The Soul of Lee, by Randolph H. McKim, Appendix

The Soul of Lee


The Gettysburg Campaign

Parts of an Article in the “Southern Historical Society Papers,” January, 1915


On the 12th of June, 1863, Gen, Joe Hooker with his great host of 130,000 men, lay encamped on the Stafford Heights, on the Rappahannock River, opposite Fredericksburg, within sixty miles of the Capital of the Southern Confederacy.

Two weeks later this splendid army under its gallant leader is on Pennsylvania soil marching north to intercept Lee’s army, which is moving on Harrisonburg on the Susquehanna River.

Richmond has been relieved: scarcely a Federal soldier remains upon the soil of Virginia; and the burden of war has been transferred from that battle-worn State to the shoulders of the State of Pennsylvania.

It is Washington now, not Richmond, which is threatened! Here surely is a great military achievement—and it has been accomplished without fighting a pitched battle, in fact, with insignificant loss to the forces of the Confederate chieftain.

In studying the Gettysburg campaign I ask you to note this splendid result of Lee’s masterful strategy—the great army of Gen. Hooker drawn a hundred and thirty miles north, dear out of Virginia and across the State of Maryland into Pennsylvania,—by the sheer force of strategy.

Observe then that in the primary purpose of this campaign, the relief of Virginia from the presence of war, Lee was successful.

I cannot proceed to the story of the battle itself without calling your attention to an important feature of Lee’s plan of campaign which is apt to be overlooked. I mean his purpose that Gen. Beauregard should be ordered to Culpeper Courthouse. Va., in order to threaten Washington while Gen, Lee himself was marching into Pennsylvania. He believed that an army at that point “even in effigy,” as he expressed it, under so famous a leader, would have the effect of retaining a large force for the defence of the capital, and diminishing by so much the strength of the army which would oppose him in Pennsylvania. The government at Richmond, however, was unwilling, or felt itself unable, to carry out this part of Lee’s plan, though we now know there were certain brigades which were available for the purpose.

We touch here a fact of moment in forming an estimate of the military capacity of Gen. Lee: I mean that he was never in supreme command of the Confederate armies until a few weeks before the close of the war, when it was too late. Field Marshal Lord Wolseley remarks that for this reason we can never accurately estimate the full measure of Lee’s military genius.


I come now to consider the second stage of the Gettysburg campaign, the actual invasion of Pennsylvania.

Seldom has an army entered upon a campaign under more hopeful auspices. The victories of Fredericksburg, December, 1862, and of Chancellorsvi1Ie the following May, had inspired the Army of Northern Virginia with confidence in itself and with renewed faith in the genius of its great commander. It had been strengthened by the return of the two divisions of Longstreet’s corps. It had been skilfully reorganized. In a word, it was the finest army Lee had ever commanded, although not the largest; better equipped and armed than ever before; thoroughly disciplined. The organization of the Confederate artillery has been pronounced by distinguished Federal authorities “almost ideal”; although it was far inferior in number of pieces and weight of metal to the artillery of the Union Army. Col. Fiebeger, Professor of Engineering at the U.S. Military Academy, says: “If the differences of the two armies are fairly weighed, the chances of success in the campaign about to be opened, were in favor of Gen. Lee, notwithstanding his numerical inferiority.” Gen, Long. of Gen. Lee’s staff, says: “The Army of Northern Virginia appeared the best disciplined, the most high-spirited and most enthusiastic army on the continent. The successful campaign which this army had recently passed through, inspired it with almost invincible ardor.”

Again, he says: “Everything seemed to promise success and the joyful animation with which the men marched north after the movement actually began, and the destination of the army was communicated to them, appeared a true presage of victory.”

Gen. Lee himself said: “Never was there such an army; it will go anywhere and do anything if properly led.” Upon which Chas. Francis Adams remarks: “This is not an exaggerated statement, I do not believe any more formidable or better organized force was ever set in motion than that which Lee led across the Potomac in 1863. It was essentially an army of fighters, and could be depended upon for any feat of arms in the power of mere mortals to accomplish; they would blench at no danger.”

Nevertheless, in spite of these favorable auspices the campaign did not achieve victory. Why then did it fail? If any experienced soldier had been able to look down from a balloon, or an aeroplane, upon the advancing columns of Lee’s army after they had crossed the Potomac, and were moving northward toward the Susquehanna, the reason of the ultimate failure of the campaign would at once have suggested itself. He would have said,—“where is the cavalry that should be marching on the right flank of the army?” And had he. a few days later, turned his eyes eastward and seen Stuart with his 5000 horsemen marching through Maryland on the right flank of the Federal Army, entirely severed from communication with the Confederate Army, he could not but have been greatly astonished.

Lee’s campaign in the opinion of the best European and American critics suffered from a fundamental error—the absence of the larger part of his cavalry with their skilful and intrepid leader, Gen, J. E. B. Stuart.

Major Steele, in his American Campaigns, says (p. 362): “Never did Lee so much need ‘the eyes of his army’ that were now wandering on. a fool’s errand, Without his cavalry, his army was groping in the dark; he was in the enemy’s country and could get no information from the people. He did not know where Meade’s army was. All he could do was to concentrate his forces and be ready for a blow on either side.”

Gen, Lee’s own opinion on the subject is recorded by Gen. Long in his Memoirs (p. 275): “Gen, Lee now exhibited a degree of anxiety and impatience, and expressed regret at the absence of his cavalry. He said that he had been kept in the dark ever since crossing the Potomac, and intimated that Stuart’s disappearance had materially hampered the movement, and disorganized the campaign.”

Here then we have a sufficient reason for the failure of the Gettysburg campaign which had begun so auspiciously: The major part of Lee’s cavalry did him no service whatever during the first reek of the invasion.

But why was it absent? Was Gen, Lee ignorant of the importance of using his cavalry in screening his front, in reconnoitering, and securing information of the movements of the enemy? Such a supposition is absurd. On the other hand, knowing, and realizing as he must have done, the great importance of this use of his cavalry, did he fail to give his chief of cavalry the necessary orders to fulfil this function?

In other words, was Gen. Lee responsible for this fundamental, mistake in his campaign? was it his intention to be separated from the bulk of his cavalry in his advance into Pennsylvania? To answer this question I direct your attention to the instructions given by Gen. Lee to Gen. Stuart. He wrote Gen. Ewell that he had instructed Gen. Stuart to “march with three brigades across the Potomac and place himself on your right and in communication with you; keep you advised of the movements of the enemy and assist in collecting supplies for the army.” To Gen. Stuart himself Gen. Lee wrote, June 22: “You can move with the other three brigades into Maryland and take position on Ewell’s right (Ewell was to march northward June 23d), place yourself in communication with him, guard his flank, keep him informed of the enemy’s movements, and collect all the supplies you can for the use of the army. One column of Ewell’s army will probably move towards the Susquehanna by the Emmitsburg route, another by Chambersburg.”

