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]
Wall Charged by Pickett, Gettysburg. Stereo card published in 1908 by Underwood & Underwood. The text on the back of the card reads: