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This Day in History|July 3rd, 1863 - Pickett leads his infamous charge at Gettysburg
The History Channel ^ | July 3rd, 2005 | The History Channel

Posted on 07/03/2005 6:53:20 AM PDT by timpad

July 3, 1863:
 
Troops under Confederate General George Pickett begin a massive attack against the center of the Union lines at Gettysburg on the climactic third day of the Battle of Gettysburg, the largest engagement of the war. General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia encountered George Meade's Army of the Potomac in Pennsylvania and battered the Yankees for two days. The day before Pickett's charge, the Confederates had hammered each flank of the Union line but could not break through.

Now, on July 3, Lee decided to attack the Union center, stationed on Cemetery Ridge, after making another unsuccessful attempt on the Union right flank at Culp's Hill in the morning. The majority of the force consisted of Pickett's division, but there were other units represented among the 15,000 attackers.

After a long Confederate artillery bombardment, the Rebel force moved through the open field and up the slight rise of Cemetery Ridge. But by the time they reached the Union line, the attack had been broken into many small units, and they were unable to penetrate the Yankee center.

The failed attack effectively ended the battle of Gettysburg. On July 4, Lee began to withdraw his forces to Virginia. The casualties for both armies were staggering. Lee lost 28,000 of his 75,000 soldiers, and Union losses stood at over 22,000. It was the last time Lee threatened Northern territory.


TOPICS: History
KEYWORDS: dixie; gettysburg; militaryhistory
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50,000 Americans dead or wounded in three days.
 
May God bless those who give up all their tomorrows for our today. Past, present and future.

1 posted on 07/03/2005 6:53:21 AM PDT by timpad
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To: timpad

yeah the battle really illustrated to all that the Napoleonic school of warfare was completely and suicidally outdated.

All were heroes in their respective rights, but the guy who won the battle was Gen. John Buford. Had he not held the heights until Gen. Reynolds showed up on 1 July, the battle would have turned out very differently...


2 posted on 07/03/2005 6:55:55 AM PDT by MikefromOhio (Sleep in peace, comrades dear...)
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To: All
 

"Well, it is all over now. The battle is lost, and many of us are prisoners, many are dead, many wounded, bleeding and dying. Your Soldier lives and mourns and but for you, my darling, he would rather, a million times rather, be back there with his dead, to sleep for all time in an unknown grave."

Major General George Pickett, CSA, to his fiancée, July 4, 1863


3 posted on 07/03/2005 6:56:46 AM PDT by timpad (The Wizard Tim - Keeper of the Holy Hand Grenade, Finder of Obscurata)
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To: timpad

Uh-oh....War Between the States/War of Northern Aggression/Civil War thread breaking out...


4 posted on 07/03/2005 6:59:23 AM PDT by dakine
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To: MikeinIraq
yeah the battle really illustrated to all that the Napoleonic school of warfare was completely and suicidally outdated.

True, but I've always been fascinated by how long it took for people to understand this. Fifty years after Gettysburg, the British suffered 60,000 casualties on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

5 posted on 07/03/2005 7:01:01 AM PDT by THX 1138
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To: THX 1138

they didnt march into the fire at the Somme like they did at Gettysburg. There wasn't any marching as such and it wasn't the Napoleonic school at the time....

at the Battle of the Somme, they used an early and horribly thought out version of the loose order drill that was used very successfully in World War 2.


6 posted on 07/03/2005 7:03:47 AM PDT by MikefromOhio (Sleep in peace, comrades dear...)
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To: MikeinIraq
but the guy who won the battle was Gen. John Buford

He certainly set the stage, and I happen to agree he is the unsung hero.

One of the great cavalry actions in American history. Buford, with his small screening force, arrived in Gettysburg, immediately recognized the danger and seized the high ground. He and his units held until relieved. Had he failed, Lee's army would have had a nearly invincible position when Reynolds arrived.
"The enemy knows the importance of this position and will strain every nerve to secure it, and if we are able to hold it, we will do well.
- Union Brigadier General John Buford to Colonels
Thomas Devin and William Gamble the night before
the Battle of Gettysburg, 30 June 1863.

 
-from brotherswar.com
7 posted on 07/03/2005 7:03:55 AM PDT by timpad (The Wizard Tim - Keeper of the Holy Hand Grenade, Finder of Obscurata)
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To: dakine
War Between the States/War of Northern Aggression/Civil War thread breaking out...

They do stir things up a bit, don't they?
8 posted on 07/03/2005 7:05:25 AM PDT by timpad (The Wizard Tim - Keeper of the Holy Hand Grenade, Finder of Obscurata)
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To: timpad

Yep....