This order was repeated in a letter to Gen. Stuart dated June 23d.


I turn now to the movements of the infantry of Lee’s army. Ewell’s corps moved northward from Hagerstown on the 23d of June; taking up the line of march for Chambersburg, and Carlisle, with Harrisburg as its objective. It reached Carlisle June 27th. Hill’s corps crossed the Potomac on the 24th of June, and marched through Hagerstown and Chambersburg to Fayetteville, where it arrived June 27th. Longstreet crossed the Potomac on the 25th and 26th of June, and reached Chambersburg on the 27th.

Here let me call attention to Gen. Lee’s Order No. 73, in which he charged his soldiers not to molest private property. “The duties exacted of us,” said he, “by civilization and Christianity are not less obligatory in the country of the enemy than in our own, The commanding general considers that no greater disgrace could befall the army and through it our whole people than the perpetration of the barbarous outrages upon the innocent and defenceless, and the wanton destruction of private property, that have marked the course of the enemy in our own country. . . . We make war on armed men and we cannot take vengeance for the wrongs our people have suffered, without lowering ourselves in the eyes of all whose abhorrence has been excited by the atrocities of the enemy, and offending against Him to whom vengeance belongeth.”

This order of their noble commander was strictly obeyed by the soldiers of the Confederate Army. Again and again in this Pennsylvania campaign the citizens told us that we treated them far better than their own soldiers did. I can truly say I did not see a fence rail burned between Hagerstown and Gettysburg. What a contrast was presented in this respect to the armies of Napoleon of whom the historian says! describing one of the campaigns; “The Emperor’s Army soon took to plundering the country wholesale, considering the vanquished as having no rights worth mentioning.” Commenting on this, Count von Wartenburg says, Napoleon “could only reach his highest aims by demanding enormous efforts, and could exact this only by fanning all the passions of his soldiers, and permitting them to satisfy them. He could only conquer the world by abandoning its constituent parts to his instrument as their booty.”[2]

What a sublime contrast to all this is presented by this Southern army of invasion! They performed deeds of arms equal to any achieved by the armies of Napoleon; they made marches as long, as arduous, and as rapid as any that his soldiers made; they endured hardships far greater than any endured by his army, But they did and endured all these things, not because their commander fanned the passions of his soldiers, and permitted them to satisfy these passions by abandoning the country and the people to plunder; but because of the pure spirit of patriotism that burned in their breasts. Where indeed in all the records of history shall we find an army that endured what Lee’s Army endured, and achieved what it achieved, without reward, save the pitiful pay of $11 Confederate money a month! It is when we contemplate these things that we realize how sublime was the spirit of devotion that animated the private soldiers of the Confederacy.

I have already said that Ewell’s objective was the city of Harrisburg. Indeed this was the objective of the whole army. Both Gen. Early, marching through York, and Gen, Hill, crossing the South Mountain and passing through Cashtown, were instructed to cross the Susquehanna and move upon Harrisburg. Up to the evening of the 28th of June, the orders issued by Gen. Lee contemplated the concentration of his whole army at or near Harrisburg, but late that evening intelligence was brought which gave him his first information that Hooker had crossed the Potomac; that he had subsequently been relieved of the command of the Army of the Potomac by Gen. Meade; and that that officer, with his whole army, was marching rapidly northward. This occasioned a complete change in Lee’s campaign. Orders were at once issued to Gen. Ewell at Carlisle to march southward and by him to Early at York to retrace his steps, marching southwest. The whole army was now to concentrate at or near Cashtown, which is on the eastern breast of the great South Mountain, eight miles west of Gettysburg. Here Lee hoped in a very advantageous position to fight a defensive battle. His three corps under Ewell, Hill and Longstreet were rapidly concentrating at the chosen point.


Let us now point out that the battle of Gettysburg was begun on the 1st of July without orders from Gen, Lee, and without his knowledge, and when, in fact, he was himself far away from the field. We have a letter of his dated Greenwood (about 9 miles west of Cashtown, and 17 miles west of Gettysburg), July 1st, 7:30 A.M., in which he gives certain directions to Gen. Imboden, then at Chambersburg; and adds, “my headquarters for the present will be at Cashtown.” At that very moment Lieut.-Gen. Hill was marching, without orders and on his own responsibility, from Cashtown to Gettysburg with his two leading divisions, under Heth and Pender, and his artillery. Thus Gen. Lee’s purpose to fight a defensive battle, and to fight it at Cashtown, was frustrated by the unauthorized action of the commander of one of his corps.

Gen, Ewell, marching south from Carlisle for Cashtown, heard the noise of the battle, and turning the head of his column in that direction, came to Gen. Hill’s assistance just in time to avert a serious disaster. Soon afterward Gen. Early, marching westward from York, came upon the ground, and threw his division promptly into action. Thus a gr[e]at battle was joined, without orders, in which about 50,000 men were engaged; about half on the Confederate side and half on the Union side.[3]

Gen, Lee and his staff, says Gen. Long, were ascending South Mountain on their way from Greenwood to Cashtown, when firing was heard in the direct[i]on of Gettysburg. This caused Gen. Lee some uneasiness; he first thought that the firing indicated a cavalry affair of minor importance, but by the time Cashtown had been reached the sound had become heavy and continuous and indicated a severe engagement.

This statement is confirmed by Gen. Pendleton.

I wish to emphasize the fact already stated that Gen. Hill’s advance to Gettysburg on the early morning of July 1st was made entirely upon his own responsibility.

I will not enter upon a description of the battle of July 1st except to say that it opened unfavorably for Gen. Hill, in the defeat of the brigades of Archer and Davis of Heth’s division. Gen. Archer with a large part of his brigade was captured. By the timely arrival of Rodes’ division of Ewell’s corps about 2 P.M. and subsequently of Early’s division, the tide of battle was turned and the Confederates were victorious along the whole line, Fifty thousand men had been engaged in the battle—about equally divided between the contestants. For six hours the battle raged—in the morning favorably to the Federals, but, as already stated, victory ultimately perched upon the Confederate banners; 5000 prisoners were captured, including two general officers, not counting the wounded, and three pieces of artillery. Gen. Reynolds, esteemed the ablest commander in the Union Army, was killed. The Confederate victory was complete, but nothing like as complete as it would have been had a brigade of Stuart’s cavalry been present to reap the fruits of victory. As Capt. Battine says: “The want of 1000 lancers lost the Confederates the chance of destroying two Federal corps and capturing all their guns.”

And now occurred a disastrous blunder. The victorious Confederates were ordered to halt.

