July 1-3, 1863




     After his stunning victory at Chancellorsville, Lee successfully lobbied against sending a reinforcement to the western armies.  Instead, he would move north with his recently reorganized army.  As Lee shifted his army west to Culpeper, Hooker sent his cavalry on a reconnaissance across the Rappahannock.  Union cavalry fought well in the ensuing battle at Brandy Station, but Hooker learned little.  Ewell's corps of Lee's army then crossed into the Shenandoah Valley and smashed an isolated Union force at the Battle of Second Winchester.  Soon Lee's whole army was moving north screened by Stuart's cavalry.  Union cavalry pushed Stuart back in clashes at Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville and as a result learned of Lee's presence in the Valley.  In response, Hooker now moved north across the Potomac, and when Stuart found that the way directly north was occupied by the Union army, he determined to move around it to the east instead of moving into the Valley to cover Lee's army directly.

     Although Lee had two cavalry brigades of his own and two "temporarily" left to guard the passes of the Blue Ridge, because of the absence of Stuart, he remained unaware of Union positions and movements.  Parts of Ewell's corps reached as far as the Susquehanna while Longstreet's and A.P. Hill's corps were far away near Chambersburg in the Valley.  Late on June 28th, Lee learned that the Union army was across the Potomac and moving north, commanded now by George Meade, who had replaced Hooker.  Lee ordered his dangerously exposed army to concentrate near Cashtown eight miles west of Gettysburg.  By June 30th, Buford's Union cavalry was at Gettysburg screening the army.  Pettigrew's North Carolina brigade ran into them that day and fell back.  The next day, although Lee had ordered that a major battle be avoided, Hill ordered Heth's division to march to Gettysburg to capture any supplies there.

The photos are separated into the following sections.


The First Day


The Second Day

Longstreet Attacks - Overview

Little Round Top


Peach Orchard

Emmitsburg Road

Cemetery Ridge

New Panoramas Showing Landscape Restoration March 2006  NEW!

Ewell Attacks

Cemetery Hill

Culp's Hill


The Third Day

Pickett's Charge - Pickett's Approach

Pickett's Charge - Pettigrew/Trimble Approach

Pickett's Charge -Final Approach and Repulse  

The Third Day's Cavalry Battle  


Recommended Books

They Met at Gettysburg  *****  This was the first book in the wonderful series written by Edward Stackpole.  Although now somewhat dated, the book covers the whole campaign; its strongest feature is its analysis of the leaders and their decisions.  Stackpole points out that poor Union staff work could have lost them the battle.  This book is an excellent introduction to the battle.




Gettysburg: A Battlefield Guide  *****  By Mark Grimsley and Brooks Simpson.  This excellent battlefield guide is also an excellent short history of the battle.  Written before the Pfanz trilogy was complete, I did see some differences between the two, but that detracts little from the book. 



Last Chance for Victory  *****  By Scott Bowden and Bill Ward.  This is one of the best military history books I've ever read.  The authors analyze Lee's generalship and convincingly argue a number of controversial assertions.  Specifically - that it was impractical and improper to send troops from Virginia to relieve Vicksburg.  That Lee did not issue discretionary orders but rather orders with discretion that allowed the subordinate to decide how best to complete the task.  That Stuart's ride around the Union army was therefore against orders.  That it was originally intended as a ride THROUGH the Union army.  That Ewell's orders were also not discretionary, so he too disobeyed orders by not capturing the high ground.  That delays in Longstreet's deployment were reasonable and his performance on July 2nd was superb.  That a Confederate attack on July 3rd was the proper decision, but that the attack was not properly supported, and Longstreet's performance that day was poor.  Bowden's Napoleonic expertise is very useful regarding staff work.  Although many authors mention the problem, Bowden shows how Napoleon successfully used many times the number of staff officers that Civil War armies used, and he explains their functions.  The authors also explain the en echelon attack on the 2nd, and show that it succeeded in drawing Union troops toward the early targets of the attack, making the Union line vulnerable elsewhere.  They also show that the failure to extend the attack along the whole line resulted in the Confederate failure, and they explain who was responsible and why.  The opportunity on the 2nd was great as Meade's shifting of troops had completely denuded some sections of his line.  Although too much ink has obviously been spilled on this battle, you should not miss this book.      


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