Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg

"Pickett's Charge"—which occurred on the third day of the Gettysburg battle—ended in disaster for the Confederacy. It marked a turning point in America's Civil War.

This clip from "Gettysburg," a 1993 film about the Civil War battle, depicts the beginning of "the charge" as large numbers of Confederate soldiers march forward on July 3, 1863.

Union General Winfield Scott Hancock describes the Confederate men (and their lines) as he and his soldiers watched the start of Pickett's Charge:

Their lines were formed with a precision and steadiness that extorted the admiration of the witnesses of that memorable scene.  The left of the enemy extended slightly beyond the right of Gen. Alexander Hays' division; the right being about opposite the left of General Gibbon's. 

Their line of battle thus covered a front of not more than two of the small and incomplete divisions of the corps.  The whole attacking force is estimated to have exceeded 15,000 men.  (Hancock, quoted by William H. Powell, in The Fifth Army Corps - Army of the Potomac, at page 549.)

Marching a very long distance, one can only wonder what these men were thinking as they moved forward.  Many of them would die, or be injured, by the end of the day.

See, also, these important pictures at the Library of Congress:

"The Bryan house on 2d Corps line, near scene of Pickett's Charge"

"Dead Confederate soldiers in the 'slaughter pen' at the foot of Little Round Top" - photo by Alexander Gardner

"Confederate dead gathered for burial, July 5, 1863" - photo by Alexander Gardner

"Dead soldier and battered trees, Culp's Hill"

"Unfinished Confederate graves near the center of the battlefield" - photo by Timothy O'Sullivan

Other Photos from the Gettysburg Battle

See these related video clips:

Lee and Longstreet at Gettysburg - End of First Day

Lee Reprimands Jeb Stuart at Gettysburg - End of Second Day

Chamberlain and Kilrain at Gettysburg - "Killer Angels" Monologue

Battle of Gettysburg - Union Charge

Pickett's Charge - Plan of Attack

General Armistead and the End of Pickett's Charge

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5197stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Jun 06, 2020

Media Credits

Clip from the 1993 film "Gettysburg," based on The Killer Angels (a book by Michael Shaara), online courtesy YouTube.  Copyright, Turner Pictures, all rights reserved.  Provided here as fair use for educational purposes and to acquaint new viewers and readers with the film and book.

Directed by:
Ronald F. Maxwell

Produced by:
Moctesuma Esparza
Robert Katz

Screenplay by:
Ronald F. Maxwell


Martin Sheen - General Robert E. Lee
Tom Berenger - Lieutenant General James Longstreet
Jeff Daniels
- Colonel Joshua Chamberlain
Stephen Lang - Major General George Pickett
Joseph Fuqua - Major General J.E.B. Stuart
George Lazenby
- General Johnston Pettigrew
James Patrick Stuart - Colonel Edward Porter Alexander

Musical Score by:
Randy Edelman


To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Jun 05, 2020.
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