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Join us for the Grand Opening of our new exhibit Gettysburg: "They walked through blood." The exhibit will open at 10:00am on Saturday, May 11th and will be included with regular Museum admission.
Perhaps no event of the American Civil War has been romanticized and written about more than the last great charge by General Longstreet’s men on the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg. Historically referred to as “Pickett’s Charge,” this exhibit tells the story of the dramatic event primarily through the display of the battle flags carried by the units of Major General George Pickett’s Virginia Division. One eyewitness recalled the “war flags fluttering in the gentle summer breeze” as they marked the progress of the advancing Confederate soldiers across the one-mile no-man’s land separating the two armies. As the Southerners began the final surge against the stone wall crowning Cemetery Ridge, Northerners noted “the enemy with colors flying advancing in columns in mass” and braced themselves for the onslaught. When the charge was broken, Union soldiers gathered in “sheaves of battle flags”—testimony to the high cost of the charge. Thirteen of the fifteen battle flags carried by regiments in Pickett’s division were captured in the charge. All but one of the thirteen were given to the Museum of the Confederacy in 1905 when, by resolution of Congress, the United States War Department returned the captured Confederate flags to the southern states.