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 corps emerged in grand columns from the wooded crest of Seminary Ridge under the command of General Pickett on the right and General Pettigrew on the left. Longstreet had planned the attack with a view to passing around Round Top, and gaining it by flank and reverse attack, but Lee, when he came upon the scene a few moments after the final orders had been given, directed the advance to be made straight toward the Federal main position on Cemetery Ridge. The charge was one of the most daring in warfare. The distance to the Federal lines was a mile. For half the distance the troops marched gayly, with flying banners and glittering bayonets. Then came the burst of Federal cannon, and the Confederate ranks were torn with exploding shells. Pettigrew's columns began to waver, but the lines reformed and marched on. When they came within musket-range, Hancock's infantry opened a terrific fire, but the valiant band only quickened its pace and returned the fire with volley after volley. Pettigrew's troops succumbed to the storm. For now the lines in blue were fast converging. Federal troops from all parts of the line now rushed to the aid of those in front of Pickett. The batteries which had been sending shell and solid shot changed their ammunition, and double charges of grape and canister were hurled into the column as it bravely pressed into the sea of flame. The Confederates came close to the Federal lines and paused to close their ranks. Each moment the fury of the storm from the Federal guns increased. “ Forward,” again rang the command along the line of the Confederate front, and the Southerners dashed on. The first line of the Federals was driven back. A stone wall behind them gave protection to the next Federal force. Pickett's men rushed upon it. Riflemen rose from behind and hurled a death-dealing volley into the Confederate ranks. A defiant cheer answered the volley, and the Southerners placed their battle-flags on the ramparts. General Armistead grasped the flag from the hand of a falling bearer, and leaped upon the
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