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[107] from canister. I had fully intended giving Pickett the order to advance as soon as I saw that our guns had gotten their ranges, say, in ten or fifteen minutes, but the enemy's fire was so severe that when that time had elapsed I could not make up my mind to order the infantry out into a fire which I did not believe they could face, for so long a charge, in such a hot sun, tired as they already were by the march from Chambersburg. I accordingly waited in hopes that our fire would produce some visible effect, or something turn up to make the situation more hopeful; but fifteen minutes more passed without any change in the situation, the fire on neither side slackening for a moment. Even then I could not bring myself to give a peremptory order to Pickett to advance, but feeling that the critical moment would soon pass, I wrote him a note to this effect: “If you are coming at all you must come immediately or I cannot give you proper support; but the enemy's fire has not slackened materially, and at least 18 guns are still firing from the Cemetery itself.”

This note (which, though given from memory, I can vouch for as very nearly verbatim) I sent off at 1:30 P. M., consulting my watch. I afterwards heard what followed its receipt from members of the staff of both Generals Pickett and Longstreet, as follows: Pickett on receiving it galloped over to General Longstreet, who was not far off, and showed it to General L. The latter read it and made no reply. (General Longstreet himself, speaking of it afterwards, said that he knew the charge had to be made, but could not bring himself to give the order.) General Pickett then said: “General, shall I advance?” Longstreet turned around in his saddle and would not answer. Pickett immediately saluted, and said: “I am going to lead my division forward, sir,” and galloped off to put it in motion; on which General L. left his staff and rode out alone to my position. Meanwhile, five minutes after I sent the above note to Pickett, the enemy's fire suddenly slackened materially, and the batteries in the Cemetery were limbered up and were withdrawn. As the enemy had such abundance of ammunition and so much better guns than ours that they were not compelled to reserve their artillery for critical moments (as we almost always had to do), I knew that they must have felt the punishment a good deal, and I was a good deal elated by the sight. But to make sure that it was a withdrawal for good, and not a

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