The time is precisely 1:00 PM, Friday afternoon, July 3 1863. Suddenly, a single cannon shot is fired. Then, there is a brief lull. Suddenly, this short, peaceful moment is violently shattered by the defeaning roar of nearly 150 Confederate cannon. Moving from right to left, one by one, each weapon of war spits fire at Union defensive positions all along Cemetary Ridge and Cemetary Hill for almost two solid hours.
Then, Major General George Pickett, the flambouyant Confederate Officer with a flare for the dramatic, rides up to Lieutenant General James Longstreet, deputy commander of the vaunted Army of Northern Virginia. Pickett reads a message from Confederate artillery chief, E. Porter Alexander, stating that the ammunition for the massive cannonade is nearly exhausted, and that if the attack is to be commenced at all, it must be launched immediately. Pickett then asks Longstreet for permission to launch the attack. Longstreet says nothing and just stares straight ahead. Pickett then states emphatically, "General Longstreet, shall I commence the attack?" Longstreet, unable to muster any words, simply bows his head and nods once. Pickett salutes sharply and rides off.
Within moments, almost three Confederate divisions, nearly 12,000 men, form up into assault brigades. They fix bayonets and come to attention. Pickett rides in front of his own division of Virginians and shouts, "Up men. Up and to your posts! And let no man forget today that he is from old Virginia!!" Roused by their commander's spirited remarks, all 4,700 men, along with 300 officers, remove their caps and hats, clench their fists and raise their right arms high into the air while shouting simultaneously, "Virginia! Virginia! Virginia!" Then, their officers raise their swords into the air and shout, "Forward, march!"
In the book, Pickett's Charge, by George R. Stewart, this massive attack on the third and final day of the epic Battle of Gettysburg, is recalled in vivid detail. The planning, preparation cannonade, infantry attack, high water mark, and eventual repulse is examined utilizing numerous primary sources from both the Union and Confederate side of the battle field. This is a must read for any Civil War enthusiast and/or military historian.
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On an extremely hot and humid afternoon, Friday, July 3 1863, the legendary Confederate Army of Northern Virginia found itself locked in a death embrace with the Union Army of the Potomac in the blackened hills and blood stained fields of southern Pennsylvannia just to the east of Gettysburg.
Determined to destroy the Union Army and then march on Washington D.C., forcing Abraham Lincoln to sue for peace and recognize southern independence, commanding General Robert Edward Lee, develops a bold plan. He will send J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry to attack the Union rear; while simultaneously assaulting the Union left at Culp's HIll to pin down their reserves. Then, as the coup de grais, he will hit the center of the Federal defensive line situated all along Cemetary Ridge with three divisions. Lee issues orders for all of the Confederate artillery to concentrate their fire on the Union center in an all-out effort to pulverize the defensive positions into smitherines just prior to the massive infantry attack.
Major General George Pickett, one of the Confederacy's most flambouyant officers, is chosen to spearhead the assault with his 5,000 man division of Virginians. Brigades of General's Pettigrew and Trimble are assigned to the historically monumental task as well.
In the book, PICKETT'S CHARGE!, this mamoth attack and its gripping culmination are examined in the greatest detail through the diary entries and memoirs of those who were there. From the words and through the eyes of Generals and lieutenants, artillery men and common foot soldiers, as well as foreign observers, you, the reader, will be taken back to the very moment when the survival of the Union itself hung in the balance. This is a must read for any and all history buffs and American Civil War enthusiasts.
6 x 9 SOFTCOVER: $10.00
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