2nd Manassas - Aug. 1862
The Battle of Gettysburg - Friday July 3, 1863
Confederate General Lewis A. Armistead & the Angle

The stone row at The Angle (Very Large File)

The Angle at Gettysburg
On the hot, humid afternoon of July 3rd, after the thundering roar of artillery paused to catch its breath, Confederate Brigadier General Lewis Addison Armistead would do his duty. With near parade ground precision, he would lead the five Virginia Regiments of his Brigade out from the distant shell shattered tree line and across these deadly fields. As his men came within range, Union musketry would join the cannons which had decimated the two brigades General Armistead followed and was to support. [11] Federals in his front and on both flanks blazed away at the men still determined to march forward to the blue lines on Cemetery Ridge. As death seemed to indiscriminately sweep comrades from the field, conspicuously out in front ensuring that ranks closed, he continued to lead them on.
Circa 1879 view of the Copse of Trees

Despite the hail of iron and lead, General Armistead closed in on the Federal Line just south of the now famous Angle along Cemetery Ridge. In the mayhem of battle with thousands of casualties behind him, General Armistead, the last of Pickett's Brigadiers, placed his hat on his sword and waved it overhead as a beacon to guide the remnants of his brigade. The courage necessary to march into the defenses of any foe is immense. That which was needed to traverse nearly one mile of open ground into the fire of massed artillery and thousands of armed infantrymen is indescribable. Yet about 12,500 Confederate soldiers started out from the trees in the distance with this line as their intended goal. Even the on-looking Union soldiers found themselves awed by the spectacle and martial beauty. Union General Winfield Scott Hancock would later write, "Their lines were formed with a precision and steadiness that extorted the admiration of the witnesses of that memorable scene." [9]

General Armistead marker at the Angle at GettysburgMany of the bravest however, like Armistead, did not return. Brigadier General Richard B. Garnett, who lead the Brigade in Armistead's front, would be killed, his body never to be identified. Brigadier General James L. Kemper on his front right, would receive an agonizing wound as a minie ball ricocheted through his body. Still, Armistead lead his men forward. As he crossed over the low stone wall, he placed his hand on one of the Federal guns of Lieutenant Alonzo Cushing's Battery. As suddenly as he had seemingly grasped the throat of one of the Union cannons guilty of savaging his men as they closed, he was then shot down.

Suffering multiple wounds, the General slumped to the ground. He was later carried off to the Union's 11th Corps field hospital on the Spangler Farm east of General Meade's Headquarters. Confederate Brigadier General Lewis Addison Armistead, a former United States Army officer and friend of Union Major General Winfield S. Hancock whose troops this day he had challenged, would die two days later. Like their General, after an awesome display of discipline and courage, most of Armistead's Virginians would earn for their efforts either death, wounds, or capture. The charge, although bravely executed, was repulsed with severe loss.

The Spangler Farm - 11th Corps Hospital