2004 Civil War Institute

ON TO GETTYSBURG
June 18-21, 2004 

On to Gettysburg Page 4

2004 Pictures

The stakes could not be higher. Flush with victories at Fredericksburg in December 1862 and Chancellorsville in May 1863, the Army of Northern Virginia marched north across Maryland and into the lush farmlands of Pennsylvania. A military victory on Northern soil, the army’s commander Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee believed, could bring about Southern independence.

The army, in high spirits, foraged as it roamed widely but blindly across Pennsylvania. Lee waited for news from Gen. JEB Stuart, the "eyes and ears" of his army, on the whereabouts of the Union Army of the Potomac.

Join Shenandoah Valley Civil War Associates as it presents "On to Gettysburg" June 18-21, 2004 at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Historians and authors Jeffry Wert, Eric Wittenberg, John Heatwole and Nicholas Picerno will lead tours and discussions of key battlefield sites.

Commanded by Gen. George Meade, the Union army made forced marches into southern Pennsylvania. The movements isolated Stuart from Lee. Learning of the activity from a spy, Lee ordered his army to concentrate. The roads led a large portion of the Army of Northern Virginia to Gettysburg.

On July 1, Confederate infantry moving from the west to Gettysburg expecting only militia instead collided with Federal cavalry. More Confederates arrived from the north. But the Federal cavalry held their positions against great odds long enough for help to arrive. Even with reinforcements, the Federals found themselves outnumbered and sought refuge south of the town on Cemetery Hill.

A few hours of daylight remained when Lee ordered Gen. Richard Ewell to take Cemetery Hill, if practicable. Ewell, with reports of an unknown enemy force on his flank, did not attack.

Meade and Federal reinforcements arrived overnight. Meade extended his army. Union Gen. David Sickles and his Third Corps occupied the saddle between Cemetery Ridge and Little Round Top on July 2. Spying high ground at a peach orchard to his front. Sickles, without orders, moved his men forward to a new position.

Lee attacked late in the afternoon. The Southerners swept Sickles’ men but Union reinforcements kept Confederates from dislodging the Federals. Elsewhere, Southerners gained ground at Culp’s Hill as darkness engulfed the battlefield. Night also closed in on Confederates attacking up Cemetery Hill, where Southerners could not hold their gains.

Lee’s plan to break the Federal line remained the same on July 3. However, Federals pre-empted the Southern strategy with early morning attacks on Confederate positions on Culp’s Hill. The fighting played out two hours before Lee’s massed artillery began a two-hour barrage intended to disrupt Federal positions along Cemetery Ridge.

After the cannons stopped firing, Lee sent more than 10,000 men, including the fresh division of Gen. George Pickett, across nearly one mile of open ground under cannon and then small arms fire.

The attack briefly penetrated the Union line but the Southerners could not hold.

Farther east and behind Union lines, Stuart’s cavalry, who had arrived at Gettysburg too late the day before to be of use, could not shake Union cavalry in a slashing battle.

Lee lost his gamble in Pennsylvania. The war would go on for nearly two more years but the Confederate war effort would never get as far north again.

2004 Schedule

Friday, June 18

12:00 - 1:00   Check-In at Four Points by Sheraton
Chambersburg,1123 Lincoln Way East, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania (Lunch is not provided)
1:00 - 1:25   Welcome and Orientation to the Institute
1:30 - 2:45   “The Armies on the Eve of Battle” - John Heatwole
3:00 - 4:00   Book Signing sponsored by Butternut & Blue
4:00 - 6:00   Personal Time
6:00 - 8:00   Banquet followed by Eric Wittenberg’s address: “Stuart’s Ride Before Gettysburg. Who’s Really at Fault?”

Saturday, June 19

8:00       Depart from Four Points by Sheraton
9:00 - 11:30   Visit the Electric Map and the Cyclorama
11:30 - 12:00   Visit National Cemetary
12:00 - 1:00   Box Lunch
1:00 - 4:00   Tour of Day One of the Battle of Gettysburg led by Eric Wittenberg , Jeffry Wert and John Heatwole - Battle of McPherson Ridge; Confederate attack and Federal retreat;
Battle at the railroad cut; Defense of Seminary Ridge by Federals; Confederate attack and Federal defense of Cemetary Hill.
4:00 - 4:45   Return to Four Points by Sheraton
6:00 - 6:30   Return to Gettysburg
7:00 - 8:30   Dinner in Gettysburg
8:30 - 9:00   Return to Four Points by Sheraton

Sunday, June 20

8:15       Depart from Four Points by Sheraton
9:00 - 4:00   Tour of Day Two led by Jeffry Wert, Eric Wittenberg, and Nicholas Picerno: The Peach Orchard; the Wheatfield;
Little Round Top; East Cemetery Ridge. Box lunch on the battlefield.
4:00 - 4:45   Return to Four Points by Sheraton
4:45 - 6:00   Personal Time
6:15 - 8:00   Dinner at Pibby’s in Chambersburg

Monday, June 21

8:15       Depart from Four Points by Sheraton
9:00 - 4:30   Tour of Day Three led by Jeffry Wert and Eric Wittenberg: East Cavalry Battlefield and Culp’s Hill; walk the route of Pickett’s Charge from Seminary Ridge to Cemetery Hill. Note: Those who do not wish to walk may remain in the bus after a comprehensive presentation of the charge. Tour of “the Angle” led by Jeffry Wert and John Heatwole. Box lunch on the battlefield.
4:30 - 5:15   Return to Four Points by Sheraton
5:15 - 6:30   Personal Time
6:30 -    

Farewell Dinner in Chambersburg

 

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