Pickett's Charge

An HMS American Cultures collaborative production

Pickett’s Charge was the third and final day of the Battle Gettysburg . Pickett’s Charge was ordered by Gen. Robert G. Mead’s Union positions on Cemetery Ridge on July 3, 1863; the last day of the Battle of Gettysburg was during the American Civil War. Pickett’s Charge was named after Maj. George E. Pickett, one of three Confederate generals who led the assault under Longstreet. The charge was planned for three Confederate divisions, commanded by Maj. Gen. J. Johnston Pettigrew, and Maj. Gen. Isaac R. Trimble, consisting of troops from Lt. Gen. James Longstreet’s Firt Corps and Lt. Gen. AP. Hill’s third corps’. Pettigrew commanded brigades of Brig. Gens. Alfred M. Scales and James H. Lane. Pickett’s Charge was a bloodbath, the Union lost about 1,500 killed and wounded, and the Confederate casualty rate was over 50%. Pickett’s division suffered 2,655 casualties (498 killed, 643 wounded and captured, and 681 captured, unwounded.) Pettigrew’s losses are estimated to be about 2,700 (470 killed, 1,893 wounded, and 337 captured.) Trimble’s two brigade’s lost 885 (155 killed, 650 wounded, and 80 captured.) Wilcox’s brigade reported losses of 200, and Lang’s about 400. Total losses during the attack were 6,555, of which at least 1,123 Confederates were killed on the battlefield, 4,019 were wounded, and a good number of the injured were captured. Union reports the 3,750 men were captured. Today the site of Pickett’s Charge is one of the best-maintained portions of the Gettysburg Battlefield. Very few people have walked through the footsteps of Pickett’s division. If it were not for a fence, Pickett's charge may have suceeded and the Confederates may have won the battle.

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