Let me here transcribe the account given by Gen. Gordon himself, who says “the whole of that portion of the Union Army in my front was in inextricable confusion, and in flight. . . . The fire upon my men had almost ceased, large bodies of the Union troops were throwing down their arms and surrendering, because in disorganized and confused masses they were wholly powerless to either check the movement or return the firing. As far down the line as my eye could reach the Union troops were in retreat . . . in less than half an hour my troops would have swept up and over those hills, the possession of which was of such important and momentous consequence. It is not surprising that with the full realization of the consequences of a halt I should have refused at first to obey the order. Not until the third or fourth order of the most peremptory character reached me did I obey.”[4]

Gen. Lee, as I have already stated, did not arrive upon the field until the battle was nearly over. Gen. Long says: “Near the close of the action Gen. Lee reached the field.” I myself saw him when he arrived, and watched him while he swept the horizon with his glass. He promptly sent one of his staff, Col. Walter Taylor, to Gen. Ewell, saying that from the position which he occupied he could see the enemy retreating over those hills, without organization and in great confusion; that it was only necessary to press those people in order to secure possession of those heights, and if possible he wished him to do this. Col. Taylor says: “Gen. Ewell did not express any objection, but left the impression upon my mind that the order conveyed to him would be executed.”[5]

It was then between 3 and 4 o’clock in the afternoon. At least three hours of daylight remained during which Ewell could have executed Gen. Lee’s order. He did not execute it, however, although earnestly solicited to do so by Gen. Early, Gen. Gordon and Gen. Trimble. The last named officer was most urgent. “Give me a division,” said he, “and I will engage to take that hill.” When this was declined he said: “Give me a brigade and I will do it.” When this, too, was declined he said: “Give me a good regiment and I will engage to take that hill.” When this was declined the gallant Trimble threw down his sword and left Gen. Ewell’s headquarters, saying that he would not serve longer under such an officer! He could do this because he had no command, and was acting as a volunteer aid. He participated gallantly in the great charge on the third day of the battle, in command of Fender’s division, and was severely wounded and captured.

Here then we find still another of Gen, Lee’s lieutenants, the gallant and usually energetic Ewell, failing at a critical moment to recognize what ought to be done; failing also to carry out the suggestion and conditional order of Gen. Lee himself, although urgently solicited to do so by three of his subordinate generals. Had the advance upon Cemetery Hill been pushed forward promptly that afternoon we now know beyond any possible question that the hill was feebly occupied, and could have been easily taken, and thus Meade would have been compelled to retreat to the line of Pipe’s Creek, or else would have been disastrously defeated. Gen. Gordon, in his Reminiscences, tells us that his heart was so burdened by the mistake of that afternoon that he was unable to sleep.

Was it not, indeed, extraordinary blindness to wait at the foot of Cemetery hill for 24 hours while the Federal troops were making their lines impregnable before the Confederate forces were led to the attack? Here then we have to record the failure of still another of General Lee’s lieutenants, a fine and gallant soldier. No wonder Colonel McIntosh exclaims it in his account of the battle, “A greater military blunder was never committed.”


The first of the three days’ battle of Gettysburg had ended in a brilliant success for the Confederates; but it was a costly victory, for it compelled Gen, Lee to accept the alternative of retreating or fighting; fighting on a field where the Federals had every advantage of position; where they must be assaulted at a great disadvantage whether on the right, or the left flank, or in the center. Whoever has visited the field will recognize the great difficulty of a concerted attack by the forces of Lee, and will also recognize that when Meade was attacked on one side of his line he could hurry troops easily and quickly from another part to its succor, because his position was like a horseshoe, or rather like a fishhook, and he held the interior line. And yet in my opinion Gen. Lee’s decision to attack the Federal Army the next day was justified by the situation at nightfall of July 1st.

The enemy, to the number of about 25,000, had been defeated with great loss and driven from the field in great disorder; 5000 prisoners had been taken including several general officers; one corps had been almost annihilated, the finest officer in the Union Army had been killed. Lee’s army was well concentrated, Longstreet’s corps, except Pickett’s division having bivouacked within four miles of Gettysburg; whereas a large part of the Federa1 Amy was still far from the field (and Lee knew it). Moreover the key of the position, Little Round Top, was within Lee’s grasp, if at least he might count on his orders being obeyed. Gen. Lee could not foresee that the first corps, then four mites from the field, would not be launched against Little Round Top until 4 P.M. next day, though two of its divisions were in position for attack at sunrise.

A conference was held that evening between Lee and his principal commanders on the left flank, at which it was decided that Longstreet should commence the battle the next day by a forward movement, having as its object the seizing of the commanding position on the enemy’s left.

Gen. Early states that he left the conference with the distinct understanding (in which Ewell and Rodes agreed) that Longstreet should make the attack early next morning. Gen, Pendleton, chief of artillery, is on record as saying that Lee told him that night that he had ordered Longstreet to attack at sunrise. Hill, in his official report, says: “Gen. Longstreet was to attack the flank of the enemy and sweep down his line.” A great deal of controversy has arisen upon this point, but the evidence given by a number of officers of high standing is so strong, that it is impossible to resist the conclusion that Longstreet was instructed to make his attack early in the morning. He himself, in his report, acknowledges that he was directed to attack “as early as practicable”; but he excused himself from doing so by saying that “he did not wish to go into battle with one boot off,” referring to the fact that one of his divisions (Pickett’s) had not arrived on the field.

Gen. Long says that on the evening of July 1st, Lee said to Longstreet and Hill: “Gentlemen, we will attack the enemy in the morning as early as practicable.” That Lee himself expected the attack to be made early is certain; he was on the ground at daybreak July 2d, and showed some impatience at Longstreet’s failure to attack, saying to one of his officers: “Longstreet is so slow.” Capt. Poague, of the artillery, in a letter addressed to Mr. Thomas Nelson Page, says that “at 9 A.M., southwest of Big Round Top, I ran across Gen. Lee riding through the woods. He said: ‘Have you seen Gen. Longstreet or any of his troops in this neighborhood?’ and expressed impatience and disappointment, adding: ‘I wonder where Longstreet can be’.” Conclusive proof that Longstreet knew he was expected to attack at an early hour is found in the fact that both Hood and McLaws moved at daybreak and were in position to attack at sunrise.

As to the prospects of success had an attack been made early, the English military critic already referred to, Capt. Battine, says: “There can be no doubt that the opportunity was the brightest the Confederates had made for themselves since they let McClellan escape from the banks of the Chickahominy.” “One-third of the Federal Amy had been severely defeated; the remainder were concentrating with difficulty, by forced marches; a prompt employment of all his available forces would have placed victory within Lee’s grasp. The resolution to attack was therefore sound and wise; the failure lay not in the plan but in the faults of execution which were caused to some extent by the want of sympathetic cooperation by the corps commanders.”