If you have ever read "The Killer Angels", the book does give him his due....

the battlefield at Gettysburg shows what he did as well, especially the electronic map....


9 posted on 07/03/2005 7:05:42 AM PDT by MikefromOhio (Sleep in peace, comrades dear...)
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To: MikeinIraq

And not to forget Joshua Chamberlain and his regiment's desperate defense of the Union extreme left at Little Round Top.


10 posted on 07/03/2005 7:09:09 AM PDT by kezekiel
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To: MikeinIraq
If you have ever read "The Killer Angels",

Shaara's book that backed the movie "Gettysburg" with Jeff Daniels. I have not read it yet. One of those on the "Things to do before I pass" list...:-)
11 posted on 07/03/2005 7:10:31 AM PDT by timpad (The Wizard Tim - Keeper of the Holy Hand Grenade, Finder of Obscurata)
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To: kezekiel
And not to forget Joshua Chamberlain

I think it was Col. Chamberlain's action that, more than anything else, convinced Lee that the Union center was weak and could be broken by Pickett. I think that Lee believed the Union was stronger on the flank than it really was because of the 20th Maine's tenacity.
12 posted on 07/03/2005 7:14:50 AM PDT by timpad (The Wizard Tim - Keeper of the Holy Hand Grenade, Finder of Obscurata)
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To: kezekiel

Certainly, but he would have never been in the position to made that charge without Buford.

Not to diminish what he did, but Buford held and set it up...


13 posted on 07/03/2005 7:16:59 AM PDT by MikefromOhio (Sleep in peace, comrades dear...)
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To: timpad

its a great read...

better than the movie was, but Jeff Daniels was great in that movie....


14 posted on 07/03/2005 7:17:34 AM PDT by MikefromOhio (Sleep in peace, comrades dear...)
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To: timpad
This charge was, arguably, the point where the 19th century ended and the twentieth began. I have heard it and dismissed it as a legend but it has been said that the Union soldiers actually cried as they fired into the defenseless Confederate ranks because the carnage was so great.

I am humbled by the history of this conflict and the men on both sides who died.

15 posted on 07/03/2005 7:20:23 AM PDT by muir_redwoods (Free Sirhan Sirhan, after all, the bastard who killed Mary Jo Kopeckne is walking around free)
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To: MikeinIraq
Yeah, whatever.

I was referring to the whole notion of massed charge against fortified positions. The lack of imagination was appalling.

16 posted on 07/03/2005 7:22:25 AM PDT by THX 1138
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To: MikeinIraq

Can't wait for "The Last Full Measure" to come out, but I haven't heard a release date or even if they are up and running yet.


17 posted on 07/03/2005 7:23:08 AM PDT by timpad (The Wizard Tim - Keeper of the Holy Hand Grenade, Finder of Obscurata)
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To: THX 1138

yes it was....

as a matter of fact, we did more at the squad and platoon level than most companies and some REGIMENTS did in world war 1....


18 posted on 07/03/2005 7:23:25 AM PDT by MikefromOhio (Sleep in peace, comrades dear...)
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To: kezekiel

"And not to forget Joshua Chamberlain and his regiment's desperate defense of the Union extreme left at Little Round Top."

Chamberlain's defense of Little Round Top was briliant, and his ordering a counterattack with fixed bayonets and empty muskets was a great example of performance under pressure.

People in the South who have studied the Civil War also hold Chamberlain in very high regard for his class act after Appomattox. As the Confederates marched up to surrender their weapons and colors Chamberlain ordered his men to salute.


19 posted on 07/03/2005 7:24:27 AM PDT by billnaz (What part of "shall not be infringed" don't you understand?)
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To: timpad

yeah I haven't heard anything about it either, but Robert DuVall is infinitely better as R.E. Lee than that moron Sheen was....


20 posted on 07/03/2005 7:25:22 AM PDT by MikefromOhio (Sleep in peace, comrades dear...)
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To: MikeinIraq

Buford's decision to hold was critical... but the battle was decided by Ewells FAILURE to seize Cemetery Hill.


21 posted on 07/03/2005 7:29:22 AM PDT by johnny7 (How often does a '47 Rodham require servicing?)
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To: MikeinIraq
better than the movie was, but Jeff Daniels was great in that movie....

As was Tom Berenger as Longstreet, arguing against the center charge and stressing that the rules of war have changed and the reality of modern warfare favored the defender. As I recall, his fellow officers said after the war that they didn't remember Longstreet having those reservations during the actual battle.

22 posted on 07/03/2005 7:30:07 AM PDT by kezekiel
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To: johnny7

Ewell also had an opportunity to march onto Little Round Top and encircle Buford who has holding against Heth....


