2 July 1863, second day of Gettysburg. Sickles has pulled his III Corps -- without orders -- off of Cemetery Ridge and positioned it a half mile in front of the rest of the Union lines. Longstreet smashes the hapless III Corps and its men are in full flight. Hancock rides back and forth inside the gaping hole left by Sickles. Below him, almost 2000 men of Wilcox's brigade are charging up the slope. They will gain a foothold on the ridge and be reinforced by Lee. As Longstreet pins down the Union left, Lee will roll up the center and right of the Northern army and chase them from the field. He will then march on and take Washington before turning north along the eastern seaboard. Lee will capture and burn Philadelphia and Boston in his March Along the Sea, chasing the Northern government from city to city until Lincoln finally sues for peace and the union is no more.
Suddenly, a line of blue-coated soldiers comes into Hancock's view. "My God, is this all the men here? Who are you?" "1st Minnesota, sir." "See those colors?", says Hancock, pointing at the flags of the oncoming Confederates, "Take them." [more inside]
posted by forrest
on Jul 2, 2008 -