Cambridge, Mass. July 3, 2013 -- It's the sesquicentennial of Pickett's charge at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 3, 1863.
Given the significant advantages enjoyed by the industrialized North, without a loss of resolve by the Union or significant foreign intervention on behalf of the South, the American Civil War was a "lost cause" for the Confederates from the outset. That the outnumbered and outgunned rebel soldiers earned early victories and thrust into Pennsylvania in 1863 owed significantly to superior military leadership.
Both Union and Confederate soldiers fought and sacrificed, but during the war's early years, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, Lt. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, and others simply outmaneuvered vastly stronger Federal forces.
Following failed attempts to break the Union army flanks at Gettysburg, it was, however, Lee's insistence on a charge designed to break the center of the Yankee lines that marked the beginning of the end for the Confederacy. <more>
Photo: Memorial Hall, Harvard University.©LMG Photo by K. Lee Lerner. All Rights Reserved.