previous next

[150] the Confederate attack crossed the stone walls and entered the defences—Wright's Georgians from the right centre, Hay's and Hoke's, under Colonel Avery, from the centre at the cemetery, bringing back some captured flags, and the Stonewall Brigade of Virginians from the left on Culp's hill. But in each case the spirited attacks were not supported, and the battle on the Confederate side was in detail and disconnected. Wright was not supported by brigades of Hill's command, that strangely, were not sent into battle. Early was not supported by Rodes', who, perhaps the finest division commander in Lee's army, was not ready, and Edward Johnson, on the left, found it impossible to move his whole command through and over the natural obstructions of Culp's hill in the face of the enemy.

The day was over, the day on which thousands on both sides gave their lives, willing sacrifices, for their convictions of right. It wrote in blood a victory for Longstreet's corps, and yet a defeat for General Lee. The extreme right, under General Law, held the Devil's Den, and at least the bases of the Round Tops. While the extreme left, under Johnson, held the crest of Culp's hill, almost in reach of the Baltimore road.

That night the Confederate forces were far from being a defeated army. They were in great spirits, and had the fervor of battle in high degree. Pickett, with three brigades, had arrived from the rear. Stuart, with his cavalry, had come up on the left, and the artillery was well up and in place. In the official report, General Lee says: ‘The result of this day's operations induced the belief that, with proper concert of action and with the increased support that the positions gained on the right, would enable the artillery to render the assaulting columns, we should ultimately succeed, and it was accordingly determined to continue the attack.’ The general plan was unchanged.

General Meade's council that night with his twelve generals was one of perplexity, and divided opinions. One of them says: ‘It was a gloomy hour.’ Twenty thousand men was the reported loss. But it was, at last, decided to remain one day and await Lee's assault. And during the night dispatches from Richmond to General Lee, which had been captured, were brought in. They relieved Meade's anxieties about Washington, and encouraged him to hold his ground.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Culp's Hill (Pennsylvania, United States) (3)
Baltimore, Md. (Maryland, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Fitzhugh Lee (5)
George Meade (2)
Edward Johnson (2)
John W. Wright (1)
Virginians (1)
J. E. B. Stuart (1)
Robert E. Rodes (1)
George E. Pickett (1)
James Longstreet (1)
Michael Hoke (1)
A. P. Hill (1)
Hay (1)
Avery (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: