E. Lee and Lieutenant General James Longstreet are in Chambersburg, PA and receive word that the Federal Army of the Potomac is heading into Pennsylvania.
  • 1863- June 30 Two brigades from John Buford’s Union cavalry division scout ahead and enter Gettysburg. Finding signs of Confederates nearby to the Northwest, Buford sends word to Major General John Reynolds in Emmitsburg, Maryland to bring his infantry as soon as possible.
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