Col. Henderson says that at daylight of July 2d there were no more than 40,000 men present on the Union front, and that the Confederate attack should have been made at that hour, Only four of the seven corps of Meade’s army were present and two of them had been roughly handled the day before. By eight o’clock two more had come up, making in all some 55,000 men. Longstreet’s course must be pronounced inexplicable and inexcusable. Instead of cheerfully cooperating with the plan of his great leader, he undertook to argue the question; and Henderson says Lee lost the battle of Gettysburg because he allowed his second in command to argue instead of marching! The statement of Col. Henderson is confirmed by Major Steele in his well-known work on American campaigns. He says (p. 373), that at 7 A.M. the 6th Corps, and one-third of the 3d, and one-third of the 5th Corps were absent; at 9 A.M. the rest of the 3d Corps arrived; at 12 M. the rest of the 5th Corps; at 10:30. A.M. the artillery reserves under Hunt came up; not until between 4 and 6 P.M. did the 6th Corps come up, after a continuous march of 34 miles. He also says that Buford’s Cavalry had been ordered to Westminster, and thus the left of the fine was left uncovered. Longstreet’s attack was not made until 4 P.M.,—although his troops began to move about 2 o’clock. Thus his attack was delayed until the whole Federal Army had arrived upon the ground and the golden opportunity of winning a great victory was lost.

There is, however, one feature of the drama on that fatefu1 morning of July 2d which baffles all attempts at explanation, Gen. Lee knew, through prisoners (Hist. Papers, 1877, vol. IV, p. 268), that only a portion of the Federal Army occupied the opposite ridge. “It is clear,” says Henderson, “that an opportunity presented itself of dealing with the enemy in detail; and the meanest capacity must have grasped the advantage of storming the strong position south of Gettysburg before it should be occupied in overwhelming strength.”

Yet he allowed Longstreet to argue against the assault, instead of making an immediate attack. That officer says “he went to Lee at daybreak, and renewed his view against making the attack. He seemed resolved, however.”

But the thing that baffles us is this: Why did not Lee give Longstreet then absolute orders to advance to the attack? Hood and McLaws, with their splendid divisions, were in position at sunrise. Why did not Gen. Lee, knowing that every hour of delay was lessening the hope of success, launch those troops to the assault at once, in spite of Longstreet’s objection?

It would seem that the mind of the great commander wavered, for he mounted his horse and rode over to confer with Ewell, on the left, to see if a successful attack could be made from that side, “not wishing,” says Gen. Fitz Lee, “to drive his right corps commander into battle when he did not want to go.” (p. 278.)

What a moment of fate it was! Gen. McLaws, sitting on his horse, could see the enemy coming, hour after hour, on to the battlefield. And he was convinced that if permitted to advance “his command could reach the point indicated by Gen. Lee in half an hour.” ”[6]

Major Steele tells us the location of Meade’s five corps at 7 A.M. the morning of July 2d. It appears that the 1st and 11th Corps were on Cemetery Hill; Wadsworth’s division on Culp’s Hill; the 12th Corps on the right of Wadsworth; the 2d Corps to the left of the 11th on Cemetery Ridge. “The 3d Corps was placed so as to prolong the line to the Round Top on the left.” Thus there was only one corps, the 3d, on Meade’s left, to oppose Longstreet’s advance had it been promptly made. Buford’s cavalry division, which had been posted near Round Top, had been ordered away, and so the left of the line was left uncovered. What a magnificent opportunity was thus offered to the Confederates, had Longstreet heartily cooperated with Lee in his purpose to make the attack at an early hour on the 2d! Gen. E. P. Alexander tells us that Longstreet was not ordered to attack until 11 A.M. This, although not intended to be such, is a misleading statement. Lee was not in the habit of giving written orders to his Lieutenant-Generals. He plainly indicated to Longstreet, as the testimony overwhelmingly shows, that the attack should be made on the left as early as practicable the next morning. When, however, Longstreet hesitated and objected and argued against it, he was at length compelled to issue a written order, and that was at 11 A.M. Even then victory was possible; but so apathetic was Longstreet that it was 3 P.M. before Hood’s division in advance crossed the Emmitsburg road and moved against the enemy; 4 P.M. before he fired a gun. Now it was 4 o’clock before Little Round Top, 670 feet high, the key of the position, was (at the instance of Gen. Warren) occupied by a portion of the 5th Corps. The two brigades ordered to the spot arrived just in time to anticipate Hood’s seizing the point.

It must be acknowledged, however, that “Hill and Ewell were also at fault, for they had been ordered to cooperate with Longstreet’s battle, but they limited their operations to an ineffective canonnading of the Federal entrenchments in front. Longstreet’s attack began at 4; they did not begin their infantry attack until 6 P.M.”

This second day’s battle has been well described by Major Steele as follows: “On the part of the Confederates, a succession of tardy assaults, unsupported attacks, in which only one division, Pickett’s, had not yet reached the field; and three others, Heth’s, Pender’s and Rodes’, and four brigades had scarcely fired a shot. On the put of the Federals, a perfectly well arranged if passive defence in which every imperilled section of the line had been promptly reinforced and every assault of the enemy repulsed.” (p. 378.)

It seems that among the Confederate leaders that day the coordinating faculty was paralyzed.

This failure of Gen. Longstreet to achieve what was expected of him differs vitally from the failures of Stuart, and Hill, and Ewell. Stuart committed a most serious error of judgment; Hill acted rashly and without orders; Ewell failed to perceive the golden opportunity that presented itself to him to seize Cemetery Hill; but there is no reason to doubt the loyalty of any of these three brave soldiers to their commander. This cannot be said of Gen. Longstreet; he displayed on this occasion an obstinate unwillingness to carry out the wishes of his commander; not only did he fail to move as early as practicable on the morning of July 2d against the Federal left, but he sought Gen. Lee and objected to his plan and entered into an argument to convince him that it was faulty. Gen. Sorrell, who was his chief of staff, in his account of the battle says that “Longstreet did not want to fight on the ground or on the plan adopted by the General-in-Chief.” He made determined objection. Gen. Sorrel1 (p. 166) says “he failed to conceal some anger,” and he continues “there was apparent apathy that lacked the fire and point of his usual bearing on the battlefield.” Warm as was Gen. Sorrell’s admiration for Gen. Longstreet he cannot concea1 his disapprobation at his delay; he says. “On the 2d, quite late, 4 P.M., Longstreet made his long-deferred attack on the enemy’s left. . . . He gained ground rapidly and almost carried Round Top; but the morning delay was fatal. The enemy had been heady reinforced while we were pottering around in sullen inactivity. Undoubtedly it was Lee’s intention to make the attack in the forenoon, and support it by strong movements of Hill and Ewell.” (p. 168.)

Had he made an early attack it is absolutely certain that he would have made himself master of the two Round Tops and that would haw decided the battle. Had he even attacked promptly after 11 o’clock, when he acknowledges he received a positive order to attack, there is every reason to have anticipated success. Even at the late hour when he finally did make his attack, 4. P.M., Gen. Longstreet had an opportunity of seizing Round Top, but refused to embrace it. Scouts reported to Gen. Hood that Round Top was unoccupied and that there were no troops in the rear. This intelligence was corroborated by prisoners. Hood sent three officers in succession to Longstreet to urge that he have permission to make the move on the Federal left which would give him Round Top, but he doggedly refused, saying that “Gen. Lee had ordered the attack to be made on the Emmitsburg road.”

