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1 Colonel Taylor says that General Lee, in his presence, gave me orders to put Hood's and McLaws' Divisions in this column of attack. This I deny, and do not suppose he will claim that any one else heard the order. If the reader will examine any of the maps of Gettysburg, he will see that the withdrawal of these two divisions from their line of battle would have left half of General Lee's line of battle open, and by the shortest route to his line of supplies and retreat. Fully one-half of his army would have been in the column of assault, and half of Meade's army would have been free to sally out on the flank of our column, and we should have been destroyed on that field of battle, beyond a doubt. Of course, if we assume that Meade would place his army in line of battle, and allow us to select our point of attack, we could have massed against it, and rushed through. But this assumption would be absurd. The only way for those divisions to have been moved, was to have attacked the heights in front. But this attack had been tried, and failed the day before. If Pickett had shown signs of getting a lodgment, I should, of course, have pushed the other divisions forward to support the attack. But I saw that he was going to pieces at once. When Colonel Freemantle (Her Majesty's service) approached me (see his account), and congratulated me on Pickett's apparent success, I told him that his line would break in a moment — that he was not strong enough to make a serious impression. My assertion was correct. To have rushed forward my two divisions, then carrying bloody noses from their terrible conflict the day before, would have been madness.
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