North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

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July 18, 2013

Remembering Gettysburg 150 years later: Confederates fall at landmark battle

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Bill Carmichael fought from 1861 until the surrender in Appomattox, Va., where he took part in the battle before the surrender. Both brothers returned home to Jefferson County, Ala., where they lived and raised families.

Today many of their family still lives in the area. Gardendale resident Travis Stevens is a descendent of Benjamin Carmichael. Stevens is proud of his heritage.  Carmichael’s discharge papers are a priceless family treasure and a wonderful part of his family history.

At the end of the battle, both sides suffered great loss of life. The Confederates reported 20,000 killed. From the 6,000 men from Alabama, 2,249 lost their lives at Gettysburg. The Union suffered 23,000 losses.

Alabama had soldiers on the field of battle from the first shot fired until the end as both armies were leaving a ravaged town in the wake of war. The battle for Little Round Top was the most important battle of Gettysburg. The fight was the turning point of the battle, fought between the 20th Maine and 15th Alabama. If not for 22 men displaced, the Union may have been overtaken, placing the high ground in control of the Confederates.

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