The hill straight ahead was held by the Federal troops through the second day of the battle. The bloody “wheat field” was this side of the hill.
On the third day of the battle (July 3, 1863) Pickett’s division of Longstreet’s corps, 14,000 men, were formed in brigades at the edge of the woods a mile away. They were off at your right (west) beyond a level stretch of open fields. Webb’s brigade of the Federal troops was entrenched along the stone wall which here forms a V enclosing that low, round clump of trees which you see beyond the grassy open. (Another stone wall ran along at the farther side of those trees, the walls meeting at an angle, a little way to the right from the trees.) Pickett’s men aimed for those trees in the angle of the wall and advanced under the deadliest fire which the Federal batteries could rain upon them. When they reached the angle they were under fire from both flanks as well as from the front. At the angle itself only one of the Federal guns was still serviceable. Lieut. Cushing, in charge of it, was mortally wounded, firing his last shot by the weight of his body as he fell dead. General Armistead, with his brigade, reached the wall; he threw his cap on the point of his sword and leaped over, leading his men straight into the Federal lines, but he too fell in a moment more. Then followed one of the most terrific hand-to-hand conflicts that have ever taken place in modern warfare. It lasted until this very ground that you see now as a grassy lawn was covered with the bodies of dead and dying men—the Blue and the Gray together. There were on both sides the most splendid courage—dogged determination, and magnificent heroism of self-sacrifice. At the end of that third day, fifty thousand of America’s sons had given their lives in the struggle at Gettysburg. The Federal victory here checked Confederate advances northward.
See histories of the Civil War.
From Descriptive Bulletin No. 3, copyrighted 1904, by Underwood & Underwood.
Wall charged by Pickett at Gettysburg, Pa.
Muraille investie par le Général Pickett à Gettysburg, Pa.
[in Gothic script]Wall bei Gettysburg, Pa. gegen den Pickett den Unisturm führte.
Muro investido por el General Pickett en Gettysburg, Pa.
En afdelning soldater stormar en mur vid Gettysburg, Pa.
[Translation of the above in Russian characters]
Here are some 3D images of the Civil War. I created these from stereo cards, some of which were in my own collection but most of which were from the Library of Congress’ collection. In order to view these, you’ll need a pair of red-cyan 3-D glasses. You may already have a pair, or if not you can find some inexpensive 3D glasses on Amazon.com. Note that, being up to 150 years old, some of the images are not perfect. Enjoy!
If you’re interested in seeing more such images, please leave a comment and let us know. Thanks!
The back of the stereo card reads:
Rustic Seat, Old Cannon and Graves, Dayton Soldiers’ Home.
There is not a single other nation in this world that takes as good care of its disabled veterans as does Uncle Sam. In every one of the older states of the Union there is a large and well equipped soldiers’ home, and two miles west of Dayton, Ohio, is the Central National Military Home for disabled veterans of the Civil War, having 640 acres of beautiful grounds, with large buildings and accommodations for six thousand inmates.
It is a sad sight, these endless rows of white headstones, marking the graves of those who have heard the last “taps,” but the survivors lead quite a cheerful life at the Home, rehearsing again and again the heroic fights in which they were happy enough to participate, and proudly dwelling on the achievements of their favorite leaders. Visitors are always welcome, especially if willing to listen to reminiscences of the war.
Image source: Library of Congress.