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. This Museum of the Confederacy exhibit tells the story of the dramatic event, historically referred to as "Pickett's Charge," 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. Eight of those captured flags are displayed in this exhibit. The exhibit also features personal artifacts of soldiers who took part in the charge and remembrances of the battle.