quoted in another part of the narrative, were addressed to Colonel J. B. Walton
, as Chief of Artillery
, and show conclusively that he was in command on that day. Colonel Alexander
figured more prominently in the correspondence that passed between myself and the artillery, simply because I had consulted personally with Colonel Alexander
on these points before the battle opened, and because he was most directly interested in the handling of the artillery massed at the peach orchard, and under cover of which Pickett
was to make his charge.
was a brave and capable officer, and I regret that my narrative was so construed as to reflect upon his fair and spotless record.
There were two or three trifling inaccuracies in my first account of this battle which need correction: The scout, upon whose information the head of our column was turned to the right, reported at Chambersburg
on the night of the 28th of June.
It is printed the 29th.
Several orders that I issued on the 1st of July, and so dated, appear under the date of the 18th.
The real strength of Pickett
's Division was four thousand five hundred bayonets.
It was printed five thousand five hundred.
In the paragraph where I stated that General Meade
anticipated my attack of the 3d, and told General Hancock
that he intended to throw the Fifth and Sixth Corps against its flanks when it was made, it is printed that he gave this information in the “evening,” when, of course, it should have been “morning.”
I have now done, for the present, with the campaign of Gettysburg
What I have written about it has been compelled from me by a desire on the one hand to have future historians properly informed upon the most important movement of the war, and a necessity on the other hand of correcting important mis-statements made ignorantly or maliciously concerning it. I have written nothing that was not supported by abundant proof, advanced no opinions not clearly justified by the facts.
As disastrous as the results of that battle were, and as innocent as I was of bringing them upon my people, I accepted my share of the disaster without a murmur, and cheerfully bore the responsibility of it as long as there was a possibility of injuring the cause we were engaged in by a discussion of the points involved.
I should probably have never written a line concerning the battle, had it not been for the attempt of the wordy soldiers to specifically fix upon me the whole burden of that battle-their rashness carrying them so far as to lead them to put false orders in the mouth of our great captain, and charge me with having broken them.
To disprove these untrue assertions, and to give the world the truth concerning the battle, then became what