White House Sketches
Report of a Union Victory at Gettysburg
July 6, 1863
The Battle of Gettysburg began on July 1 and lasted for three days. The Union won through sheer force of numbers. President Abraham Lincoln spent most of the three days at the War Department reading the dispatches of the to and fro of the battle. Lee, defeated, withdrew through Maryland and crossed the Potomac into Virginia. Lincoln was furious because General George Meade did not pursue the Confederates. However, his mood changed to elation with the fall of Vicksburg, Mississippi. On the night of July 7 as news spread of General U.S. Grant’s triumph, a crowd of several hundred serenaded the president and he responded with an impromptu victory speech from the window above the North Door of the White House.