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Pickett's Charge, The Climactic Third And Final Day Of The Battle Of Gettysburg, The Turning Point Of The War And The Farthest Point Reached By The Attack, Since Known As The High-Water Mark Of The Confederacy, Presented In The Highest DVD Quality MPG Video Format Of 9.1 MBPS As An MP4 Video Download Or Archival Quality All Regions Format DVD! (Color, 1993, 48 Minutes.)
(The Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble Charge) was an infantry assault ordered by Confederate General Robert E. Lee against Major General George G. Meade's Union positions on July 3, 1863, the third and final day of the Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania during the Civil War. Confederate troops made a frontal assault toward the center of Union lines, ultimately being repulsed with heavy casualties. Suffering from a lack of preparation and problems from the onset, the attack was a costly mistake that decisively ended Lee's invasion of the north and forced a retreat back to Virginia. The charge is popularly named after Major General George Pickett, one of three Confederate generals (all under the command of Lieutenant General James Longstreet) who led the assault. Pickett's Charge was part of Lee's "general plan" to take Cemetery Hill and the network of roads it commanded. His military secretary, Armistead Lindsay Long, described Lee's thinking: "There was ... a weak point ... where [Cemetery Ridge], sloping westward, formed the depression through which the Emmitsburg road passes. Perceiving that by forcing the Federal lines at that point and turning toward Cemetery Hill [Hays' Division] would be taken in flank and the remainder would be neutralized. ... Lee determined to attack at that point, and the execution was assigned to Longstreet." Lee believed that after Confederate attacks on both the left and right flanks of the Union lines on July 2, Meade would concentrate his defenses there to the detriment of his center. However, on the night of July 2, Meade correctly predicted to General John Gibbon, after a council of war, that Lee would attack the center of his lines the following morning and reinforced that area with additional soldiers and artillery. The infantry assault was preceded by a massive artillery bombardment that was meant to soften up the Union defense and silence its artillery, but it was largely ineffective, as the cannons could not depress sufficiently, and most of the shots went harmlessly over the Union soldier's heads. Approximately 12,500 men in nine infantry brigades advanced over open fields for three-quarters of a mile (1200 m) under heavy Union artillery and rifle fire. Although some Confederates were able to breach the low stone wall that shielded many of the Union defenders, they could not maintain their hold and were repelled with over 50 percent casualties. Often cited as one of the turning points of the war, the farthest point reached by the attack has been referred to as the high-water mark of the Confederacy.
The Battle Of Gettysburg began on July 1, 1863 as elements of the Union and Confederate armies accidentally collided at Gettysburg, when North Carolinians under Confederate Brig. Gen. J. Johnston Pettigrew went ot Gettysburg looking for shoes. Confederate General Lee urgently concentrated his forces there, his objective being to engage the Union army and destroy it. Low ridges to the northwest of town were defended initially by a Union cavalry division under Brig. Gen. John Buford, and soon reinforced with two corps of Union infantry. However, two large Confederate corps assaulted them from the northwest and north, collapsing the hastily developed Union lines, sending the defenders retreating through the streets of the town to the hills just to the south. The Battle of Gettysburg was fought July 1-3, 1863, in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, by Union and Confederate forces during the American Civil War. The battle involved the largest number of casualties of the entire war and is often described as the war's turning point. Union Maj. Gen. George Meade's Army of the Potomac defeated attacks by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, halting Lee's invasion of the North. After his success at Chancellorsville in Virginia in May 1863, Lee led his army through the Shenandoah Valley to begin his second invasion of the North-the Gettysburg Campaign. With his army in high spirits, Lee intended to shift the focus of the summer campaign from war-ravaged northern Virginia and hoped to influence Northern politicians to give up their prosecution of the war by penetrating as far as Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, or even Philadelphia. Prodded by President Abraham Lincoln, Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker moved his army in pursuit, but was relieved of command just three days before the battle and replaced by Meade. The day after the two armies collided on at Gettysburg on July 1, most of both armies had assembled. The Union line was laid out in a defensive formation resembling a fishhook. In the late afternoon of July 2, Lee launched a heavy assault on the Union left flank, and fierce fighting raged at Little Round Top, the Wheatfield, Devil's Den, and the Peach Orchard. On the Union right, Confederate demonstrations escalated into full-scale assaults on Culp's Hill and Cemetery Hill. All across the battlefield, despite significant losses, the Union defenders held their lines. On the third day of battle, fighting resumed on Culp's Hill, and cavalry battles raged to the east and south, but the main event was a dramatic infantry assault by 12,500 Confederates against the center of the Union line on Cemetery Ridge, known as Pickett's Charge. The charge was repulsed by Union rifle and artillery fire, at great loss to the Confederate army. Lee led his army on a torturous retreat back to Virginia. Between 46,000 and 51,000 soldiers from both armies were casualties in the three-day battle, the most costly in US history. On November 19, President Lincoln used the dedication ceremony for the Gettysburg National Cemetery to honor the fallen Union soldiers and redefine the purpose of the war in his historic Gettysburg Address.