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[268] for miles furnished no supplies of consequence, and the presence of Meade's army in the vicinity, with its superior cavalry force, would have rendered it impracticable to send out foraging parties. Moreover, the country people would have been stimulated to a resistance to our demands which we had not met with at first, though many of them fled with their herds and flocks before us across the Susquehanna. The probability, therefore, is that before we got ready to fight Meade in his position when found, our army would have been without the food necessary to sustain it, and we would have been compelled to retreat without fighting another battle. To sustain the horses and mules of the army alone, a very large amount of forage was necessary, and that part of the country did not afford it.

The failure, therefore, to seize the heights on the afternoon of the 1st, whoever may have been responsible for it, cannot be legitimately assigned as one of the causes of our failure at Gettysburg. That may have prevented the battle from taking place there, but if we had been compelled to retire from want of provisions without fighting, that would have equally been a failure of the campaign as a decisive one.

I may go further and say, that even a capture of those heights on the 2nd or 3rd of July would have been of no avail to us, unless we could have inflicted on the enemy a decisive an'd crushing defeat.

If we had merely been able to drive the enemy from the heights and occupy them ourselves, without being able to follow him up and destroy his army or materially cripple it, we would have had but a barren victory instead of a drawn battle, as I regarded it, or a repulse, as others style it. In that event, also, we would have had to retire for want of supplies, and the enemy could soon have recovered from the blow by another levy of troops.

The concentration of Meade's army at that point, after the success on our part on the 1st, coming up as it did in detail, did give us the opportunity of striking him a decissive blow, which we would not otherwise have obtained. When he was bringing up his corps to Cemetery Ridge, one at a time, to use a war phrase very common with correspondents and editors, “we had him just where we wanted him.” General Lee saw and recognized at once the great opportunity furnished him, and determined to avail himself

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