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[150] and look for yourself. I selected, in this instance, my adjutantgeneral, Colonel Harry Sellers, whom you know to be not only an officer of great courage, but also of marked ability. Colonel Sellers returned with the same message: “Gen'l Lee's orders are to attack up the Emmettsburg road.” Almost simultaneously, Col. Fairfax, of your staff, rode up and repeated the above orders.

After this urgent protest against entering into battle at Gettysburg according to instructions — which protest is the first and only one I ever made during my entire military career — I ordered my line to advance and make the assault.

As my troops were moving forward, you rode up in person; a brief conversation passed between us, during which I again expressed the fears above mentioned, and regret at not being allowed to attack in flank around Round Top. You answered to this effect: “We must obey the orders of General Lee.” I then rode forward with my line under a heavy fire. In about twenty minutes after reaching the Peach Orchard I was severely wounded in the arm, and borne from the field.

With this wound terminated my participation in this great battle. As I was borne off on a litter to the rear, I could but experience deep distress of mind and heart at the thought of the inevitable fate of my brave fellow-soldiers, who formed one of the grandest divisions of that world-renowned army; and I shall ever believe that had I been permitted to turn Round Top mountain, we would not only have gained that position, but have been able finally to rout the enemy.

Trusting this sketch, however incomplete, may answer its purpose, I am, respectfully yours,


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