By July 3, 1863, the battle in and around the town of Gettysburg had been raging for two days. 

Casualties on both sides were high. After the Confederates had driven the Union out of the town on July 1, the Union occupied the high ground and withheld attacks on its right flank. July 2, was marked by intense fighting on the left flank as the Union troops defended Little Round Top.

The third day would see General Robert E. Lee and the Confederate troops, about 12,500 strong, assault across a mile of open terrain to the gently upslope position of the Union forces in the center.

The assault became known as Pickett’s Charge, although General George Pickett actually commanded just three of the 11 brigades involved in the charge.