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[458] the best fruits of their labors. The first of these was the change of commanders a few days before the battle. This delayed the movements of the army, and was near losing us the position at Gettysburg. It was singular that a government that claimed “never to swap horses while crossing a stream” should have done so in the most important crisis of the war. The second blunder was the neglect of the government to send fifty thousand of the seventy thousand men around Washington, by the way of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, to the south of the Potomac, to oppose the crossing of Lee. With the Army of the Potomac in his rear, and fifty thousand men to oppose his crossing, the war in Virginia would have ended in 1863, instead of 1865. The third blunder was the refusal of General Meade to follow the enemy after the repulse on the 3d of July. This lost the army all the advantages for which they had toiled and struggled for many long and weary days; but it could not detract from the glorious distinction and honor of the gallant soldiers who had humbled the best and proudest army the South ever put into the field.

The campaign of Gettysburg was the best campaign of the war on the Northern side. it was conducted on the truest principles of war, as established by the greatest masters, viz.: to separate the enemy from his base while securing your own base of operations. That the results of the campaign did not include the surrender of Lee's army, was due to the action and inaction of the government at Washington, and is another illustration of the matchless equipoise of great minds disturbed by unparalleled conditions, so graphically described by General Longstreet in his instance of General Lee at Gettysburg. While our Southern friends are discussing their campaign of Gettysburg, I would call their attention to a notable circumstance, viz.: that in the campaign of General Grant, from Culpepper to Richmond, General Lee pursued the same strategy and same tactics adopted by the Army of the Potomac in the campaign of Gettysburg. While General Grant is open to the severest criticism, in a military point of view, for operating on an exterior line, and leaving his adversary secure in his communications and bases of supplies (precisely the blunder committed by Lee in his Gettysburg campaign), Lee's reputation as a general rests on the splendid defense of Richmond, which he conducted in the years 1864 and 1865. The immense loss of life in General Grant's campaign against Richmond was due to his violation of the principles of war. The two campaigns are good illustrations that neither governments or generals can disregard the fundamental principles of

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