After both Confederate and Union forces had brought in reinforcements in advance of what they knew would be a bloody day, sunlight arrived with evidence of the fact that the Union forces held all the high ground on Cemetery Ridge and that needed to change. Lee's plan was to attack both flanks of the Union Army and try and take the high ground on both sides while pushing the northern soldiers back in the center. And while he had initial success, General Meade rushed forward massive numbers of additional forces which Lee couldn't counter. One of his best divisions, that commanded by Major General George Pickett was still on his way and was unavailable. Lieutenant General Longstreet thought that a methodical attack with units of his First Corps upon the north flank would, yet he was surprised to find out how fast General Meade was able to reinforce areas that had heretofore looked empty. The battles along the both flanks of Cemetery Ridge were waged for hours, with contact in various locations lasting from early morning until dusk. In the end, however, Lee had not been able to hold his early gains and had to withdraw and regroup. Place names like Little Round Top and Devils Den, Battle of the Wheatfield and Battle of the Peach Orchard, plus Battle of Cemetery Hill became etched in military history. And in one rather unusual aspect of the battle, the victorious Union had more dead than the South, losing nearly nine thousand soldiers to Lee's six thousand five hundred.
The long struggle had been fought that day under extremely sweltering heat and both sides were exhausted and in need of rest, but spirits were high among the Union forces while Confederates were digging in and determined to reverse their fortunes the next day. The fighting stopped before dusk, excepting the occasional sniper shot from and to the Devil's Den as Confederate realized a ricochet round into that rock formation could just as easily cause a casualty as a well aimed shot. The fires would come alight, General Pickett and his men would open their new camp and get ready for the next day and men on both sides finally got some rest and food with guards vigilant through the night. As for General Lee, he realized that his losses were much more costly due to his limited ability to replace them and that General Pickett's division was the only one which would be fresh for the next day. He knew he had one more day's worth of work that his men performed and he called in his key generals, such as Longstreet, Ewell and Pickett, to discuss the best way to mount an offensive. And the bloody second day was at long last over.