On this Col. Henderson says: “His summary message to the divisional commander to carry out the original plan at least lays him open to the suspicion that although he was prepared to obey, it was like a machine, and not like an intelligent being.” Such conduct is deserving of the severest reprehension.

In endeavoring to defend himself from the criticism which his conduct on that occasion called forth, Longstreet assailed Gen. Lee (after his death) with a rancor which must be resented by every true Confederate soldier. In his book he declares that Gen. Lee made eleven capital mistakes in the battle of Gettysburg! (One mistake Gen. Lee certainly did make at Gettysburg—which, however, Longstreet does not mention—he did not relieve that officer of his command!) It cannot be denied that Longstreet’s writings exhibit excessive self-esteem and sheer jealousy. We cannot forget, moreover, that had he obeyed Gen. Lee’s orders he would have been at the battle of Chancellorsville with the fine divisions under his command, in which event Hooker’s army might have been not defeated as it was, but actually destroyed.

Here let me quote a remarkable passage from the oration of Edward Everett at Gettysburg.

At the dedication of the Cemetery for Federal Soldiers killed at Gettysburg, Mr. Everett, in presence of President Lincoln, said: “And here I cannot but remark on the Providential inaction of the rebel army. Had the conflict been renewed by it at daylight on the 2d of July, with the 1st and 11th Corps exhausted by battle, the 3d and 12th weary from their forced march, and the 2d and 6th not yet arrived, nothing but a miracle could have saved the army from a great disaster. Instead of this, the day dawned, the sun rose, the cool hours of the morning passed, and a considerable part of the afternoon wore away without the slightest aggressive movement on the part of the enemy. Thus time was given half our forces to arrive and take their places in the lines, while the rest of the army enjoyed a much-needed half day’s repose.”


On the left Early had stormed and taken the works on Cemetery Hill, but, not being supported, had been repulsed. Further to the south, Hill had stormed another part of Cemetery Hill, with exactly the same experience.

On our extreme right Longstreet had lost the chance of seizing Round Top (755 feet), but had achieved notable success in the Peach Orchard and in Devil’s Den, inflicting severe defeat on General Sickles.

On our extreme left in front of Gulp’s Hill (633 feet) a very important success had been achieved by Johnson’s division. It is thus described in Gen. Lee’s official report, “The troops of Gen. Johnson moved steadily up the steep and rugged acclivity under a heavy fire, driving the enemy into his entrenchments, part of which were carried by Steuart’s brigade, and a number of prisoners taken.” The position thus so hardly won was one of great importance. It was within a few hundred yards of the Baltimore Turnpike, which I think it commanded. Its capture was a breach in the enemy’s lines through which troops might have been poured and the strong position of Cemetery Hill rendered untenable.[7]

Gen. Howard, commander of the 11th Corps, says, “The ground was rough and the woods so thick that their generals did not realize until morning what they had gained.” Dr. Jacobs says, “This might have proved disastrous to us had it not occurred at so late an hour.” And Swinton, the Federal historian, declared, “It was a position which if held by him would enable him to take Meade’s entire line in reverse.” It is only in keeping with the hap-hazard character of the whole battle that the capture of a point of such strategic importance should not have been taken advantage of by the Confederates. It remains, however, no less a proud memory for the officers and men of Steuart’s brigade that their prowess gained for the Confederate General a position whence Meade’s entire line might have been taken in reverse. But if the Confederates did not realize what they had gained, the Federals were fully aware what they had lost. Accordingly they spent the night massing troops and artillery for an effort to regain their works, “During the night,” says Swinton, “a powerful artillery was accumulated against the point entered by the enemy.” “To one conversant with the ground,” says a Federal authority, “it is now apparent why the enemy did not reply, The creeks, the forest, and the steep acclivities made it utterly impossible for him to move his guns, and this circumstance contributed to the weakness of his position and the futility of his occupation of this part of the line.”

Sufficient emphasis has not been laid upon the achievement of Steuart’s brigade just referred to. It was probably the most important success attained on any part of our line, had our staff officers only recognized the fact. Let it be noted that this position was held by this devoted brigade for about fourteen hours, from 9 o’clock in the evening to 11 the next morning, and the courage and tenacity exhibited by these troops was not surpassed by any unit of Lee’s army in that great battle. Professor Jacobs (Federal) says, “The battle raged furiously and was maintained with desperate obstinacy on both sides.” He goes on to speak of the terrible slaughter of our men. Gen. Howard says: “I went over the ground five years after the battle, and marks of the struggle were still to hp observed. The moss on the rocks was still discolored in hundreds of place where the bullets had struck. The trees as cut off, knocked down, or shivered, were still there; stumps and trees were perforated with holes where leaden balls had since been taken out, and remnants of the rough breastworks still remained. I did not wonder that Gen. Geary, who was in the thickest of this fight, thought the main battle of Gettysburg must have been fought there.” In fact, seven brigades were concentrated in the attack upon Steuart’s brigade, and they were supported by a powerful artillery. Whitelaw Reid says, “From four to five there was heavy cannonading from our batteries nearest the contested point . . . the rebels made no reply . . . the musketry crash continued with unparalleled tenacity and vehemence.”


We come now to the third and last day of the

Count von Wartenburg. in his brilliant work on the campaigns of Napoleon (published in 1902) says: “In the case of Lee we admire much that is Napoleonic in the conception of his plans,” Now his determination to pierce the center of Meade’s line on the third day was the adoption of one of Napoleon’s favorite methods. “The young general, Bonaparte, initiated his brilliant career by piercing the enemy’s center: He employed the same method again in 1812 in the most magnificent and well thought out manner, and once more in the opening of the last of all his campaigns. At Austerlitz he ordered Marechal Soult to assail the heights of Præstzen, thus piercing the center of the Austro-Russian Army. This gave him the victory. In the same way at Rivoli, he sacrificed his wings in order to decide the issue in the center; and again at Eylau; and yet again at Wagram.” In the same way Lee now determined to assail the center of Meade’s line, and gave directions to Longstreet to make the assault early next morning.

But the question has been raised, “Was Lee justified in expecting success in adopting this Napoleonic method at this center? Was there any reasonable hope of success in the grand assault which he ordered on the third day of the battle?”

In answering this question we may now take into account the statement made by Maj,-Gen. Doubleday, who commanded the 1st Corps of Meade’s army. He says that “on the night of July 2d the state of affairs was disheartening. In the combats of the preceding days the 1st, 3d and 11th Corps had been almost annihilated; the 5th Corps and a great part of the 2d were shattered and only the 6th Corps and the 12th were comparatively fresh.” (Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, p. 185.)

He also says that Meade “thought it better to retreat with what he had than to run the risk of losing all.” (Id.)

We know also from the testimony of Gen, Sickles before the Congressional Committee that at the Council of War the night of July 2d, some of the generals were in favor of a retreat.

