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There was a second part to the artillery scheme, as important as the preliminary softening-up phase. The movement against Cemetery Ridge would initially pass over rolling ground that offered sheltered swales where the men in the advancing lines of battle could duck the enemy fire and realign. Once they reached Emmitsburg Road, however, the men would be fully exposed to cannon fire and musketry at point-blank range.

Lee planned to advance as many batteries as possible with the infantry and have the guns drench the enemy positions with shells just prior to the final lunge. This, he expected, would suppress any Union cannons that managed to survive the opening bombardment and sufficiently cow the enemy infantry. The plan required that Alexander’s batteries be promptly resupplied after firing off their ready rounds during the opening bombardment, another matter left to Pendleton’s attention.

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