Washington, D.C., was in a panic as 70,000 Confederate troops were marching toward it just 60 miles away. The furious fighting lasted three days. As Gen. Lee found his ammunition running low, he ordered Gen. Pickett to make a direct attack. After an hour of murderous fire and bloody hand-to-hand combat, the Confederates were pushed back and the Battle of Gettysburg ended this day, July 3, 1863, with over 50,000 casualties. President Lincoln confided: "When everyone seemed panic-stricken ... I went to my room ... and got down on my knees before Almighty God and prayed."