Gen. Sorrell, Longstreet’s chief of staff, admits in his book that the attack was to be made as soon as possible, and he adds, “the delay in attacking, which undoubtedly hurt us, was apparently caused by his objections made known to the Commander-in-Chief.” (p. 171.)

And now we have a repetition of the events of the previous day. Instead of attacking early in the morning Longstreet did not begin his dispositions to attack until 1 P.M. He argued against Lee’s plan as he had done the day before; he was completely out of sympathy with his commander. Such was his self-esteem that he believed his judgment superior to that of Gen. Lee. The consequence of this delay was that instead of a simultaneous attack on the enemy’s center by Longstreet, and on his right by Ewell and Hill, we have again a series of isolated attacks. In obedience to orders, Gen. Ewell attacked the enemy at sunrise. Meade, not assailed on his left, concentrated an enormous force against Ewell on his right; seven brigades, as just stated, attacked Steuart’s one brigade on Culp’s Hill; and so before Longstreet had begun to get ready to make his attack on the center, Ewell’s attack on the right had been made and defeated.

But this is not all. Gen, Longstreet disobeyed Gen. Lee in another respect; it is an unquestionable fact, supported by testimony from various sources, that Longstreet was directed to put his whole corps into the attack. Indeed he himself admits it. (See Henderson’s Lecture, p. 15.) [8] The divisions of McLaws and Hood and Pickett were all to be employed. He was to be reinforced moreover by Heth’s division, and by two brigades of Fender’s division, to the command of which Major-Gen, Trimble was assigned—and Gen. Hill was ordered to afford Gen. Longstreet further assistance if necessary. Instead of this Longstreet sent forward about 12,000 men[9] only to assail the whole Federal Army. They made the assault, those Virginians and North Carolinians, with magnificent gallantry. They pierced the enemy’s center, but where were their supports? where were the divisions of McLaws and Hood? Where the brigades Hill was to put in? The answer is,—idle, looking on, doing nothing! This devoted column of 42 regiments, possibly 12,000 men, assaulted nearly the whole Federal Army, while four-fifths of the Confederate Army looked on without firing a shot. At the moment of their success they looked back vainly for support; “not a single Confederate bayonet, save in the hands of wounded or retreating men, was between them and the ridge from which they had advanced, 1200 yards in the rear. Fiercely they struggled to maintain their position, but their courage had been thrown away.” (Id., p. 16.)

Could there be a more conspicuous illustration of the disregard of Napoleon’s maxim that in a decisive attack the last man and the last horse should be thrown in?[10]

And now we have a strange incident to record—Col. Freemantle, the accomplished English officer, who was present with Longstreet’s command during the battle, tells us in his book (p. 281) that Longstreet talked to him for a long time about the battle; he said the mistake they had made was in not concentrating the army more and making the attack with 30,000 instead of 15,000 men. That mistake, we know infallibly, was not made by Gen. Lee, but by Gen. Longstreet himself. Had Gen. Lee really intended to assail the Federal position with so slender a column, he would have been unworthy the command of a great army.


The question has often been discussed, “What would have been the result if Lee’s orders had been carried out and this charge of Pickett’s division been supported by the troops of McLaws and Hood or those of Hill?”

I am able to throw light on that question from three sources: First, by the courtesy of Col. R. P. Chew, Jackson’s chief of horse artillery, I am able to give an opinion expressed by Capt. Fitzhugh, who commanded a battery in the Federal Army at that point of the line. At the crisis of the charge he was ordered by Gen. Hunt to put in his battery and open on the charging Confederates. He expressed to Col. Chew astonishment that Pickett’s charge had not been supported, saying that he could see large bodies of troops available for this purpose but making no movement in their support. Col. Chew asked Capt. Fitzhugh what in his opinion would have been the result if they had been advanced to Armistead’s support. He said they would have pierced the Federal Army and certain defeat would have awaited it. “The Federal troops were streaming to the rear and fresh troops thrown into the breach would have decided the battle in favor of the Confederates.”

Secondly. Testimony of a Federal artilleryman: On Tuesday, November 11, 1913: at 924 Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E., I had a conversation with W. A. Bobb, who left home at 14 and entered the United States service. He was 16 years old at time of the battle, and served as a private in Battery A, 2d Corps, United States Army. He was engaged at the point where Armistead’s men broke through the Federal line. He said that the ammunition (of his battery) was almost exhausted; only two or three rounds left. In his opinion, if the charge had been supported, it would have proved disastrous to the Union Army. All the artillery would have fallen into our hands. Their horses were nearly all killed or disabled. Their support, a New York regiment, 200 yards in rear, had taken to flight and left them alone.

I give a third testimony from the Federal side of this point.

The late Gen. W. P. Craighill (of the Union Army) said that he had often reflected with a feeling of awe on the fact that that great charge on the third clay was a wedge that almost split the Union in two. In his opinion, if the charge had been supported, as Lee ordered, it would have wrecked the Union line and given the Confederates a decisive victory.

Thus we have concurrent testimony from a private artilleryman, from the captain of a battery, both at the salient when the shock of the charge broke over, and from a general officer—an accomplished engineer.

I hold, therefore, in the light of this testimony that our great commander was justified in ordering that grand assault on July 3d, and that had his orders been carried out, as they might and should have been, it would have resulted in a decisive victory.

Gen. Longstreet himself tells us that Lee’s plan was “to assault the enemy’s left center by a column composed of McLaw’s and Hood’s divisions, reinforced by Pickett’s brigades.” And Young (p. 307) quotes Anderson’s orders that Wilcox and Perry’s brigades were to render assistance, and also Wright’s and Posy’s brigades, but he received orders from Gen. Longstreet to stop the movement.

The evidence in the case is conclusive. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee tells us: “Three of Gen. Lee’s trusted staff officers—Taylor, Venable, and Long—have recorded that the plan of assault involved an attack by Longstreet’s whole corps, supported by one-half of Hill’s, or all of it. if he called for it. . . . A consummate master of war, such as Lee was, would not drive en masse, a column of 14.000 men . . . to attack an army, of 100,000, and give his entering wedge no support.”[11]

There was no serious fighting after the repulse of the great charge on the 3d of July. During the night Gen. Lee withdrew his left wing from Gulp’s Hill, and the morning of July 4th found his army in line of battle on Seminary Ridge. Here he stood throughout the day ready to receive Gen. Meade, but Meade made no attempt to attack him.[12]


Light is thrown upon this question by the testimony of several general officers given before the Congressional committee on the conduct of the war in the years 1864–5, Thus Gen. Sickles testified (Part I, page 302) that “at a council of war held on Friday night, July 3d, there was a pretty strong disposition to retreat.” He further testified that the “reason why the enemy was not followed up was on account of differences of opinion whether or not we should ourselves retreat.” Again he said, “It was by no means clear in the judgment of the corps commanders, as of the General in command, whether we had won or not.”

