Skip to main content

July 3, 1863: Luddites and stone walls and Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg

Written By | Jul 4, 2020
Gettysburg, The Angle, Pickett's Charge, Stone Wall, Grant, Jackson

By JediKnyghte, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=73410871

WASHINGTON. Today, normal and well-adjusted Americans celebrate the founding of the greatest nation to grace God’s green Earth. In light of our country’s recent riotous upheavals, I prefer to remember July 3rd. On that day in 1863, Confederate Gen. George E. Pickett led a foolhardy charge against the center of the federal line on Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg.

Confederate Gen. George E. Pickett.

Pickett’s division, stretching a mile-and-a-half wide, marched three-quarters of a mile toward Union forces arrayed before them. Historians consider “Pickett’s Charge” the “highwater mark” of the Confederate rebellion against America’s founding.

Confederate Vice President Alexander Stevens mocked the conceit expressed by a House Republican that the South would ultimately “yield upon this subject of slavery, that it was impossible to war successfully against a principle, a principle founded in nature, the principle of the equality of men… that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics as it was in physics…”

The immovable stone wall of Natural Law

The kinetic energy of equality under natural law was unleashed in the form of rounds fired by 200 Union infantry that sprung up from behind a stone wall. Col. Dennis O’Kane of the 69th Pennsylvania told his men he “did not fear but that we would render an account of ourselves that day, that would bring upon us the plaudits of our country.”




Gettysburg, The Angle, Pickett's Charge, Stone Wall, Grant, Jackson, Lee, Pickett, Pickett's Charge

69th Pennsylvania Volunteers repulse Confederates at Gettysburg.

By stopping Pickett’s men at Gettysburg, the 69th Pennsylvania is remembered. And with that, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia slinked south across the Potomac River, detonating the bridges behind him.


Crispus Attucks: Black patriot and first casualty of the American Revolution

It was all downhill from there for the Confederacy. It also happened to be the 4th of July.

Gettysburg, The Angle, Pickett's Charge, Stone Wall, Grant, Jackson, Lee, Pickett, Pickett's Charge

Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

More than 2 million Americans joined Lincoln’s Grand Army of the Republic to breathe new life into Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration that “all Men are Created Equal.”

Mindless Luddites and monuments

Recently, statues of men like Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Col. Hans Christina Heg – who fought the Confederacy, with Heg having died in the struggle – were torn down by Luddites of the Black Lives Matter movement. A movement which appears to be comprised of many white, college-age females and the men who wish to impress them.

Gettysburg, The Angle, Pickett's Charge, Stone Wall, Grant, Jackson, Lee, Pickett, Pickett's Charge

Toppled statue of Ulysses S. Grant in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. CBS News screen capture.

The coming stone wall

To the casual observer, the indiscriminate destruction of property and monuments, accompanied by the disgusting deference shown the mindless perpetrators by spineless Democrat and Republican politicians alike, makes it seem as though the rioters are as invincible as Robert E. Lee… before Gettysburg.

But like Gen. Pickett’s division discovered on July 3rd 157 years ago, a line of resistance – as immovable as a stone wall, can pop up and ruin the mystique of your perceived inevitability.

And that day will come this November.

*****************************************************************************

Top Image: By JediKnyghte, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=73410871

Steven M. Lopez

Originally from Los Angeles, Steven M. Lopez has been in the news business for more than thirty years. He made his way around the country: Arizona, the Bay Area and now resides in South Florida.