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Pickett's Charge Retreat
Pictures taken July 5, 1998 at the 135th Reenactment of the Battle of Gettysburg.

 

 

 

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The sight of the thousands of Confederate infantry retracing their steps back to the wood line, looking wounded and broken, was as emotional as when they had proudly marched by just a short while earlier. Their weapons now used as crutches, they hobble across the broken fence along the Emmitsburg Road.
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These fellows really look hot and exhausted. Imagine how miserable it would have been to be wounded on that field 135 years ago.   Continuing to play the role of soldiers, hundreds of "wounded" soldiers were helped by fellow reenactors.
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The flag still waves proudly as the men leave the field to fight elsewhere on another day. After the Battle of Gettysburg the war went on for yet another two years.

General Lee rode out to meet the defeated regiments exclaiming "It is all my fault".

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The Confederate remnants were ordered to regroup but Union General Meade did not counterattack. This angered President Lincoln who saw an attack on General Lee's defeated troops at this time, a perfect opportunity to end the war. Lincoln later promoted U. S. Grant to Lieutenant General and named him general-in-chief of all the Federal Armies.  Grant would choose to direct the armies from the field, making his headquarters with the Army of the Potomac in its campaign against Lee throughout 1864-65.

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As the Confederate soldiers return from the assault and the Battle of Gettysburg comes to an end, it is only the beginning of many months of suffering and rebuilding for the 2,400 residents of Gettysburg. They were left with a devastated town.

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As the Confederates retreated from the gentle Gettysburg fields, they continued the next day, in a driving rain, southward toward Virginia. Their great hopes for a victory on northern soil were gone with Gettysburg now the high-water mark of the Confederacy.

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Here the withdrawing Confederate soldiers get a hearty applause of honor and appreciation from the crowds who came to see their brave gallantry.

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