troops fought quite as well when we attacked them on the second day at Chancellorsville, and better on the 5th of May in the Wilderness, and again at Spotsylvania Courthouse. I speak, of course, of my individual experience and observation in those several engagements.1 The fight at Gettysburg on July 1 was without order or system, the several divisions attacking the enemy in their front as they arrived on the field-nor do I see how there could have been a systematic plan of battle formed, as I have, I think, clearly shown that we accidentally stumbled into this fight. Longstreet's attack on July 2 was, in my judgment, made entirely too late in the day. If it could not have been made earlier, it should not have been made at all. I Was by General Lee's side when this attack was made, and the thought occurred to me then that if Longstreet was successful night would rob him of the legitimate fruits of a victory. The attack on July 3, known as “Pickett's charge,” made by Pickett's division, numbering some forty-five hundred strong, and my own shattered division, under General Pettigrew, numbering about forty-three hundred muskets, unsupported, was, as was said of the famous charge of the six hundred at Baliklava, “ties grande, mais c'est ne pas la guerre.” In justice to General Lee it must be here stated that orders were given by him for other troops to attack at the same time, which orders were not obeyed. Who should shoulder this responsibility I know not. I think the fight of the 3d of July was a mistake; that General Lee should have so manoeuvred as to have drawn MIeade from his stronghold; and such I believe to have been General Lee's views after the fight, as he remarked to me, at Orange Courthouse, during the winter of 1863-64, when, animadverting upon the criticisms made upon the Gettysburg fight, especially
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Table of Contents:
Battle of Kelleysville , March 17th , 1863 -Reports of Generals J. E. B. Stuart and Fitz. Lee .
Causes of the defeat of Gen. Lee 's Army at the battle of Gettysburg -opinions of leading Confederate soldiers.
Letter from Gen J. A. Early .
Causes of the Confederate defeat at Gettysburg .
Letter from General E. P. Alexander , late Chief of artillery First corps , A. N. V .
Leading Confederates on the battle of Gettysburg .
Letter from General John B. Hood .
Official Reports of the battle of Gettysburg .
Report of General Patton Anderson of operations of his division from 30th of July to 31st of August , 1864 , including the battle of Jonesboro , Georgia .
The peace Commission .-letter from Ex-President Davis .
Letter from Hon. J. P. Benjamin .
Farewell address of Brigadier-General R. L. Gibson to the Louisiana brigade after the terms of surrender had been agreed upon between Lieut.-Gen. Richard Taylor , C. S. A. , and Major-Gen. E. R. S. Canby , U. S. A.
Reminiscences of torpedo service in Charleston Harbor by W. T. Glassel , Commander Confederate States Navy.
1 The sentimental idea desired to be conveyed by--, in saying that “the Federal troops fought ten times better at Gettysburg than in Virginia,” is based upon the supposition that troops are much more willing to die when fighting on their own soil and in its defence. Attacking a sentiment is not popular, I know. I am not singular, I am satisfied, in expressing the opinion that not one man in a thousand engaged in battle ever thinks what soil he is fighting on, but would rather be on any other soil than just that soil at that time. Far different emotions fill the breasts of men at such times. I confess I am matter-of-fact enough to believe that Leonidas and his celebrated three hundred would not have all died at Thermopylee but for the fact that they were surrounded and could not get away. Human nature was pretty much the same two thousand three hundred and fifty-seven years ago as it is to-day. The part that the uninitiated would have sentiment to play in warfare is very sure to be eradicated by actual participation in such a war as raged in this country from 1860 to 1864.
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