Fourth of July
Pickett's Charge, which ended the 3 day battle of Gettysburg, with total defeat for the Southern States, broke the back of the South and changed America forever.
15,000 Southern men, 11,000 from Virginia attacked in single file marching across an open meadow from a mile away a Northern Union Army position with hundreds of cannon stationed there behind a stone wall, and thousands of Union soldiers waiting on the other side of the hill.
Southern General Lee had a dream the evening before in which the hopeless attack would succeed, so in the morning he ordered it. Southern General Pickett was picked and ordered to command the charge.
In the middle of the field was a wooden picket fence which the attackers had to climb to pass. At that spot the cannon (many per-zeroed in on that fence) feasted. Everything from explosive shells to grapeshot and long chains were fired by the cannon, but the lines of men continued to come forward until soon a pile of corpses at the fence line also had to be climbed as shells fell around them. Amazingly some Southern soldiers actually made it to the stone wall only to suddenly meet the combined fire of the thousands of soldiers who had been laying down behind it while the cannons had their lunch. Very few Southern soldiers made it back to the Southern lines.
After the battle General Lee ordered General Pickett to rally his Division to prepare for a counter attack. General Pickett (who had just ordered many of his best friends be slaughtered) looked up from where he had been sitting alongside a tree and with tears streaming down his face replied, "Sir, I have no Division."