The bloody massacre at Gettysburg
On Friday, July 3, 1863, a huge battle raged for the third day near the small town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. At two o’clock in the afternoon, General Longstreet sent three divisions of infantry into the attack to drive the Unionists off Cemetery Ridge and break the enemy front.
Of his mission he said, „I have been in all kinds of fighting, both among a few soldiers and among army corps, and I can say with perfect confidence that I never saw such a force of fifteen thousand as could have succeeded in this attack.“
In reality, the attacking divisions had only about 11,500 soldiers. The Southerners had to first descend into the valley and then attack uphill against a well dug-in enemy.
A poorly planned attack should not have been executed at all. The artillery caused the Southerners such casualties that they no longer had enough forces to successfully develop a strike. The Confederates lost 5,000 men and the fate of the Battle of Gettysburg was decided.