this lack of expected support, General Rodes
, who was on General Early
's right, states in his report, that after he had conferred with General Early
on his left, and General Lane
on his right, and arranged to attack in concert, he proceeded at once to make the necessary preparations; but as he had to draw his troops out of the town by the flank, change the direction of the line of battle, and then traverse a distance of twelve or fourteen hundred yards, while General Early
had to move only half that distance, without change of front, it resulted that, before he drove in the enemy's skirmishers, General Early
had attacked, and been compelled to withdraw.
The whole affair was disjointed.
There was an utter absence of accord in the movements of the several commands, and no decisive results attended the operations of the second day. It is generally conceded that General Longstreet
, on this occasion, was fairly chargeable with tardiness, and I have always thought that his conduct, in this particular, was due to a lack of appreciation, on his part, of the circumstances which created an urgent and peculiar need for the presence of his troops at the front.
As soon as the necessity for the concentration of the army was precipitated by the unexpected encounter, on the 1st of July, with a large force of the enemy, near Gettysburg
, General Longstreet
was urged to hasten his march; and this, perhaps, should have sufficed to cause him to push his divisions on toward Gettysburg
, from which point he was distant but four miles, early on the 2d.
But I cannot say that he was notified, on the night of the 1st, of the attack proposed to be made on the morning of the 2d, and the part his corps was to take therein.
Neither do I think it just to charge that he was alone responsible for the delay in attacking that ensued after
his arrival on the field.
I well remember how General Lee
was chafed by the non-appearance of the troops, until he finally became restless, and rode back to meet General Longstreet
, and urge him forward; but, then, there was considerable delay in putting the troops to work after they reached the field; and much time was spent in discussing what was to be done, which, perhaps, could not be avoided.
At any rate, it would be unreasonable to hold General Longstreet
alone accountable for this.
Indeed, great injustice has been done him in the charge that he had orders from the commanding general
to attack the enemy at sunrise on the 2d of July, and that he disobeyed these orders.
This would imply that he was in position to attack, whereas General Lee
but anticipated his early arrival on the 2d, and based his calculations upon it. I have shown how he was disappointed, and I need hardly add that the delay was fatal.