The three-day Battle of Gettysburg, the bloodiest battle of the Civil War and one that tipped the scales in favor of the Union, ended 154 years ago on Monday.
The Union fielded 90,000 troops in the battle, and the Confederacy 75,000, according to historian James McPherson. Eleven thousand died, 29,000 more were wounded, and 10,000 were missing or captured.
The hallowed grounds of Gettysburg, as McPherson described them, witnessed nearly 10 times as many casualties as the D-Day invasion in World War II.
There were many engagements over three days of combat â€” such as Devil’s Den, the Slaughter Pen, and the Valley of Death â€” but some were more consequential to the battle, and therefore the war itself, than others.
A few hundred armed militia group members, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Ku Klux Klaners, supporters of President Donald Trump, and other self-described patriots descended upon the Gettysburg battlefield Saturday to defend the siteâ€™s Confederate symbols from phantom activists with the violent far-left group Antifa.
Some carried semi-automatic rifles, permitted in Pennsylvania, as they peered out across the battlefield with binoculars, on the lookout for the black-clad, face-masked anti-fascists, anarchists and socialists they said they had heard were traveling to the national park to dishonor Confederate graves, monuments and flags.
Although many came expecting violence even after Antifa made it clear its adherents never planned to show up â€• the only bloodshed came when a lone militia group member accidentally shot himself in the leg.