Midpoint of the War: May to July 1863

Gettysburg: The Second Day

What was that second night like?

It was much the same as the previous, though most observers claimed that it was noisier. The day’s battle had removed some of the tension, among the Union men most notably, and there were many campfires burning that night. The Federals had gained in confidence simply by holding their positions, while the Confederates had lost something of their previous confidence.

No one—on either side—could be certain what the next day would bring. General Meade expected that the Confederates would attack, and he rightly guessed they would come for the Union center. General Lee could not be certain how many reinforcements the Army of the Potomac received overnight. Daylight of the third of July showed Lee as confident as ever, though.


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