Friday, July 3, 2015

July 3, 1863 - The Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by General Robert E. Lee, is defeated by the Army of the Potomac, commanded by Major General George Meade. Although both sides lost about 23,00 men (dead and wounded), Lee's smaller force (72,000) was unable to bear the brunt compared to Meade (94,000).

Considered "the high-water mark of the Confederacy" (because this is the closest the rebel states came to winning their independence and ensuring that slavery continued in North America), the battle was largely lost on the third day (July 3) when a desperate Lee ordered Major General George Pickett to lead a charge across an open field against Union forces dug in on high ground along Cemetery Ridge. Lee's generals counseled against it, but Lee was adamant. Picket's command was decimated.

The Devil's Den. This jumble of boulders stood between and slightly west of two hills, Round Top and Little Round Top, which anchored the southern end of the Union line. Confederate troops assaulted this nigh-impregnable redoubt again and again. Hundreds died before it. The ground was red with blood for hundreds of feet around, and bodies littered the ground. This is one of the most famous photographs of the Civil War.

The field across which Pickett charged. The view is from the Union ramparts, toward the wooden fence where Pickett's men started their attacked.

No comments:

Post a Comment