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"General J. Johnston Pettigrew" presented by George Franks

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George Franks  
“General J. Johnston Pettigrew”

One of the last battles of the 1863 Gettysburg Campaign took place near Williamsport, Maryland, when Union cavalry attacked the Confederate rear guard at Falling Waters, named for a nearby small waterfall in the Potomac River. The swirling fighting took the life of CSA Brigadier General J. Johnston Pettigrew, who had led a significant portion of the troops which had assaulted the Union line on Cemetery Ridge during the Battle of Gettysburg (the celebrated Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble Assault popularly known as Pickett’s Charge).

However, most of Robert E. Lee’s Rebels managed to evacuate successfully across the Potomac River at Williamsport and Falling Waters, vexing President Abraham Lincoln who had hoped to destroy Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia before it could return to Virginia.

More than a decade ago, Civil War buff George F. Franks III, a Navy veteran and business consultant, purchased one of the historic properties on the old Falling Waters battlefield. He researched the battle extensively, became active in local preservation activities, and began writing a manuscript on the fight.

The book- Battle of Falling Waters 1863: Custer, Pettigrew and the End of the Gettysburg Campaign is a fascinating read.