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[237] from the Third corps, which I had destined to accompany Pickett's charge, with fresh men and horses, and full ammunition chests. I considered this very important, as the guns which did the preliminary cannonading would be unable, from loss of men, horses, and ammunition to support the charge as promptly as fresh guns might, or as the occasion might demand. Had I not had these guns sent to me I would have reserved a portion of the seventyfive in battery. I placed the guns in what I supposed to be a sheltered position, where I ordered them to await my orders. Just before the general cannonading commenced, I sent for them to move up closer, where they could join the charge more promptly, but they could not be found. I dispatched several messengers, but the guns were gone, and only after our return to Virginia did I find out what became of them. General Pendleton ordered four of them to take position in the Third corps' line, and Major Richardson moved off the others without notifying me-as the position turned out to be unsheltered from the enemy's shells, though out of his sight. At 12 M., while awaiting on the flank of my line of guns for the signal to open fire, I received the following note from General Longstreet:

Headquarters, July 3d, 1863.
Colonel: If the artillery fire does not have the effect to drive off the enemy, or greatly demoralize him, so as to make our effort pretty certain, I would prefer that you should not advise General Pickett to make the charge. I shall rely a great deal upon your good judgment to determine the matter, and shall expect you to let General Pickett know when the moment offers.

Most respectfully,


To this I immediately wrote a reply that when the cannonade commenced the smoke would so obscure the field that I could only judge of the effect on the enemy by his return fire, Sand that I considered the enemy's position so strong that an assault was most hazardous, and could only be successful (if at all) after serious loss, and recommending, if there was any alternative other than the direct attack contemplated, as his note would seem to indicate, that it should be adopted. To this I received the following reply:


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