This Week in the Civil War - 603
On the last day of June 1863, in Pennsylvania Robert E. Lee, determined to confront the Union army at Cashtown, moved toward that objective. Lee ordered his corps commanders not to engage the enemy until all elements of his army, including Jeb Stuart’s cavalry, could be assembled.
Legend has it that Confederate General Henry Heth’s troops were short of shoes, and he learned that a storehouse of shoes existed in nearby Gettysburg. Heth ordered two brigades of Confederate infantry to Gettysburg on the following morning; when Union cavalry met these Confederates four miles outside of Gettysburg, the greatest battle of the Civil War ensued.
Did Heth cause Gettysburg to happen? Since Jubal Early’s Confederates had occupied Gettysburg days earlier, what were the chances that any alleged shoe supplies remained there?