It provides responses for certain topics repeatedly brought up on the talk page. Providing similar answers each time a topic is brought up uses up many editors' time and energy. The FAQ addresses these common concerns, criticisms, and arguments, and answers various misconceptions behind them. (For information about the Wikipedia project itself, see Wikipedia:FAQ.)
These FAQ answers reflect the decisions found in the talk page archives. Please feel free to change them in light of new discussion.
Many of these questions arise frequently on the talk page concerning the battle of Gettysburg.
To view an explanation to the answer, click the [show] link to the right of the question.
Q1: Are the casualty figures accurate? (Yes.)
A1: As explained in the article subsection named Casualties, we are using a very recent source that has performed exhaustive scholarship on this subject—a lengthy book that is devoted entirely to strength and casualty figures, Busey and Martin's definitive 2005 work, Regimental Strengths and Losses at Gettysburg, 4th edition. We consider that this work supersedes previous works. Old estimates often had higher numbers, particularly for the Confederates, but they are considered less reliable.
Q2: Should the article characterize the battle as a Decisive Union victory? (No.)
A2: The simple answer is that many historians disagree about whether it was decisive. The more complex answer is that attempting to summarize a controversial subject in a single word is difficult and misleading. The summary Union victory is 100% accurate. Attempting to judge decisiveness could only be handled in an accurate, NPOV summary as Decisive/Indecisive Union victory or Arguably decisive Union victory with a very lengthy footnote that lists the opinions of many different authors. Furthermore, since the Wikipedia article on decisive victory actually presents three different definitions for the term (decides the outcome of the war, decides the outcome of the campaign, or simple unambiguous victory), the footnote would have to explain which of the three versions of the term is being used. Trying to handle that all in the summary box is a disservice to the reader.