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[415] been thought better of; yet I am much inclined to accept the present condition as for the best. I hope and trust that it is so. Your programme would all be well enough, had it been practicable, and was duly thought of, too. I fancy that no good ideas upon that campaign will be mentioned at any time, that did not receive their share of consideration by General Lee. The few things that he might have overlooked himself were, I believe, suggested by myself. As we failed, I must take my share of the responsibility. In fact, I would prefer that all the blame should rest upon me. As General Lee is our commander, he should have the support and influence we can give him. If the blame, if there is any, can be shifted from him to me, I shall help him and our cause by taking it. I desire, therefore, that all the responsibility that can be put upon me shall go there, and shall remain there. The truth will be known in time, and I leave that to show how much of the responsibility of Gettysburg rests on my shoulders. ...

Most affectionately yours,


I sincerely regret that I cannot still rest upon that letter. But I have been so repeatedly and so rancorously assailed by those whose intimacy with the commanding general in that battle gave an apparent importance to their assaults, that I feel impelled by a sense of duty to give to the public a full and comprehensive narration of the campaign from its beginning to its end; especially when I reflect that the publication of the truth cannot now, as it might have done then, injure the cause for which we fought the battle. The request that I furnish this history to the weekly times comes opportunely, for the appeal just made through the press by a distinguished foreigner for all the information that will develop the causes of the failure of that campaign, has provoked anew its partisan and desultory discussion, and renders a plain and logical recital of the facts both timely and important.

After the defeat of Burnside at Fredericksburg, in December, it was believed that active operations were over for the winter, and I was sent with two divisions of my corps to the eastern shore of Virginia, where I could find food for my men during the winter, and send supplies to the Army of Northern Virginia. I spent several months in this department, keeping the enemy close within his fortifications, and foraging with little trouble and great success. On May 1st, I received orders to report to General Lee at Fredericksburg. General Hooker had begun to throw his army across the Rappahannock, and the active campaign was opening. I left Suffolk as soon as possible, and hurried my troops forward. Passing through Richmond, I called to pay my respects to Mr. Seddon, the Secretary of War. Mr. Seddon was, at the time of my visit, deeply considering the critical condition of Pemberton's army at Vicksburg,

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