I just watched ANOTHER show about Pickett's Charge. They basically came away with the theory that the rail fence lining the Emmittsburg road was the deciding factor in the entire battle. The Grey were doing OK until they hit this fence that they really didn't plan for. At the fence, they were now in range of the Blue rifles and as the Grey tried to climb over they were simply mowed down under tremendous Union fire. People have suggested that Pickett or any of the Grey should have realized the problem navigating the fence and sent soldiers to destroy it, or, at least, knock sections down. But again, that would have put them in range of the Union rifles and they probably would have been killed trying.
Also, it would have given away where the Grey were going to try and break thru. As the charge progressed, the Union didn't know where the Grey were heading for, so they just took their chances with the fence. it proved most costly.
Since we are on the subject, don't know if anyone has been to Gettysburg? We have done it twice and the area of Pickett's Charge is still basically the same as it was those 150 some years ago. Just a great place for all interested in the Civil War.
While visiting Gettysburg, we werew facinated with Little Round Top and what Chamberlain did there. Little Round Top was left unprotected and if the Grey ahd gained possession of it, yes indeed, the outcome would ahve been much different. In fact there would not have been a Pickett's Charge. Your Maine troop held their position and finally in a flash of genius, Chamberlain attacked the Grey coming up and routed them.
Don't know if you know this fact, but For his gallantry at Gettysburg, he was awarded the Medal of Honor. He was given the honor of commanding the Union troops at the surrender ceremony for the infantry of Robert E. Lee's Army at Appomattox