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[290]

He then goes on to give a long list of the reasons he urged against the attack, and says of General Lee:

He, however, did not seem to abandon the idea of attack on the next day. He seemed under a subdued excitement which occasionally took possession of him when “the hunt was up,” and threatened his superb equipoise. The sharp battle fought by Hill and Ewell on that day had given him a taste of victory.

Is this Swinton, or Longstreet, or the writer for the Times?

It is very clear to my mind that when General Lee found Longstreet so averse to an attack, he rode over to see Ewell, and then ensued that conference of which I have given an account. I can now fully understand the import of his expressions in regard to Longstreet, and his anxiety for the attack to be made by Ewell's corps.

When he rode back from that conference he found Longstreet, for the latter says: “I left General Lee quite late on the night of the first.” And he further says: “When I left General Lee on the night of the first, I believe that he had made up his mind to attack, but was confident that he had not yet determined as to when the attack should be made.”

Now, General Lee had announced to Ewell, Rodes, and myself his purpose to attack at daylight or as soon thereafter as practicable, and asked whether we could not attack with our corps at that time. No man knew better than he the value of time, and the supreme necessity of attacking before Meade's whole army was up, and is it credible that in talking to Longstreet about the attack he did not once intimate that he desired to attack as early as practicable on the morning of the 2nd, before Meade's army should all be up? Swinton says: “The absence of Pickett's division on the day before made General Longstreet very loth to make the attack; but Lee thinking the Union force was not all up, would not wait.” This information he says he got from Longstreet. Is it not very certain, then, that General Lee was determined to make the attack before Meade's army was all up, and discussed with Longstreet the necessity of making the attack before Meade had time to concentrate? Longstreet's continued reluctance to make the attack, manifested no doubt on General Lee's return from Ewell's line, must have caused the sending of Colonel Marshall to Ewell on the night of the first, after the conference I have spoken of.


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