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July 3rd, 1863 AD (search for this): chapter 13
taken them off in wagons, before their supports could have reached them. Amid the fire and smoke of this false move these troops did not know some one had blundered, but had a right to feel that the movement had been well considered, and ordered because it had elements of success. But there was no chance to write victory upon their fluttering flags. The pages of history which record the magnificent exhibition of human courage drip with the useless sacrifice of blood. At 1 P. M. on July 3, 1863, two signal guns were fired by the Washington Artillery, and instantly the brazen throats of nearly one hundred and fifty cannon barked defiance at the grim, blue battle line in the distance. Two hours before, Colonel E. P. Alexander, of Longstreet's artillery, reported he was ready to open fire. Seventy-five guns were in position from the peach orchard on the right to the woods on the left, where the Third Corps rested, and near by, the other corps had as many more, under R. L. Walker.
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