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Retracing Pickett's Charge In Gettysburg 150 Years Later

5:28 PM, Jul 3, 2013   |    comments
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GETTYSBURG NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD, Pa. (WUSA9) -- Thousands of people are streaming home from Gettysburg tonight after commemorating 150th anniversary of the bloodiest battle in American history.

Today was the day of Pickett's Charge, and the South's defeat.

It shapes who we are as Americans today.

There was a moment in American history when we disagreed on that fundamental proposition that all of us are created equal. Pickett's Charge was the turning point for freedom.

The Confederate forces stepped out of the woods at about 2 p.m., marching through open fields for almost a mile under fearsome enfilading fire. They took enormous casualties, about half of them were killed or wounded. 

A handful made it over a low stone wall into the Union lines, but they were soon repulsed. It was the high water mark for the Confederacy.

If not for his defeat here, Lee might have marched on to Philadelphia, or Washington.  He might have broken the North -- and we might be a very different nation today.

Today, instead of fighting, re-en-actors shook hands at the wall, all Americans now, in Lincoln's words, united in the proposition that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.


 

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