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Louis man who boasted that the mount was "the finest horse in the world." Only one day after their victory at Gettysburg, Union forces captured Vicksburg, the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River.Lincoln and Union commanders began to make plans for finishing the war.When a scout reported the Union approach, Lee ordered his scattered troops to converge west of the small village of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
"Soon the town was filled with infantry, and then the searching and ransacking began in earnest. They did, however, make a formal demand of the town authorities, for a large supply of flour, meat, groceries, shoes, hats and (doubtless, not least in their estimations), ten barrels of whisky; or, in lieu of this five thousand dollars.
"They wanted horses, clothing, anything and almost everything they could conveniently carry away. "But our merchants and bankers had too often heard of their coming, and had already shipped their wealth to places of safety.
Meade's effort was inadvertently helped by Lee's cavalry commander, Jeb Stuart, who, instead of reporting Union movements to Lee, had gone off on a raid deep in the Union rear.
This action left Lee blind to the Union's position.
Then 13,000 Rebels marched across the field in front of Cemetery Hill, only to have the Union artillery open up on them, followed by deadly Federal infantry firepower. In all, Lee lost more than a third of his men before retreating to Virginia.
Meade, a naturally cautious man, decided the loss of one-quarter of his men had been enough, and only feebly tried to pursue Lee, missing an opportunity to crush him.
The Union commander, recognizing the importance of holding Gettysburg because a dozen roads converged there, fought desperately to hold off the Rebel advance.
Other Union troops briefly stopped some Rebels north of town.
"As for myself, I had scarcely reached the front door, when, on looking up the street, I saw some of the men on horseback. Clad almost in rags, covered with dust, riding wildly, pell-mell down the hill toward our home!
I scrambled in, slammed shut the door, and hastening to the sitting room, peeped out between the shutters. Shouting, yelling most unearthly, cursing, brandishing their revolvers, and firing right and left.