Video: Civil War expert sets stage for prelude to the Battle of Gettysburg

May 29, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — In recognition of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, two faculty Civil War experts from Penn State's George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center have offered their insights into the battle's significance and Penn Staters' role in it.

Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee mobilized his Northern Virginia Army in an attempt to take Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania, and thus shorten the war. On the way there, Union troops met the Confederates in a small town south of Harrisburg named Gettysburg. William Blair, professor of American history at Penn State and director of the Richards Civil War Era Center, takes a brief look at the forces that coalesced to make the Battle of Gettysburg one of the most important in U.S. military history.

Additional video installments with Penn State faculty and Civil War experts William Blair and Carol Reardon will be shared weekly leading up to the battle's sesquicentennial on July 1-3, 2013, and will be archived at

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated August 24, 2015