2nd Manassas - Aug. 1862
The Battle of Gettysburg - Friday July 3, 1863
The Terrain of Pickett's Charge

With the cannonade now subsided, about 12,500 Southern men stepped from the woods along Seminary Ridge and prepared to march across the fields towards what they hoped would be their demoralized, disorganized Northern foes. With temperatures of about 87 degrees and many Confederates wearing traditional woolen uniforms, both the heat and the distance would serve to wear men down. However, as the men of Major Generals George E. Pickett and Isaac R. Trimble, and Brigadier General James Johnston Pettigrew moved forward towards their watchful Union counterparts, they were blessed with occasional respites from the relentless Union cannon fire. As the men from the South approached within 400 yards of the Federal lines on Cemetery Ridge, Northern artillerymen replaced shot and shell with deadly canister rounds. [9] Following the fence line in the picture to your right, you can plainly see the swales and rises of the terrain over which the soldiers engaged in Pickett's Charge traveled.

Despite this occasional protection, the horrible slaughter would decimate the Confederate ranks, depriving them of irreplaceable leadership during future campaigns. Although General Pickett would escape unharmed, all three of his Brigadiers would become casualties, two of them losing their lives. General Trimble, who was leading two brigades for the earlier wounded General Pender, would himself be wounded at the Emmitsburg Road, resulting in the amputation of a leg. General Pettigrew would escape with a painful canister shot to his right hand, only to later receive a fatal wound to his abdomen at Falling Waters on July 14th, just 11 days later as the Confederates continued their withdrawal into Virginia.