was ordered, we were fearful that our cavalry had been destroyed.
In case of a disaster, and a forced retreat, we should have had nothing to cover our retreat.
When so much was at stake as at Gettysburg
, the absence of the cavalry should have prevented the taking of any chances.
As to the failure of Stuart
to move with the army to the west side of the Blue Ridge
, I can only call attention to the fact that General Lee
gave him discretionary orders.
He doubtless did as he thought best.
Had no discretion been given him, he would have known and fallen into his natural position-my right flank.
But authority thus given a subordinate general, implies an opinion on the part of the commander that something better than the drudgery of a march along our flank might be open to him, and one of General Stuart
's activity and gallantry should not be expected to fail to seek it. As to Ewell
's failure to prosecute the advantage won on the 1st, there is little to be said, as the commanding general
was on the field.
I merely quote from his (General Ewell
's) official report.
He says: “The enemy had fallen back to a commanding position that was known to us as Cemetery Hill
, south of Gettysburg
, and quickly showed a formidable front there.
On entering the town, I received a message from the commanding general
to attack the hill, if I could do so to advantage.
I could not bring artillery to bear on it; all the troops with me were jaded by twelve hours marching and fighting, and I was notified that General Johnson
was close to the town with his division, the only one of my corps that had not been engaged, Anderson
's Division, of the Third Corps, having been halted to let them pass.
was not assailable from the town, and I determined, with Johnson
's Division, to take possession of a wooded hill to my left, on a line with and commanding Cemetery Hill
got up the Federals
were reported moving to our left flank-our extreme left-and I could see what seemed to be his skirmishers in that direction.
Before this report could be investigated by Lieutenant T. T. Turner
, of my staff, and Lieutenant Robert Early
, sent to investigate it, and Johnson
placed in position, the night was far advanced.”
explains his failure to send positive orders to Ewell
to follow up the flying enemy as follows: “The attack was not pressed that afternoon, the enemy's force being unknown, and it being considered advisable to await the arrival of the rest of our troops.
Orders were sent back to hasten their march, and, in the meantime, every effort was made to ascertain the numbers and positions of the enemy, and find the most favorable point to attack.”