July 2013 was the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg which occurred July 1-3, 1863. Confederate forces under General Robert E Lee invaded the north in the hopes of winning a decisive victory against the Union Army.
The first two days of the battle had been inconclusive so Lee tried a frontal assault on the Union's center position thinking it weaker than the flanks which he had attacked the previous day. General George Meade commander of the Union Army predicted such a maneuver and put troops in his center for just such an attack.
Cavalry General JEB Stuart was sent to the Union rear to cause confusion and support the center assault but he was forced to withdraw.
Around 1, an intensive artillery barrage commenced which was the largest of the war. Around 2 or 3 (depends on who you ask), Pickett's brigade along with brigades from General A.P. Hill's moved forward to cross nearly a mile of open field exposed to deadly Union cannon fire and then later musket fire.
Eventually the assault failed as the Confederate troops did not have enough manpower to overcome the Union defenses.
The Union lost roughly 1500 killed or wounded while the Confederates lost over 6500 killed, wounded, or captured.
General Robert E Lee - beloved commander of the
Army of Northern Virginia
General George Pickett for whom the doomed frontal assault was named after although it General Longstreet who had command of the assault forces
General George Meade - Commander of the Union Army at Gettysburg
General JEB Stuart led his cavalry to the Union rear to support Pickett's Charge
Stuart's forces were fought to a standstill by Union Cavalry and he was forced to withdraw
Meade moved troops to the center predicting Lee's move
At 1:00 Confederate guns struck the Union center with a massive barrage but ultimately did not damage
Union lines or artillery
Union artillery proved deadly in decimating the ranks of the Confederates as they advanced across the field