Major-Gen, Butterfield. Gen. Meade’s chief of staff, testified (page 426) that, “on the night of the 4th of July a council of war was held to decide the question, ‘Shall we assume the offensive,’ and that Gen, Newton, Gen, Sedgwick, Gen. Howard, Gen. Birney, Gen. Pleasanton, Gen. Hays, and Gen, Warren, all voted ‘no’ to that question.”

Major-Gen. Birney (page 367) testified that “at a council of war held on the night of July 4th, the opinion was expressed that Lee was not retreating, but making a flank movement.” Several of the council (page 368) voted to retreat, but it was finally decided by a vote of 3 to 5 to wait twenty-four hours before retreating. It was stated that Gen. Meade did not wish to hazard a battle unless certain of victory. However, he intended to be guided by the opinion of his corps commanders. As a matter of fact, the Federal Army remained at Gettysburg Saturday, Sunday and Monday, July 4th, 5th and 6th (page 369). Major-Gen. Hunt (page 453) testified that “on the 3d of July, after the great charge had failed, our troops had been very roughly handled when they were attacked, and for that reason it was not easy to make a counter-attack.” He further says that “in his opinion there were good reasons for not attacking Lee that afternoon, July 3d.” In a letter written January 12, 1888, to Gen. Webb, Gen. Hunt says, “Gen. Meade was right in not attempting a counter-attack at any stage of the battle.” Maj.-Gen. Sedgwick, second in command, testified (page 460) that “it was not expedient, in his judgment, to attack Lee after such a charge as this.” As to the condition of the Federal Army, we may infer what it was from the testimony of Major-Gen. Warren, Chief of Engineers (page 380), “I should have fought on the morning of the 12th of July if I could have got my troops to fight.”

This testimony of the corps commanders of the Army of the Potomac, given under oath, makes it very evident that the officers and men who fought the Army of Northern Virginia those three days of July, 1863, had no idea at the close of the battle that they had gained a victory. Gen, Meade himself, the Commander-in-Chief, had no contemporaneous delusions on the subject of Gettysburg, as is made manifest by a letter addressed to his wife on the 8th of July, 1863. In it he announced to her his appointment of Brigadier-General in the Regular Army, which Halleck had forwarded to him, complimenting him on the victory at Gettysburg, and Gen. Meade proceeds, “I send you a document received yesterday afternoon. It will give you pleasure, I know. Preserve it, because the terms in which the General-in-Chief speaks of the battle are stronger than any I have deemed it proper to use myself. I never claimed a victory, though I stated that Lee was defeated in his efforts to destroy my army.”[13] This then is the judgment of the man who commanded the Federal Army at Gettysburg—he “never claimed a victory.”

To this let me add an extremely interesting statement found in the diary of Col. Freemantle, the English soldier already quoted. He says (p, 287 of his narrative) that the “officer at whose headquarters he was lodged told him that one of the enemy’s despatches had been intercepted, in which the following words occurred: ‘THE NOBLE BUT UNFORTUNATE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC HAS AGAIN BEEN OBLIGED TO RETREAT BEFORE SUPERIOR NUMBERS‘.”

In a correspondence with the late Gen. Sickles a year or two before his death I told him of this incident, whereupon he wrote that that might be the explanation of what Gen. Slocum, who commanded the 12th Corps at Gettysburg, used to say to him before his death in a mysterious way, holding up two fingers, “I have a piece of paper about that size that would throw a wonderful light on what happened at Gettysburg, but, as I like to avoid controversy, I shall not publish it, leaving it to my heirs to do so if they choose.”

Two other facts should be considered in deciding the question whether the Federal Army won a victory at Gettysburg. The first is that Lee offered battle on Seminary Ridge all day of July 4th, but the Federal commander would not accept the gauge. In this connection it is interesting to note that Gen. Butterworth said that he conversed July 4th with a corps commander who had just left Gen. Meade, and that he said, “Meade says he thinks he can hold out here, if they attack him” (page 204). It is pretty clear that Gen. Meade was not of the opinion at that time that the Confederate Army had been defeated, and that his solicitude was for the safety of the Army of the Potomac, not for the destruction of the Army of Northern Virginia. The other fact is that the Army of the Potomac did not dare to attack the Army of Northern Virginia from the 3d of July, 1863, till May, 1864. Had Gettysburg been a Federal victory, this would have been an inexplicable fact.


We come now to Gen. Lee’s retreat. What was its cause and what was its character? Having offered battle all of the 4th of July on Seminary Ridge, and the offer having been declined; he took up his march the night of the 4th and the morning of the 5th for Virginia.

Gen. Meade held a council of war near Williamsport on the 12th of July to consider whether he should attack Gen. Lee in his position at Falling Waters. As to this we have the testimony of Major-Gen. Warren, Chief of Engineers, before the Congressional Committee already referred to (page 381). He said he never saw the principal corps commanders so unanimously in favor of not fighting as on that occasion, and Major-Gen, Sedgwick (already quoted) says (page 452) that “at a council of war, July 12th, all but two voted against attacking Lee.”

Observe now that Lee’s retreat was rendered necessary, not by the condition of his army, but by the necessity of replenishing the ammunition chests, which were all but exhausted (see Col. Taylor). His retreat was slow and deliberate. He offered battle again for three days at Falling Waters, near Hagerstown, but although Meade had been heavily reinforced, and was strongly urged by Mr. Lincoln to attack and destroy Gen. Lee, who stood at bay with a swollen river in his rear, he, with the assent of his council of war, again decided against making such an attack. It is a great mistake to suppose that the Confederate Army was demoralized. I saw a good deal of different commands in the army during those ten days after the battle, and I can testify that they were full of fight and eager for an opportunity to redeem the mistakes made at Gettysburg. At length, on the night of the 13th of July, eleven days after the close of the battle, Gen. Lee recrossed the river in the face of Meade’s great army. And he effected his crossing with such success that his entire loss consisted of two guns, a few wagons, and some 500 exhausted men.

Here let me quote the generous testimony of a Federal officer: “It is difficult to imagine a more discouraging situation than that in which Gen. Lee found himself between July 4th and 14th. Decisively repulsed in battle and compelled to retreat, his communications were suddenly severed by the destruction of his only bridge, and by floods at the fords.

“Yet it is clear that never once through those trying days did the commander or his men show any signs of demoralization. On the contrary, it is certain that they would have welcomed an attack on their entrenched lines about Falling Waters.”[14]

Reviewing the whole campaign, I think it is plain that Lee lost the battle of Gettysburg by the failure of four splendid soldiers upon whom he had been accustomed to rely. His strategy was not at fault (of his tactics perhaps we cannot say as much); the orders issued were correct, and should have resulted in victory. But one thing we are compelled to acknowledge; Gen. Lee did not enforce that prompt and implicit obedience to his will as commander-in-chief which he should have done; and without which success in a great campaign can hardly be achieved. Gettysburg was a drawn battle it is true; a fight in which 68,000 men were pitted against at least 105,000. We may sum up the results by saying that on the first day the Confederates won a great victory; on the second day they also won two important successes both on Gulp’s Hill and at the Peach Orchard and in the Devil’s Den; on the third day the great attack on the center was repulsed, and also that on Meade’s right.

