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[160] referring to the fight of July 3, “after it is all over, as stupid a fellow as I am can see the mistakes that were made” ; adding, “I notice, however, my mistakes are never told me until it is too late, and you, and all my officers know that I am always ready and anxious to have their suggestions.” The fact is, General Lee believed the Army of Northern Virginia, as it then existed, could accomplish anything.

Had our cavalry been in position, General Lee would have known of Reynolds' approach in the direction of Gettysburg twenty-four hours before this corps reached Gettysburg. General Lee could and probably would, had he known the enemy were in motion, have occupied Gettysburg on the 29th or 30th of June, and rendered his position impregnable.

Had our cavalry been in position, General Lee, if he saw proper, could have permitted Reynolds' corps to have occupied Gettysburg as it did-but instead of this corps being unmasked by two brigades of my division, it would have been attacked by Longstreet, Ewell and Hill's corps. In that case the fate of this corps no one can doubt; and had the enemy thrown forward reinforcements as he did, they would have been crushed in detail.

Had our cavalry been in position, the chances are that the battle never would have been fought at Gettysburg; but whether there or elsewhere, the battle would have been planned and digested with that consummate skill and boldness which characterized the plans of the greatest of American soldiers in his seven days fights around Richmond, his discomfiture of Pope, his Chancellorsville fight, and his series of battles in 1864, from the Wilderness to Cold Harbor. Yours truly,

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