Across Five Aprils Questions and Answers
by Irene Hunt

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In Across Five Aprils, what happens at Gettysburg?  After the battle why do people begin to suspect a conspiracy among the generals? It's in Across Five Aprils.

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After three days of fierce combat and casualties on both sides numbering in the tens of thousands, the Union Army defeated the Confederates in what has often been thought of as the turning point in the war.  The battle, which took place in July of 1863, was one of

"unbelievable bravery and unbelievable ruthlessness; it was a clash of agonizing errors checkered with moves of brilliant strategy that lasted through three hot July days, after which the news of victory came:  A Union victory and a great one, but still not a complete one.  With broken young bodies piled high at Gettysburg and thousands of homes rocked in agony over their loss, the beaten army was allowed to with draw and prepare for still more bloodshed, while the victorious army licked its wounds and made no effort to pursue its opportunities".

Because the Union Army inexplicably refrained from using its advantage to annihilate what remained of the Confederate forces, people in the North began to wonder,

"...what does it mean?  Is there bad blood somewhere?  Is there a conspiracy among Northern generals that prevents their following up an opportunity for crushing Lee's army?"

The war was dragging on into its third year, and the people were tired and frustrated that there was no end in sight.  The failure of the Union Army to deliver a death-blow to the South while it seemingly had the chance made many wonder if there was some kind of conspiracy going on which was preventing the war from coming to a decisive conclusion (Chapter 10).

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