Right after the failure of Pickett's charge Gen. Longstreet said the failure was due in part that the troops on their left(Pettigrew and Trimble's divisions) had collapsed quickly and didn't offer enough support. Over the years, the mostly NC troops of these divisions were blamed for the failure of Pickett's charge. I have read accounts of how badly Brockenbrough's brigade on the far left of Pettigrew's divison behaved and it was made up of all Virginians. I watched a Gettysburg park ranger video who said Brokenbrough's brigade came off late for the charge. And I have read that they didn't make it but half way across the field of attack before falling back. There are several reports from the NC troops and officers that Trimble's division did in fact stay on the field in battle after everyone else had retreated. Below are some quotes from that I found in reports from two NC regiments, the 18th and the 33rd, who were located on the far left of Gen. Lane's brigade in Trimble's division. First from the 18th NC-- "Having about half the distance to go Pickett reached musketry range before Pettigrew and was repulsed, whilst Pettigrew was advancing." "Each command broke the enemy at some point in its front, and Trimble's and Pettigrew's dead and wounded were found in the orchard beyond the stone fence, and at the stone fence, the height of a man's chin, eighty yards further in their front than the stone fence about 2 1/2 feet high, in front of Pickett's line." From the 33rd NC-- "The men reserved their fire in accordance with orders, until within good range of the enemy, and then opened with telling effect, repeatedly driving the cannoneers from their pieces, completely silencing the guns in our front and breaking the line of infantry which was formed on the crest of the hill. We advanced to within a few yards of the stone wall. Some of my right had gone over the fence, yelling furiously. My left, under Colonel Avery, was here very much exposed, and a column of infantry was thrown forward by the enemy in that direction which enfiladed my whole line. When I ordered Colonel Avery, in obedience to instructions from General Longstreet, to face to the left for the purpose of meeting the flanking column of the enemy, he replied : "My God, General, do you intend rushing your troops into such a place unsupported, when the whole right has given way?" I looked to the right and saw that it was as stated; no line of battle was any where visible on the right. Colonel Avery had already reached the fence and his men were firing and cheering. My brigade, I know, was the last to leave the field, and it did so by my order." "There can be no doubt that Pettigrew's old brigade and Archer's maintained the contest a short time after Davis had fled, but Lane and Scales continued to fight some time after Pettigrew and Archer had been swept from the field. Thus it is undisputable that Lane and Scales went to the front and stayed there some minutes firing and cheering, after Pettigrew and Pickett had entirely disappeared. In thus remaining on the field of battle and continuing the fight after all the other troops had retreated, they were exposed to a raking artillery fire on both flanks, and to a blinding, overwhelming artillery and musketry fire in front. In the language of General Trimble—a gallant old hero--we "maintained our ground after they (the other troops) had been driven back." "This account differs wholly from the statements made by General Trimble, General Lane, Colonel Avery, Major Saunders and Colonel Lowrance. Thus by the testimony of unimpeachable witnesses we prove that Trimble's men (Lane and Scales) went as far as or farther than any other troops engaged—that they were the last to leave thefield—that Trimble continued the contest, unaided, for some time after Pickett's and Pettigrew's men had been drivenfrom the field, exposed, all the while, to a crushing musketry and artillery fire on both flanks and in his front." "General Trimble, who commanded Lane's and Scales' Brigades on the third day, says : "We passed over the remnant of their line (Pettigrew's) and immediately after some one close by my left sung out, 'three cheers for the Old North State,' when both brigades (Scales' and Lanes') sent up a hearty shout, on which I said to my aid, "Charley, I believe those fine fellows are going into the enemy's line." My men (Lane's and Scales' Brigades) were the last to leave the field. This I know as I rode in the line between the two Brigades(Lane's and Scales') from the start down to the Emmettsburg road, passing over the wreck of Heth's Division (Pettigrew's). Before my line recoiled under a concentrated fire from my front and left, I looked to the right where Pickett's men had been seen to advance and beheld nothing but isolated and scattered remnants of that splendid line." I also read in one of the NC regimental battle reports(not sure if it was from 18th, 33rd or another) that some members of their regiment went back years after the battle and marked the location of their most advanced point, which was supposedly 40 yards beyond the "High Water Mark". But I can't find that information at this time but will post later when I find it. Here are the links where this info. came from: http://www.civilwarindex.com/armync/reghist/33rd_nc_infantry_reghist.pdf http://www.civilwarindex.com/armync/reghist/18th_nc_infantry_reghist.pdf So my question is, with all this being said, WHY did so many blame the NC troops for the failures? Is it just a case of wanting to lay blame on someone else?