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[123] without a blow. The blunder of a lieutenant who had never before failed him, being unexpected, could not be averted in time to prevent the evil consequences that followed. I think enough has been said to explain the causes of the failure of the Confederates on the second at Gettysburg.

From the nature of the country, the absence of cavalry and the proximity of an uncrippled enemy, the flank movement referred to'was simply an absurdity. The attack of Pickett's division on the third has been more criticised, and is still less understood, than any other act of the Gettysburg drama. General Longstreet did not enter into the spirit of it, and consequently did not support it with his wonted vigor. It has been characterised as rash and objectless, on the order of The charge of the light brigade; nevertheless it was not ordered without mature consideration, and on grounds that presented fair prospects of success. By extending his left wing west of the Emmettsburg road General Meade weakened his position by presenting a weak center, which, being penetrated, his wings would be isolated and paralyzed, so far as regarded supporting each other. A glance at a correct sketch of the Federal position on the third will sufficiently corroborate this remark, and had Pickett's division been promptly supported when it burst through Mleade's center, a more positive proof would have been given than the features of the country, for his right wing would have been overwhelmed before the left could have disengaged itself from the woods and mountains and come to its relief.

Very respectfully, A. L. Long, Military Secretary to General R. E. Lee.

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