"Sherman, set the Wayback to July 3, 1863." "Right away Dr Peabody." Three miles to the east of the Union lines, and shortly before Pickett's lurch toward immortality, we find the humbled JEB Stuart in a potentially very powerful position. One from which he might distract Union reserves, scatter the supply wagons in the Union rear, or quite possibly come up the rear of Cemetery Ridge in force as Pickett's soldiers assault the front. It might have been any of these, or even something else. But something happened. Buford happened. Specifically, one of Buford's subordinates, a man who would till his own half acre of legend several years later happened: Custer happened. Twice that day Custer charged into the middle of Stuart's troopers; twice that day Custer had a horse shot out from under him. Whatever might later be said about his methods, this day it worked. Stuart was stopped cold and was unable to work any magic in the Union backfield. My question: Was the Stuart/Custer encounter instrumental in the failure of Pickett's charge, or was it merely a sideshow to the big show (apologies to S. Watkins)?