Midpoint of the War: May to July 1863

Gettysburg: The Third Day

What did Lee and Stuart agree upon?

This is difficult to answer because Lee gave verbal orders that day, not written ones. Given the actions that Stuart undertook, however, we can surmise that Lee hoped for a double attack on the Union center, with Pickett’s division attacking up the hill and Stuart’s cavalry coming behind the federal defenders. If it worked, this would be a classic double envelopment, but it was riskier than those which Lee, Stuart, and others had studied while at West Point. Double envelopment—which dated to Classical times—was meant for one army to completely wrap itself around another, but given the disparity in numbers, there was no chance that could happen at Gettysburg.


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