Today in military history: Pickett’s Charge in the Battle of Gettysburg

Team Mighty
Updated onJun 27, 2023 7:14 AM PDT
1 minute read
general pickett

General Pickett’s famous charge at Gettysburg. (Engraving by Alfred Swinton after Alfred Waud.)

SUMMARY

On July 3, 1863, Confederate General George Pickett led his infamous charge against Union lines at Gettysburg.

On July 3, 1863, Confederate General George Pickett led his infamous charge against Union lines at Gettysburg.

For two days, Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s confederate army had tried to break through the northern lines of Union General George Meade. On the third day, Lee ordered an assault against Meade’s position along Cemetery Ridge, the center of the Union army and a network of roads to be commanded by whomever held it.

An artillery bombardment precluded the assault, though it failed to soften the Union defense. 

Fifteen thousand confederate soldiers charged against the American force.

They failed. 

The assault marked the end of the battle of Gettysburg and Lee’s last attack in Northern territory, and would ultimately become the turning point against the South in the Civil War.

The battle had raged for three days with over 50,000 American casualties — the bloodiest single battle of the war and one of the largest battles in North American history. 

Featured Image: General Pickett and his famous charge at Gettysburg. (Engraving by Alfred Swinton after Alfred Waud.)

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