While the fighting resumed on Culp’s Hill early in the morning, General Lee came up with his strategy for the day’s action.
Originally, he wanted to repeat the attacks on the left and right from yesterday, hoping that more ground could be gained this time. Lt. General Longstreet convinced him that the Union left was well-situated on the ridges south of town. Lee changed his strategy – he would launch an attack that would become famous against the center of the Union line, and his cavalry would have a part to play this time.
The Confederate artillery would break up the Union defenses, the infantry would push the Yankees off Cemetery Ridge, and the cavalry would be waiting to mop up the remains.
J.E.B. Stuart was to go around the Union right, probing for the rear of the enemy. Once he found it, he should signal General Lee to let him know that the cavalry was in position.
150 years ago right now, four cannons fired off on Cress Ridge near the Rummel Farm – one blast in each compass direction. This was the signal. Unfortunately for Maj. General Stuart, his commander wasn’t the only person to hear it.