In 1863, at the Battle of Gettysburg, July 3rd (today) was the day of the final battle involving what became known as Pickett’s Charge. The farthest point reached by this courageous and daring attack on Union forces on Cemetery Ridge has been referred to as the “high water mark of the Confederacy,” because it may have been the closest point the South came to victory. Nevertheless, it was ultimately unsuccessful and became a turning point in the war.
I’m thinking about Gettysburg today, because yesterday I drove to work in Virginia on a road named after Brig. General Lewis Armistead who was fatally wounded in the battle. I didn’t know who he was yesterday or any of the many other times I drove his namesake road. I also didn’t know about the many senior officers who, with swords drawn, rode their horses into certain death that day, or the many thousands from both sides who faced the storm of smoke and metal and blood without flinching, and perished. I will try to remember them next time.