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[269] of it, by striking while Meade was hurrying up his troops and before all could arrive and be put in position. I believe all now agree, that the fullest success would have attended the effort if the blow had been struck in the morning or forenoon of the 2nd, as it should have been, and as was General Lee's purpose.

If there had before remained any doubt as to who was responsible for the failure to strike the blow at the proper time, the very clear and explicit statement by General Hood, which is a most valuable contribution to the history of the battle, would settle that doubt beyond dispute, I think.

General Hood's statement furnishes information not before given, in regard to the time of the arrival on the ground of Longstreet's troops, and renders it very certain that the orders for the attack to begin were given very early in the morning, if not the night before. It is to be remarked, that no member of General Lee's staff can tell when those orders were given, and what was their precise character. It is very manifest that they were given in person, and orally, as was often General Lee's practice.

The objection which General Hood made in regard to attacking up the Emmettsburg road, would not have existed in the morning or forenoon, because the Round Tops were not then occupied, and it was the delay in the attack that produced the difficulty he mentions.

The statement of General, then Colonel, Alexander, that the duty and responsibility of ordering Pickett's division to begin the charge on the 3rd was devolved on him by the corps commander, is one calculated to excite profound if not painful attention and interest.

I may add in connection with my previous remarks in regard to the want of decisive results from a mere capture of the heights of Gettysburg, that if we had gained them, and Meade had attacked us and been repulsed, or if we had moved to our right to threaten his communications and he had attacked us, and then been repulsed, such repulse would also have been barren of beneficial results, unless it had ensured the destruction or demoralization of his army. The same considerations apply to both cases.

I have never thought that our failure at Gettysburg was due to the absence of Stuart's cavalry, though I can well understand the perplexity and annoyance it caused General Lee before the enemy

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