Casualties During Pickett's Charge
This hand-drawn chart accounts for the casualties suffered by Armistead's brigade in Pickett's division of the Army of Northern Virginia after Pickett's Charge on July 3, 1863. Consisting of the 9th, 14th, 38th, 53rd, and 57th Virginia Infantry regiments, the brigade lost 1,191 soldiers, including its commander, Lewis A. Armistead. That number equals more than 60 percent of the brigade's strength and includes the colonel of the 14th (killed), the colonel of the 38th (killed), the colonel of the 53rd (wounded), and the colonel of the 57th (wounded).
The chart is attached to a longer report dated July 12 and written by that same wounded colonel of the 53rd, W. R. Aylett. He recounted how his brigade had moved "across the open field for more than half a mile" under heavy artillery fire "which rapidly thinned its ranks." Still, Armistead's men were able to reach the Union defenders, who were crouched behind a stone wall. After brief hand-to-hand fighting, the Confederates "were compelled to retire leaving more than two thirds of our bravest & best, killed or wounded on the field."
Colonel Aylett made special mention of his commanding officer, General Armistead. "Conspicuous to all, fifty yards in advance of his Brigade waving his hat upon his sword he led his men upon the enemy with a steady bearing which inspired all hearts with enthusiasm and courage and won the admiration of every beholder," Aylett wrote. "Far in advance of all he led the attack till he scaled the works of the enemy and fell wounded in their hands but not until he had driven from their position and seen his colors planted over their