23 posted on 07/03/2005 7:31:25 AM PDT by MikefromOhio (Sleep in peace, comrades dear...)
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To: kezekiel

Depends on who you ask...

in all the books and accounts of the battles save other officers, he did have the reservations, but being a soldier needed to follow orders....


24 posted on 07/03/2005 7:32:29 AM PDT by MikefromOhio (Sleep in peace, comrades dear...)
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To: muir_redwoods
I am humbled by the history of this conflict and the men on both sides who died.

Hard to imagine the brand of courage that walked up that hill into the storm of fire being poured down on them. And yet, that brand lives on in the Marines of Fallujah, but is now honed with skill and training undreamt of by Pickett.

Tomorrow is a great day to remember how fortunate we are that "Liberty has found such brave defenders."
25 posted on 07/03/2005 7:43:17 AM PDT by timpad (The Wizard Tim - Keeper of the Holy Hand Grenade, Finder of Obscurata)
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To: MikeinIraq

He's a damn good actor... a true 'chameleon'.


26 posted on 07/03/2005 7:57:46 AM PDT by johnny7 (How often does a '47 Rodham require servicing?)
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To: johnny7

yep....

I can't imagine him doing Gettysburg and then turning around and doing Dumb and Dumber, then followed by Speed....


27 posted on 07/03/2005 8:02:06 AM PDT by MikefromOhio (Sleep in peace, comrades dear...)
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To: MikeinIraq

In case folks want to encourage the Weare, N.H., selectmen
who have the power to take Judge Souter's house by eminent
domain so that it can be replaced by a higher-tax-paying hotel,
here are the Selectmen's addresses.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Board of Selectmen in general: office@weare.nh.gov

The Chair is Laura Buono: lbuono@weare.nh.gov

Vice-Chair is Leon Methot: lmethot@weare.nh.gov

Heleen Kurk: hkurk@weare.nh.gov

Joseph Fiala: jfiala@weare.nh.gov

Donna Osborne: dosborne@weare.nh.gov

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Please send six polite but firm emails in honor of
The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776

28 posted on 07/03/2005 10:02:08 AM PDT by B4Ranch ( Report every illegal alien that you meet. Call 866-347-2423, Employers use 888-464-4218)
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To: B4Ranch

ummmm...what does this have to do with this Civil War thread?

Couldnt you have Freepmailed that to me?


29 posted on 07/03/2005 10:04:38 AM PDT by MikefromOhio (Sleep in peace, comrades dear...)
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To: MikeinIraq

Sorry Mike, I didn't mean to offend your thread.


30 posted on 07/03/2005 10:11:49 AM PDT by B4Ranch ( Report every illegal alien that you meet. Call 866-347-2423, Employers use 888-464-4218)
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To: B4Ranch

its not that but you spammed more than just this one thread....

You could have started your own thread instead or something to that effect....


31 posted on 07/03/2005 10:12:46 AM PDT by MikefromOhio (Sleep in peace, comrades dear...)
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To: MikeinIraq

Because this is the weekend, not all Lurkers or Freepers can take the time to read every thread.

Is the 2005 Q3 FReepathon spam too? Or does it bring unity amongst FReepers?


32 posted on 07/03/2005 10:31:41 AM PDT by B4Ranch ( Report every illegal alien that you meet. Call 866-347-2423, Employers use 888-464-4218)
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To: B4Ranch

you are missing entirely what I am saying but alright....


33 posted on 07/03/2005 11:01:56 AM PDT by MikefromOhio (Sleep in peace, comrades dear...)
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To: MikeinIraq

Shaara's trilogy of the Civil War: Gods and Generals / Killer Angels / Last Full Measure / is required reading for any Civil War buff.

I learned more from those 3 books than all of the HS/College history courses I ever took. Killer Angels was by far the best.


34 posted on 07/03/2005 1:05:09 PM PDT by CTOCS (This space left intentionally blank...)
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To: timpad

Gettysburg was a very small battlefield. An intense, and accidental, battle. Pickett should have swung around to the left through town and rolled up the ridgeline. Hindsight.


35 posted on 07/03/2005 1:09:40 PM PDT by RightWhale (withdraw from the 1967 UN Outer Space Treaty)
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To: CTOCS

yep and The Last Full Measure is a close 2nd IMO.....


