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[625] reported to General Meade. As our move progressed, his apprehensions were confirmed, and being uneasy at the position in which his troops had been left, and certain that he was about to receive battle, he determined to seize the vantage ground in front of the peach orchard. Without awaiting for orders, he pushed forward and took the position desired. Meanwhile, the reports made to General Meade drew his attention to our part of the field, and finally he rode out just in time to see the battle open. It will be seen, therefore, that General Sickles' move, and all the movements of the Federal left, were simply sequents of mine. They would have followed my movements inevitably, no matter when they had been made. Had the attack been made earlier or later we should have seen the Federals move just as they did, and with the same results-except that if I had attacked earlier I should have had Geary's Division of the Twelfth Corps in my immediate front in addition to the Third Corps. This would certainly have been the effect of “a sunrise attack.”

Colonel Taylor, in referring to the hour of my battle on the 2d, says: “Round Top, the key of their position, which was not occupied in the morning, was now held in force.” The answer to this statement, direct and authoritative, is at hand. General Meade says, in Congressional Report, page 332: “Immediately upon the opening of the batteries (which began the battle) I sent several staff officers to hurry up the column under General Sykes of the Fifth Corps, then on its way, and which I expected would have reached there at that time. The column advanced rapidly, reached the ground in a short time, and General Sykes was fortunately enabled, by throwing a strong force upon Round Top mountain, where a most desperate and bloody struggle ensued, to drive the enemy from it, and secure our foothold upon that most important position.” Even the Muses were invoked to speed this helter-skelter march toward the knob of ground now suddenly grown in importance.

“On to the Round Top!” hailed Sykes to his men;

“On to the Round Top!” echoed the glen.

“On to the Round Top!”

In my former narrative I showed that General Meade did not appreciate the importance of this position until the battle had finally opened. He had ordered Sickles to occupy it “if practicable;” but it was not occupied in force when my battle opened, and was made strong as the fight progressed, as much by the fragments of the enemy's broken lines, that took shelter behind its boulders, as by any

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