July 3, 1863 - Third Day
"Too bad! Too bad!
On! Too bad!"
General Robert E. Lee, C.S.A.
Commander, Army of Northern Virginia
Maj. Gen. George G. Meade, U.S.A.
Commander, Army of the Potomac
Speaking of the Confederates who had executed Pickett's Charge, General Lee reflected, "I never saw troops behave more magnificently..." Yet, this last great assault at Gettysburg, among the greatest made by American soldiers, failed to crumble the Union defenses.
"Hurrahs" rose from the United soldiers here as the Confederate tide ebbed. 12,000 Confederates had thrown themselves against the Union line - nearly half of them had been killed, wounded, or captured. General Meade prepared his men for another attack on the 4th, but it never came. That night, Lee's army began its muddy retreat into Virginia.
Years after the battle, Pickett's Charge and its failure came to be known as the "High Water Mark of the Confederacy." The war would continue for nearly two more years, but Lee's Army of Northern Virginia would not invade the North again. A Union officer who had witnessed Pickett's Charge wrote, "from that time on, the march of the rebellion was toward Appomattox."
July 3 (1) Gettysburg
- Lee's invasion of Pennsylvania repulsed.
July 4 (2) Vicksburg
- Confederates surrender to General Grant. North gains control of Mississippi River.
Sept. 20 (3) Chickamauga
- Last great Southern victory.
Nov. 23-25 (4) Chattanooga
- Bragg's Confederate army retreats into Georgia.
May-June (5) Grant's Virginia Campaign
- Battles of Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna, Cold Harbor. Lee driven back upon Richmond and Petersburg.
Sept. 2 (6) Atlanta
- Sherman occupies Atlanta. Begins famous "March to the Sea" November 15.
Dec 15-16 (7) Nashville
- Thomas crushes the Confederate Army of Tennessee.
Dec. 21 (8) Savannah
- Sherman occupies Savannah and further divides the Confederacy.
April 2 (9) Petersburg
- After 10-month siege, Grant breaks Lee's line and closes in on Richmond.
April 9 (10) Appomattox
- Lee surrenders Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House.
April 26 (11) Durham Station
- Johnston surrenders Confederate forces in Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida.