Midpoint of the War: May to July 1863

Gettysburg: The Third Day

Who were Pickett’s brigade commanders?

They were as interesting and diverse a group as one could expect. James Kemper was a Virginia politician, a former leader in the House of Delegates, who had left politics for the battlefield. Not as experienced as some of his fellows, he more than made up for this by his aggressive attitude. Richard Garnett was a dashing figure who chose to lead his men from the front. On July 3, he was mounted on a fine black horse. His fellow officers begged him to dismount, but he insisted on leading from the exposed position. The most colorful of all was Brigadier-General Lewis A. “Lo” Armistead. The nephew of the man who had commanded Fort McHenry, in the harbor at Baltimore, against the British, leading to the writing of the “Star-Spangled Banner,” Armistead had attended West Point and was a very good friend of Winfield Scott Hancock. Armistead knew that Hancock was on the other side; perhaps he did not know that Hancock actually commanded the Union center, where the Confederate blow would fall.


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