At this hour 147 years ago today, 12,500 men were assembling for the assault meant to break the Union back at Gettysburg.
At 1 p.m. Confederate artillery fired the signal shot. The waves of gray moved forward on a hot afternoon.
They spied a copse of trees as their target. A few made it. The rest were either cut down or back to their own lines. Some 5,000 attackers killed or wounded. About 1,500 Union soldiers were casualties.
For the South, any chance of victory was gone. The Lost Cause was born.
I think of that long march across a Pennsylvania field every July 3. Those who died on either side are forever young.