Thus it was on the whole a drawn battle, in which the Federals lost many more in killed, wounded and prisoners than the Confederates. But a drawn battle under the circumstances was a defeat. Complete victory was essential to success and although the Army of Northern Virginia afterwards fought many splendid battles, with magnificent courage, and often with great success, between July, ’63, and April, ’65, nevertheless the battle of Gettysburg does mark the beginning of the decline of the Confederate hopes.

As we ponder the circumstances of that great battle and note how one after another the omens of success were turned to defeat, through no fault of our great commander, we can only feel that Lee, like Hector of Troy, was fighting against the supernal powers. It was not the will of God that we should succeed. And when I try to understand the ultimate cause of our failure, I am led to the conclusion that it was not the will of the Great Ruler of events that the destinies of the Anglo-Saxon race on the American continent should be left in the hands of those who were then our enemies. The Southern people were necessary then, they are necessary now for the accomplishment of the designs of Providence. The Lord could not trust the North to fulfil His great purposes on this continent without the aid of the Southern people. Their sanity, their conservatism, their true Americanism were necessary elements in working out the great future of the race in this western land.


[1] Misfortunes due to absence of cavalry:

1. Failure to occupy Gettysburg.—(Henderson.)

2. Battle of first day and compulsion to fight an offensive battle the second.

3. Failure to pursue and destroy defeated enemy.

4. Flank march not feasible July 2d.—(Henderson.)

5. Had Lee known true situation of Union Army July 1st, Col. Fiebeger says he could have destroyed the 2d Federal Corps.—(Gettysburg, pp. 132–133).

(The Union army was under orders to move towards York, A.M., June 29th.)

Decisive victory possible for Lee had the cavalry done its part in ascertaining the position of the enemy.—(Id.)

The failure of Confederates to profit by their advantages, July 1st, was due to a single cause—defective information, due to the absence of the cavalry.—(Id., p. 134.)

[2] Napoleon as a General, by Count Yorck yon Wartenburg (pp. 310–11, 379).

[3] As to the numbers engaged in the battle of July 1st General Doubleday testified before the Congressional Committee (I, p. 309), that the two Federal Corps put into the fight not more than 14,000 men “to contend against two immense corps of the enemy, amounting to 60,000 men.” What magnifying glasses Federal officers put on when they studied the size of the Confederate forces! Now General Butterfield testified that the First and Eleventh Corps mustered on June 10, 1863, together 24,000 men, and they had fought no battle since.—(See Southern Historical Society Papers, 1877, vol. IV, p. 83.)

[4] Reminiscences of the Civil War, p. 153.

[5] Four Years with Lee, p. 95.

[6] Genera1 Long tells us of a conversation he held with Genera1 Lee in the evening of July 1st, in which he said to General Lee, “In my opinion it would be best not to wait for Stuart. It is uncertain where he is, or when he will arrive. At present only two or three corps of the enemy’s army are up, and it seems best to attack them before they can be greatly strengthened by reinforcements. The cavalry had better be left to take care of itself.”—Memoirs of R. E, Lee, p. 278.

Hood says he was in front of the heights of Gettysburg soon after daybreak. General Lee was then waking up and down. “He seemed anxious that Longstreet should attack,” says Hood. Longstreet said, seating himself near the trunk of a tree by his side, “The General is a little nervous this morning. He wishes me to attack. I do not want to do so without Pickett. I never like to go into battle with one boot off.”—Fitz Lee’s Life of Lee, p. 279.

McLaws says he was ordered to leave camp at 4 A.M., afterwards changed to sunrise; reached G. very early, halted head of his column a few hundred yards of Lee. Conference between Longstreet and Lee, former appeared irritated and angered. Believed he could reach point indicated by Lee in half hour. Saw the enemy corning hour after hour, on to the battlefield. Wilcox went into line on Anderson’s right at 9. Seven hours after in same woods McLaws formed.—Id, p, 279.

[7] 1. As to the character of these works, they were built of heavy logs with earth piled against them to the thickness of five feet, and abattis in front.

2. “Through the long hours of the night we heard the rumbling of their guns, and thought they were evacuating the hill. The first streak of daylight revealed our mistake. It was scarcely dawn (the writer of this had just lain down to sleep, after a night in the saddle) when the artillery opened upon us at a range of about five hundred yards, a terrific and galling fire, to which we had no means of replying, as our guns could not be dragged up that steep and rugged ascent.”—Letter of R. H. McKim soon after the battle.

[8] “He rode over after sunrise and gave his orders. His plan was to assault the enemy’s left centre by a column to be composed of McLaw’s and Hood’s divisions, reinforced by Pickett’s brigades. I thought it would not do.”—Longstreet.

[9] This is the estimate of Jesse Bowman Young, a Federal writer, in his valuable book, The Battle of Gettysburg, published in 1913 by Harper Bros., p. 306. He points out that Wilcox’s brigade took no part in the assault.

[10] “The staff, as we have seen, seemed utterly incapable, throughout the battle, of bringing the efforts of the larger units into timely cooperation, and at the most important crisis of the whole engagement their failure to insure combination was conspicuous. In the first place there is no doubt that Lee intended that 30,000 men should have been employed instead of 15,000.”—(Henderson, p. 18.)

[11] Fitzhugh Lee’s Life of Lee, p. 289.

[12] Colonel Henderson, in his lecture on the Battle of Gettysburg, delivered nearly twenty years after the event, falls into two serious errors. He says (p. 16), that during the night of July 3d, “slowly followed by his adversary, Lee fell back through the South Mountain passes, and away southward across the Potomac into Virginia.” But in fact Lee did not begin his retreat until the night of July 4th, and did not cross the Potomac until July 13th. On p. 14, he says, of July 3d, “The day opened ominously. As the sun rose, a vigorous attack of the Federals on Culp’s Hill, prepared during the night, drove Johnson’s Division in panic down the hill.” Instead of this there were at least six hours of stern conflict after the sun rose: for possession of Culp’s Hill, and when Steuart’s brigade of Johnson’s Division finally yielded the hill, they marched steadily down without confusion, rout or panic, in spite of their long hours of terrible battle and their immense losses.

Elsewhere in his writings he makes the great mistake of putting the white population of the seceded States at 7,000,000, instead of 5,000,000, which is the figure given in the census.

The lecture referred to is published also in Henderson’s Science of War, Chapter X, pp. 285 seq.

[13] Life and Letters of General Meade, vol. II, p. 133.

[14] Campaign and Battle of Gettysburg, by Col. G, J. Fiebeger, p. 139.)

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