A high military authority says: When once the object of a reconnoisance has been gained, a retreat must be sounded even in the middle of a combat.
General Lee was in a state of duress when he arrived on the field at the close of the fight.
He was compelled to order up the remainder of the army and deliver battle on ground he had not chosen, or fall back to Cashtown, leaving his dead and wounded on the field, and giving the enemy the prestige of victory.
It is clear that the want of cavalry had nothing to do either with precipitating the battle or losing it. Stuart was absent on the day it began for the same reason that General Lee was.
This has been written more in sorrow than in anger.
It is no pleasure to me to expose the mistakes of others; my motive is to defend the dead, and that arm of the service to which I belonged.
It is a sacred duty I owe to the memory of a friend,
To whom the shadows of far years extend. Jno. S. Mosby. San Francisco, Cal., January 23, 1896.