Gettysburg Day 3
July 3, 1863
Objectives
• Learn why did Lee need a third day of battle at
Gettysburg.
• Learn why Lee had to change his original plans
for July 3.
• What was the end result of the Gettysburg
Campaign.
Lee’s Plan
Lee planned to attack both ends
of the Union line
simultaneously. Richard Ewell
led his men at the northern
end. They would be repulsed
with the help of daring cavalry
charges under George
Armstrong Custer. Longstreet
did not launch his attack
knowing what had happened
the day before.
A Change of Plans
Lee decided that an all out charge on the Union center could
break through the lines, then turn either direction and attack that
portion of the Yankees.
Attack Union Center
The center of the Union line had a low stone wall to offer
protection. Near was a clump of trees that served as a target.
Confederate Forces
Longstreet was placed in
command of the troops in the
field. Estimates are from
12,000 to 15,000 Confederate
soldiers in the three divisions.
Isaac Trimble
Isaac Trimble, a builder of
railroads in his pre-war days,
commander one division.
J. Johnston Pettigrew
A scholar from North Carolina,
Pettigrew, whose men were
the first to go into Gettysburg
on Jul1, was to lead a second
division of troops.
George E. Pickett
Pickett, who graduated last in
his class at west Point,
commanded the division who
would bear the brunt of the
attack.
Union Forces
Opposing the Confederates was
the Second Corps, commander
by Winfield Scott Hancock. Prior
to the outbreak of the war he
had been stationed in California
where he became close friends
with Lewis Armistead.
Pre-war Friends
Winfield Scott Hancock
Lewis Armistead
Artillery Bombardment
At 1:00 pm, the chief of
Confederate artillery, Edward
Porter Alexander began a two
hour barrage against the Union
defenses.
Assault Begins
At 3:00 pm, the Confederates started their one mile march across open
ground strait at the Union lines. Union artillery opened fire and when
the troops came into range, rifles took aim.
“The Angle”
They focused the attack on the clump of trees and a sharp turn in the
wall known as the angle. Armistead, leading the way was able to gain
the wall.
Webb’s Defense
General Alexander Webb’s
Pennsylvanians put up a
stubborn defense and were able
to eventually capture or kill
every southern soldier who
crossed the wall.
“It is all my fault!”
The assault had failed. As the
demoralized troops returned,
General Lee went out to meet
his men and claimed “It is all
my fault!”
July 4
The Confederate troops began their retreat back to Virginia.
Casualties
The Army of Northern Virginia
lost 28,000 men. The Army of
the Potomac was 23,000. One
civilian, Jenny Wade, was killed
by a stray bullet.
Lincoln’s Reaction
Although please with the victory,
Lincoln was disappointed that
Meade did not pursue Lee and
destroy Lee’s army.
End Result
Gettysburg was the largest land battle fought in North America
in terms of total numbers involved and casualties. It was the
high tide if the Confederacy. The South would never invade the
North again. Lincoln had discovered the formula for winning the
war.