2nd Manassas - Aug. 1862
The Battle of Gettysburg - Friday July 3, 1863
The Continuing Battle for Culp's Hill

Confederate Assault on Culp's Hill July 3 1863

After carefully considering the results of the July 2nd conflicts, General Lee determined to remain on the offensive. In his official report, he would state, " The general plan was unchanged. Longstreet, re-enforced by Pickett's three brigades, which arrived near the battle-field during the afternoon of the 2d, was ordered to attack the next morning, and General Ewell was directed to assail the enemy's right at the same time." [40]

Remains of Culp's Hill earthworks.After the assaults the night before, many Southerners in the 2nd Corps did not hold much hope for success concerning the planned renewed attacks. The feelings of one officer come through vividly in his report. Confederate General James Walker, commander of the Stonewall Brigade wrote of the fighting on this day, "After five hours' incessant firing, being unable to drive the enemy from his strong position, and a brigade of Rodes' division coming to our assistance, I drew my command back under the hill out of the fire, to give them an opportunity to rest and clean their guns and fill up their cartridge-boxes. In about an hour, I was ordered by General Johnson to move more to the right, and renew the attack, which was done with equally bad success as our former efforts, and the fire became so destructive that I suffered the brigade to fall back to a more secure position, as it was a useless sacrifice of life to keep them longer under so galling a fire. An hour or two later, I was again ordered to advance, so as to keep the enemy in check, which I did, sheltering my men and keeping up a desultory fire until dark...justice requires that I should especially notice the gallant and efficient conduct of Maj. William Terry, commanding the Fourth Virginia Regiment, who gallantly led his regiment almost to the breastworks of the enemy, and only retired after losing three-fourths of his command." [11]

Bullet damage to trees on Culp's HillThe often overlooked yet dreadfully catastrophic fighting that occurred on Culp's Hill ended with the Union and Southern Armies holding almost the same lines within which they stood days earlier. Union Brigadier General Alpheus S. Williams provided a brief summary of the final days hostilities. "...after seven hours' continuous combat, the enemy attempted to push beyond the intrenchments on our right, and was in turn repulsed and followed sharply beyond the defenses by regiments of the First Division posted in the woods to observe movements. An advance from Geary's division at the same time effectually and finally expelled them from our breastworks, which were at once occupied by our troops in their entire length. Several hundred prisoners were taken in the final charge, and the numerous dead left on the field presented fearful proof of the stubbornness and numbers of the enemy, as well as the coolness and enduring valor of our own troops. At the same time the comparative smallness of our own losses give gratifying evidence of the skill and judgment with which this long and fierce engagement was conducted on the part of our officers." [5]

In the color photograph above, you can still see remains of Union Brigadier General George S. Greene's earthworks which sheltered the blue coats from the repeated Confederate assaults.