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[262] with his division, the only one of my corps that had not been engaged, Anderson's division of the Third corps having been halted to let them pass. Cemetery Ilill was not assailable from the town, and I determined, with Johnson's division, to take possession of a wooded hill to my left, on a line with and commanding Cemetery Hill. Before Johnson got up, the enemy was reported moving to our left flank-our extreme left, and I could see what seemed to be his skirmishers in that direction. Before this report could be investigated by Lieutenants T. T. Turner, of my staff, and Robert Early, sent to investigate it, and Johnson placed inposition, the night was far advanced.

I received orders soon after dark to draw my corps to the right in case it could not be used to advantage where it was; that the Commanding-General thought from the nature of the ground that the position for attack was a favorable one on that side. I represented to the Commaanding-General that the hill above referred to. was unoccupied by the enemy at dark, as reported by Lieutenants Turner and Early, who had gone upon it, and that it commanded their position and made it untenable, so far as I could judge.

He decided to let me remain, and on my return to my headquarters, after 12 o'clock at night, I sent orders to Johnson, by Lieutenant and Aide-de-Camp T. T. Turner, to take possession of this hill, if he had not already done so. General Johnson stated in reply to that order that, after forming his line of battle this side of the wooded hill in question, he had sent a reconnoitering party to the hill with orders to report as to the position of the enemy in reference to it. This party on nearing the summit was met/by a superior force of the enemy, which succeeded in capturing a portion of the reconnoitering party, the rest of it making its escape. During this conversation with General Johnson a man arrived, bringing a dispatch dated at midnight, and taken from a Federal courier making his way from General Sykes to General Slocum, in which the former stated that his corps was then halted four miles from Gettysburg, and would resume its march at 4 A. M. Lieutenant Turner brought this dispatch to my headquarters, and stated that General Johnson would refrain from attacking the position until I had received notice that the enemy was in possession of the hill, and had sent him further orders.

Day was now breaking, and it was too late for any change of place (plans?) Meantime orders had come from the General Commanding for me to delay my attack until I heard Longstreet's guns open fire on the right. Lieutenant Turner at once returned to General Johnson and delivered these instructions, directing him to be ready to attack, Early being already in line on the left and Rodes on the right of the main street of the town, Rodes' right extending out on the Fairfield road.

This is a very full and frank statement of the orders received and of the reasons that influenced General Ewell, and surely his

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Edward Johnson (8)
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