, it is proper that I should say that I do so with the greatest affection for General Lee
, and the greatest reverence for his memory.
The relations existing between us were affectionate, confidential, and even tender, from first to last.
There was never a harsh word between us. It is, then, with a reluctant spirit that I write a calm and critical review of the Gettysburg campaign
, because that review will show that our commanding general was unfortunate at several points.
There is no doubt that General Lee
, during the crisis of that campaign, lost the matchless equipoise that usually characterized him, and that whatever mistakes were made were not so much matters of deliberate judgment as the impulses of a great mind disturbed by unparalleled conditions.
was thrown from his balance (as is shown by the statement of General Fitzhugh Lee
) by too great confidence in the prowess of his troops and (as is shown by General Anderson
's statement) by the deplorable absence of General Stuart
and the perplexity occasioned thereby.
With this preface I proceed to say that the Gettysburg campaign
was weak in these points-adhering, however, to my opinion that a combined movement against Rosecrans
, in Tennessee
, and a march toward Cincinnati
would have given better results than could possibly have been secured by the invasion of Pennsylvania
: First, the offensive strategical, but defensive tactical, plan of the campaign, as agreed upon, should never have been abandoned after we entered the enemy's country.
Second, if there ever was a time when the abandonment of that plan could have promised decisive results, it was at Brandy Station
, where, after Stuart
had repulsed the force thrown across the river, we might have fallen on that force and crushed it, and then put ourselves in position, threatening the enemy's right and rear, which would have dislodged him from his position at Fredericksburg
, and given us the opportunity for an effective blow.
Third, General Stuart
should not have been permitted to leave the general line of march, thus forcing us to march blindfolded into the enemy's country; to this may be attributed, in my opinion, the change of the policy of the campaign.
Fourth, the success obtained by the accidental rencontre on the 1st, should have been vigorously prosecuted, and the enemy should have been given no time to fortify or concentrate.
Fifth, on the night of the 1st, the army should have been carried around to Meade
's right and rear, and posted between him and his capital, and we could have maneuvred him into an attack.
Sixth, when the attack was made on the enemy's left, on the 2d, by my corps, Ewell
should have been required to co-operate by a vigorous movement against his right, and Hill
should have moved against his centre.