Had Lee destroyed Meade's forces, he could have easily taken Washington and Baltimore.
High Tide at Gettysburg by Glenn Tucker (1994, Hardcover)
He would have more than made up for the loss of Vicksburg to Grant's army on July 4. Glenn Tucker clearly sets out the background of the crucial battle so that the reader can fully appreciate its unfolding. Two great opposing forces faced each other.
Their struggle for victory claimed the lives of nearly 50, men. Out of the sequence of events, emerge personality sketches of the major figures in the conflict. Tucker clears up many misunderstandings that have grown up around the battle: from the role of General Longstreet to the gallant penetration of Union lines by Pettigrew's and Trimble's divisions during Pickett's charge. Armistead arrived in Virginia to receive a colonelcy with the 57th Virginia Infantry. The battle unfolded around the town and Cemetery Ridge to the south with both sides pouring more and more men into the fight.
Book Review:Gettysburg 1863: High Tide of the Confederacy (Carl Smith): CWT
Armistead did not arrive on the field until the second day when Confederate attacks to the north and south of the Union line had already failed. Unbeknownst to Armistead and the rest of the Confederates, the barrage was ineffectual, most of the fire going over the top of the Union line into the rear.
Moreover, hundreds of Union cannons sat silently waiting for the infantry assault to begin.
The Confederate target was a copse of trees standing starkly on the ridgeline. Shot and shell rained on the Confederates from left, right, and centre, and they fell in their hundreds.
Wide swathes opened up in the rebel ranks, but still they pressed on, Armistead to the fore. Armistead made it to a small angle of walls at the very heart of the Union line. He raised his hat on his sword to guide his men in to that attack and encourage them. But there were too few left, and three musket balls found their mark on Armistead, bringing him down wounded in body if not in spirit. He would die a short while later from his wounds.
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