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About 1 p.m. , at a given signal, a heavy cannonade was opened, and continued for about two hours with marked effect upon the enemy. His batteries replied vigorously at first, but toward the close their fire slackened perceptibly, and General Longstreet ordered forward the column of attack, consisting of Pickett’s and Heth’s divisions, in two lines, Pickett on the right. Wilcox’s brigade marched in rear of Pickett’s right, to guard that flank, and Heth’s was supported by Lane’s and Scales’ brigades, under General Trimble.

The troops moved steadily on, under a heavy fire of musketry and artillery, the main attack being directed against the enemy’s left center. — from report of General R.E. Lee of the Operations of the Army of Northern Virginia, January 1864

Photo, “Phil Dray (center) Decides Not to Charge,” by Brian Berger, April 2010

If Lee had won at Gettysburg in July 1863, Philip Dray might never have discussed his book Capitol Men with historian Peniel Joseph in 2008 (above).

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