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On Friday, July 3, about 4:30 a.m., Lee's timetable was undermined as Union cannons pounded the Rebels on Culp's Hill to drive them from the trenches. The Rebels did not withdraw, but instead attacked the Federals around 8 a.m. Thus began a vicious three hour struggle with the Rebels charging time after time up the hill only to be beaten back. The Federals finally counter attacked and drove the Rebels off the hill and east across Rock Creek. Around 11 a.m. the fighting on Culp's Hill stopped.
Back at the main battle site, just after 1 p.m. about 170 Confederate cannons opened fire on the Union position on Cemetery Ridge to pave the way for the Rebel charge. This was the heaviest artillery barrage of the war but many of the Rebel shells missed their targets and flew harmlessly overhead.
I am sorry i believed we were unstoppable
As they got very close, the Rebels stopped and fired their rifles once at the Federals then lowered their bayonets and commenced a running charge while screaming the Rebel yell. The outnumbered Rebels finally began to give way and this great human wave that had been Pickett's Charge began to recede as the men drifted back down the slope. The supreme effort of Lee's army had been beaten back, leaving 7,500 of his men lying on the field of battle.
Confederate causalities in dead, wounded and missing were 28,000 out of 75,000. Union casualties were 23,000 out of 88,000.
Lee rode out and met the survivors, telling them, "It is all my fault."
Lee was forced to abandon his dead and begin a long slow withdrawal of his army back to Virginia.
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