When was the Battle of Gettysburg fought?
The Battle of Gettysburg began on Wednesday, July 1st 1863. The first shots were fired northwest of town early in the morning as advancing Confederates ran into Union cavalry pickets, although exactly when and where has been a matter of intense debate.
It continued until Friday, July 3rd, with the repulse of Pickett’s Charge and Stuart’s attempt to drive around Meade’s flank and into his rear. Each of the three days saw intense fighting in and around the city.
The armies remained facing each other on the field on July 4th. There was minor skirmishing and some casualties but it did not escalate into major fighting, and it is not usually considered part of the battle. Lee’s army began its retreat to Virginia after dark on the 4th.
Did the Battle of Gettysburg end the Civil War?
Gettysburg was not the end of the war. Far from it. The Civil War started with the bombardment of Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, 26 months before the fight at Gettysburg. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House was on April 9, 1865, 21 months after the battle. The Confederate Department of the Trans-Mississippi did not surrender until May 26, 1865, 23 months after Gettysburg. Gettysburg was almost the midpoint of the war.