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To: LS

You are misunderstang what happened. On July 3rd at 3:00 PM the Union forces on Cemetary Ridge numbered about 10,000 plus arty( a lot of it) and a little cavalry. The CSA attackers outnumbered the defenders 3:2 ratio. The Union line would have broke if the CSA cavalry had been there to support the flanks of the attack.

17 posted on 07/03/2012 11:57:14 AM PDT by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: central_va
Our discussion was an interesting one, so I did some research and, more important, enlisted a friend who is a stathound and Civil War afficionado. Here are some numbers:

Pickett’s Division (brigades of Armistead, Kemper & Garnett) 5,040

Pettigrew’s Division (brigades of Fry, Marshall, Davis & Brockenbrough) 4,570.

Trimble’s Division (brigades of Lowrance and Lane) 2,200

Total infantry attacking 11,800, plus 19 guns that moved forward with the assault. (Note that this is almost 1/4 less than what is traditionally discussed when discussing the "charge" of 15,000 men).


Front line in the center in Cemetery Ridge: Hay’s Division (brigades of Sherrill, Smyth, and the 8th Ohio under Sawyer) 2,000.

Gibbon’s Division (brigades of Webb, Hall & Harrow) 2,425.

Doubleday’s Division (brigades of Stannard & Gates (only 2 regiments each)) 1,720.

Humphrey’s Division (1st Mass Sharpshooters) 200.

Total infantry in front line 6,345, supported by 18 guns.

The Union reserve nearby totaled about 3,500, but only 2,560 (13 regiments and the 10th NY Provisional Guard) were actually moved up in support of the front line.

So, initially, 11,800 Confederates went against 6,345 Federals, but during the assault the Federals were strengthened while the Confederates’ declined.

My contact thinks that probably about half of the reserve actually got into combat. Nonetheless, at the critical point, the Federals probably possessed a slight numerical advantage as Brockenbrough’s brigade of 700 failed to cross half the field and Confederate casualties were approaching 4,000 by the time the front brigades neared the angle. And that doesn’t count the unwounded shirkers who melted away while crossing the fields.count

One should not include Wilcox and Lang’s Confederate brigades from Anderson’s Division totaling 1,500 men in the assault, as they moved forward late and after the main assault had already been stopped. They retreated after reaching Plum Run, were unable to keep Stannard from flanking Pickett on his right, and retreated as soon as they saw the assault had been repulsed.

In other words, perhaps---not counting reserves---the initial assault numbers would have been 3:2 or even 2:1, but by the time the Confederates got within shooting distance, their numbers had dropped to 7,000 vs. the original 6300 now reinforced by at least 2500, or 8800 to 7000---not even a 1:1 ratio.

I had forgotten that the Confed cavalry---already worn out, as I explained---had in fact been beaten earlier in a battle with the Federal cavalry and couldn't have helped if they wanted to.

20 posted on 07/04/2012 9:41:46 AM PDT by LS ("Castles Made of Sand, Fall in the Sea . . . Eventually (Hendrix))
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