Photos: Battle of Gettysburg's 150th Anniversary Relives Civil War Carnage

The deadliest exchange in the Civil War left behind carnage--and an opening for the Union.

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The Battle of Gettysburg celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, and re-enactors from across the country have flocked to southern Pennsylvania in their quest to recount the history of this landmark battle.

[GALLERY: The Battle of Gettysburg]

The historic assault is believed to be the turning point of the Civil War. Robert E. Lee led the three-day Confederate charge in the bloodiest battle of the Civil War – scholars estimate more than 50,000 soldiers combined became casualties. On the second day, deadly assaults occurred from Culp's Hill to Little Round Top and Devil's Den.

Pickett's Charge, a massive, 12,000-soldier push against the Union's center, became the Confederates' last offense. Union Brig. Gen. George Mordon Meade reportedly had nearly 100,000 troops, and is credited for holding the field.

The battle in photographs:

Union soldiers dead at Gettysburg on July 5, 1863.

John L. Burns, the 69-year-old Union civilian combatant who narrowly escaped death on the battlefield by hoodwinking the Confederates, recovering from his wounds.

Dead soldiers in a ravine also referred to as "the slaughter pen" at Little Round Top, in an image printed in July 1863.

A photo called "Home of the Rebel Sharpshooter" that was later discovered to be staged – the body was moved from another place on the battlefield, and the rifle was added – depicts a slain Confederate soldier on July 5, 1863.

Confederate dead gathered for burial at the edge of the Rose woods on July 5, 1863.

(Left) Cyclists pass the Leister farm, Gen. Meade's headquarters during the battle, on Sunday, June 30, 2013, in Gettysburg, Pa. (Right) Dead horses litter the road on July 7, 1863.

Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, Gettysburg 1863.

"Three Confederate Prisoners." Gettysburg, Pa., July 1863.

(Top) Cows graze on the Rose Farm on Monday, July 1, 2013, in Gettysburg, Pa. (Bottom) Bloated bodies of Union soldiers lie in a field at Rose Farm after heavy fighting. The image was likely taken three days after the Battle of Gettysburg.

Army Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade, printed in 1864. 

Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in 1863.

"Battle of Gettysburg." 1887. Confederate leader George Pickett leads the charge against Union soldiers and their leader Winfield Hancock.

General Robert E. Lee's headquarters, Gettysburg, Pa., between 1861 and 1865.

(Top) A tour bus passes in front of Little Round Top on Monday, July 1, 2013, in Gettysburg, Pa. (Bottom) Little Round Top and Big Round Top about two weeks after the Battle of Gettysburg.

Map of the Gettysburg campaign up to July 3, 1863.

Day 1: Battle of Gettysburg - July 1, 1863.

Day 2: Map of Confederate Gen. Lee's plan.

Day 2: Battle of Gettysburg - July 2, 1863.

Day 3: Battle of Gettysburg - July 3, 1863.

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