Gettysburg Photo Album
Pickett's Charge


Pickett's ChargeLee's original plan for the third day of the battle was to retry the previous day's attacks on the Union right and left flank. However, Longstreet argued that Hood's and Law's divisions were not in condition to make another assault and that Meade had had plenty of time to reinforce his flanks. Partly based on Wright's partial success the day before, Lee then turned his attention to the Federal center. Pulling together Longstreet's remaining fresh division, that of George Pickett, and various elements from Hill's Corps under the leadership of Johnson Pettigrew and Isaac Trimble, nine brigades consisting of 12,000 men were arrayed on the rear slope of Seminary Ridge. The assault was preceded at 1:00 PM by a tremendous artillery barrage with over 100 rebel cannon. After an extended, but inconclusive duel between the Confederate and Union gunners, the infantry was arrayed in the swales fronting the ridge line, with Pickett's three brigades to the south, and Pettigrew's and Trimble's to the north in a line extending over a mile. At Longstreet's command, the entire line moved forward, converging on a copse of trees on Cemetery Ridge occupied by troops of Gen. John Gibbon's division of Hancock's 2nd Corps. Whittled down by relentless Union artillery and musketry, portions of Pickett's troops were nevertheless able to achieve a brief penetration just north of the copse of trees at an angle in a stone wall. However, Federal reinforcements made quick work of the lodgment, and the Confederate troops streamed back across the field. Losses were massive - Pickett's division alone lost over half its men. After a 24 hour standoff between the armies, Lee began his retreat to Virginia.


(7-01) Statue to Gen. James "Old Pete" Longstreet on Seminary Ridge in Pitzer's Woods
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Longstreet Tablet

(4-2011) Detail courtesy of George Petropol, VA View 1  View 2

(7-01) View from Seminary ridge looking east toward Cemetery ridge at a point just north of the NC monument. This was the jump off for Pettigrew's left flank - the northernmost end of the Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble charge





(7-01) North Carolina monument in McMillan Woods
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Panorama: View of Cemetery Ridge from the North Carolina monument

(4-2011) Detail courtesy of George Petropol, VA View 1  View 2

(7-01) Tennessee monument just south of the North Carolina monument on Seminary Ridge

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