11. The High-Water Mark - Battleground 2: Gettysburg
11. The High-Water MarkBy Joesph Hummel
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July 3rd, 1863 1:20pm 11 Turns On the third day of the battle, Lee determined to smash the center of the Union line. For what has come to be known as Pickett's Charge, the Confederates patched together two divisions from Hill's Corps, plus Pickett's fresh but small and relatively inexperienced division, for a total of about 12,000 men. Longstreet's pronouncement on the prospects of the attack was, "It is my opinion that no 15,000 men ever arrayed for battle can take that position". But Lee's mind was made up - the attack simply had to succeed. A terrific cannonade, which lasted from one and a half to two hours, and which did little actual damage to the Union front line, began the spectacle. At its conclusion, a mile-long mass of men emerged over the crest of Seminary Ridge, paused to dress their lines - and marched into history.