previous next

[100] a raid around him. In this way the action began, and the first day's success stimulated the second day's effort. This effort should have been successful, and would have been, but for delays and faults of detail in its execution. These have been the subject of much crimination and recrimination among survivors as to the greater or less responsibility for them, but, to history, of course the general commanding is the responsible party. I will write frankly all that I know about them personally further on. It is sufficient to say here that, as I have already implied, the battle was lost by them, and, in fact, under the conditions existing when the actual conflict was joined, success was almost impossible.

Even after the second day's battle, in my humble judgment, it was possible to have withdrawn from the offensive and taken the defensive, and forced Meade to assault us, and to have given him a crushing defeat. I may be mistaken, and I do not by any means set up as a military critic in general, but, as we did offer battle on the 4tb, and again for several days near Hagerstown, on the retreat (while waiting to construct a bridge over the Potomac), and as Meade did at last feel bound to attack us, but just a day too late to do it, I think a similar course might have been successfully pursued after the action of the second. Whether it was discussed I do not know, but I do know that Longstreet was very averse to the assault by Pickett's division on the third. He only expressed his opinion about it, so far as I know, after the division was launched, but the circumstances which I will detail presently led me to infer that he had discussed the matter fully with General Lee. And now I will give what details of the battle itself fell uDder my personal observation, which may assist in an understanding of the whole matter, and I will be very careful to give nothing unqualifiedly of which I am not personally certain.

My command, with the greater portion of Longstreet's corps, was in camp at Chambersburg from Saturday, June 27th, to Tuesday, June 30th, and on the latter date we moved in direction of Gettysburg, about 10 miles, and about 2 P. M. encamped at a small village called Greenwood. General Lee was in camp very near us during the same afternoon. On Wednesday, July 1st, we (the reserve artillery) remained in camp all day, and heard nothing of the battle which was begun at Gettysburg until about dark, when orders were received to march at 2 A. M. on the 2d for Gettysburg.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Meade (2)
J. Longstreet (2)
Fitzhugh Lee (2)
Pickett (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
July 1st (1)
June 30th (1)
June 27th (1)
3rd (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: