Near Gettysburg in Adams County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The High Water Mark
July 3, 1863 - Third Day
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
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.
Erected by Gettysburg National Military Park.
Location. 39° 48.773′ N, 77° 14.135′ W. Marker is near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker is on Hancock Avenue, on the left when traveling north. Click for map. Located near the "Copse
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Cushing's Union Battery (here, next to this marker); Pickett's Charge (here, next to this marker); Battlefield Landmarks - South and West (here, next to this marker); 72nd Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers (a few steps from this marker); First Pennsylvania Cavalry (a few steps from this marker); Major General Alexander Webb (a few steps from this marker); Second Brigade (within shouting distance of this marker); 3rd Maine Regiment (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Gettysburg.
More about this marker. In the center of the marker is a painting captioned, Confederate infantry make their last desperate attempt to break the Union line here. Painting by Mort Kunstler. To the lower left is a map with points indicated from the right side-bar.
Also see . . . High Water Mark. National Park Service virtual tour stop.
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,621 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.