36 posted on 07/03/2005 1:20:16 PM PDT by MikefromOhio (Sleep in peace, comrades dear...)
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To: RightWhale
An intense, and accidental, battle

I was always struck by the change that came over Lee at Gettysburg. He had constantly admonished his officers not to engage the enemy on ground not of their choosing in that region. But then, when they did as you say accidentally, he committed fully, even in the face of opposite counsel by those he trusted. Very odd, indeed.
37 posted on 07/03/2005 1:22:17 PM PDT by timpad (The Wizard Tim - Keeper of the Holy Hand Grenade, Finder of Obscurata)
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To: timpad

The sudden strength of the Union resistance to his advance may have surprised him. He didn't want to give up his strategy of moving on Baltimore, and then it was too late, events could not be unwound.


38 posted on 07/03/2005 1:26:50 PM PDT by RightWhale (withdraw from the 1967 UN Outer Space Treaty)
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To: RightWhale
And without Staurt's cavalry at hand, he was ripe for a surprise. If Lee had a clearer picture of his situation, it may have been a rough summer at the White House.

I think it's one reason Gettysburg continues to fascinate. So many crucial turning points, so little time.
39 posted on 07/03/2005 1:40:41 PM PDT by timpad (The Wizard Tim - Keeper of the Holy Hand Grenade, Finder of Obscurata)
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To: timpad

Staurt = Stuart


40 posted on 07/03/2005 1:42:50 PM PDT by timpad (The Wizard Tim - Keeper of the Holy Hand Grenade, Finder of Obscurata)
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To: timpad
No general ever had a more dedicated army at his command.

In the reenactment of Gettysburg 50 years later, by the original participants, when it came to reenacting Picket's Charge they had some 70 year old geezers on crutches and wooden legs lurching across the cornfield. The guys on the hill could only watch so long and then they ran down the hill to meet them.

41 posted on 07/03/2005 2:01:26 PM PDT by RightWhale (withdraw from the 1967 UN Outer Space Treaty)
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To: MikeinIraq
"Ewell also had an opportunity to march onto Little Round Top and encircle Buford who has holding against Heth....

Ummm....Is it possible that you meant Culps Hill, or Cemetery Hill. To the best of my recollection Ewell' s second corps wasn't anywhere near Little Round Top.

42 posted on 07/03/2005 9:43:03 PM PDT by Rabble (Just When is John F sKerry going to release all his military records ?)
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To: Rabble

No they could have easily gotten up to Little Round Top. They were coming down from the north (Harrisburg) and would have gotten to the Round Tops right when they reached Cemetery Hill. Then the Union would have been forced to withdraw and make the fight south of Gettysburg, towards South Mountain, Waynesboro, Hagerstown or Frederick.

If Heth had been able to push Buford quicker, then the same could have happened, but they were bottled up on the road coming from Chambersburg and had some issues there too.


43 posted on 07/04/2005 5:11:18 AM PDT by MikefromOhio (Sleep in peace, comrades dear...)
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To: dakine

Unless you made that statement "toungue in cheek", then I suggest you find another thread more to your liking. If you weren't serious, then I apologize.


44 posted on 07/04/2005 5:19:02 AM PDT by Dawgreg (Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.)
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To: MikeinIraq

We thoroughly enjoyed that movie, Mike. We've watched so many documentaries and War of Northern Aggression movies lately, but Daniel's portrayal of Chamberlain is etched in my memory forever. Being totally pro-Southern, Chamberlain, in all I have read and seen has certainly won my respect.


45 posted on 07/04/2005 5:23:36 AM PDT by Dawgreg (Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.)
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To: MikeinIraq

AMEN! Hub commented that Sheen's portrayal made Gen. Lee look buffoonish at times. I have to agree. (Hmmm, maybe I was going into the movie with a bias against Sheen.......recon'?) *~*


46 posted on 07/04/2005 5:27:07 AM PDT by Dawgreg (Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.)
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To: Dawgreg

well I couldnt tell that you weren't totally pro southern or anything with your War of Northern Aggression blast in the first sentence :-P


47 posted on 07/04/2005 5:27:53 AM PDT by MikefromOhio (Sleep in peace, comrades dear...)
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To: Dawgreg

well my dad's side of the family comes from Eastern Tennessee and the accents are somewhat simliar, but not the same.

Sheen made Lee sound like a bumpkin or something. General Lee most certainly DID NOT sound like a bumpkin in real life.


48 posted on 07/04/2005 5:29:27 AM PDT by MikefromOhio (Sleep in peace, comrades dear...)
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To: MikeinIraq

Except that the movie was so damn PC. Same for "Gods and Generals."


49 posted on 07/04/2005 5:31:16 AM PDT by sauropod (Polite political action is about as useful as a miniskirt in a convent -- Claire Wolfe)
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To: B4Ranch; MikeinIraq

Ignore the Thread Nanny.


50 posted on 07/04/2005 5:34:38 AM PDT by sauropod (Polite political action is about as useful as a miniskirt in a convent -- Claire Wolfe)
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