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Near Gettysburg in Adams County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Lee's Shattered Army

July 3, 1863 - Third Day

 
 
Lee's Shattered Army Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 16, 2008
1. Lee's Shattered Army Marker
Inscription. "We gained nothing but glory, and lost our bravest men."
Lieut. John T. James, C.S.A.
11th Virginia Infantry, Pickett's Division

As the Confederates streamed back across the fields from their failed assault, Gen. Robert E. Lee rode out to meet them. "It has been all my fault" he was heard to say. The attack had cost his army nearly 6,000 casualties.

With the failure of "Pickett's Charge," Lee sensed his opportunity was gone. His men were exhausted, and the number of dead, wounded, and missing was enormous. They could no longer take the offensive. The following day, July 4, Lee's men held their position on the ridge behind you, but the Federals did not attack. That evening Lee gave the order to retreat.

The retreat began in a heavy rain that soaked the downcast Southern troops. The high spirits that had carried them into Pennsylvania were dashed on the bloody, sodden fields of Gettysburg.
 
Erected by Gettysburg National Miltary Park.
 
Location. 39° 48.779′ N, 77° 14.902′ W. Marker is near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker is on West Confederate Avenue, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Located on a walking trail near the Virginia State Memorial (Driving
Lee's Shattered Army Marker- Mort Künstler painting image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, June 25, 2009
2. Lee's Shattered Army Marker- Mort Künstler painting
Tour Stop 5) on Seminary Ridge in Gettysburg National Military Park. Marker is in this post office area: Gettysburg PA 17325, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Pickett's Charge (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Virginia Memorial (about 700 feet away); Ward's Battery - Poague's Battalion (about 800 feet away); Brooke's Battery - Poague's Battalion (about 800 feet away); Wright's Brigade (approx. 0.2 miles away); Army of Northern Virginia (approx. 0.2 miles away); Garnett's Brigade (approx. 0.2 miles away); Posey's Brigade (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gettysburg.
 
More about this marker. In the upper center is a painting. General Robert E. Lee meets his retreating soldiers in this painting by Mort Kunstler entitled, "Its All My Fault."
Lt. Col. Arthur Freemantle witnessed the scene, "...I saw General Lee encourage and animate his somewhat dispirited troops, and magnanimously take upon his own shoulders the whole weight of the repulse. It was impossible to look at him or listen to him without feeling the strongest admiration..."


In the lower center is a drawing of Weary Confederates trudge through rain and mud on their retreat into Virginia. The trip
Lee's Shattered Army Wayside image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 16, 2008
3. Lee's Shattered Army Wayside
The paved trail out from the Virginia Memorial ends at a wayside offering an interpretive recording.
was hardest for the wounded, some of whom covered as much as 15 agonizing miles a day.


On the right is a photograph of Lt. Thomas C. Holland who commanded Company G. 28th Virginia Infantry. Shouting "Come on, boys," Holland broke through the Union line on Cemetery Ridge. He fell moments later when a bullet pierced his cheek and exited the back of his head. He was carried to a Union field hospital, and later recovered.
Of the 88 men in his company who took part in Pickett's Charge, 81 were listed as killed, wounded, or missing that night. Fifty years after the battle, Holland returned to the spot where he fell and shook the hand of the Union soldier who had shot him.

 
Also see . . .  The Field of Pickett's Charge. A National Park Service virtual tour stop. (Submitted on September 28, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
View of the Federal Lines from the Wayside image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 16, 2008
4. View of the Federal Lines from the Wayside
The remains of Pickett's Division, along with parts of Tremble's and Pettigrew's commands made their way back from the failed assault on Cemetery Ridge, passing across these open fields.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 28, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,001 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on September 28, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   2. submitted on August 28, 2015, by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee.   3, 4. submitted on September 28, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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