NATION

Battle of Gettysburg: 150th anniversary

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What seems so serene was once the scene of the most bloodshed on U.S. soil.

It started 150 years ago - the first shot fired in the battle of Gettysburg the morning of July 1st, 1863, the battle sweeping through town from McPherson Ridge to Cemetery Hill.

The area became some of the most prized land of the entire battle because of its high ground. It's also where the Union troops fell back to re-group on that first day.

Today, Cemetery Hill is one of many places of reflection, where the young learn, and sometimes play and history still stands.

A century and a half later, tourists flood the town where history still mixes with modern day. There’s a civil war theme from books to the bar, where Confederate and U.S. flags still fly together.

But Main Street is not the main attraction here. The battlefields are the star of this show, where visitors picture the battle and reflect on thousands of lives lost, from McPherson Ridge to the South's final effort with Pickett's charge.

When Pickett's charge failed, the battle was over sending general lee back to Virginia. Both sides suffered 50,000 casualties. The battle had lasted just three days.

But those three days continue to be observed and re-lived, with horses and tents full of generals and descendants of those who fought here.

Three days that changed the tide of the civil war - giving the north the momentum to win. It’s still the greatest sacrifice made on U.S. soil and it’s still honored 150 years later.

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