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[292] early as possible, and that the latter threw every obstacle in the way? Doubtless, after sending Colonel Venable to Ewell, General Lee's impatience at Longstreet's opposition to the attack and the delay in the movement of his troops caused him to ride over to Ewell's line to see for himself if it was not practicable to make the attack from that flank. Upon being satisfied that it could not be made to advantage there he rode back and gave the peremptory order-which, Longstreet says, was given at 11 A. M., though he did not begin the attack until about 4 P. M. If, as Colonel Venable supposes, General Lee had been undecided or vascillating as to how, when, and by whom the attack should be made, from 5

P. M. the day before until 11 A. M. of the. 2d, when Longstreet acknowledges the receipt of the order, then Longstreet's opinion that “there is no doubt that General Lee during the crisis of that campaign lost the matchless equipoise that usually characterized him, and that whatever mistakes were made were not so much matters of deliberate judgment as the impulses of a great mind disturbed by unparalleled conditions” --that is, in plain English, that General Lee had lost his senses — has some foundation to rest on.

All who know General Lee's mode of giving directions to his subordinates, can well understand how he indicated his purposes and wishes, without resorting to a technical order, and doubtless he indicated to General Longstreet in that way his desire for him to make the attack, and make it at the earliest practicable moment, and did not resort to the peremptory order until the time indicated by General Longstreet. To rely on that is standing upon a mere technicality. But when the order was given at 11 A. M., as acknowledged, why was it that it required until 4 P. M. to begin? The pretense that he made the attack with great promptness, because he attacked before any one else on that day, is simply ridiculous. Every one else was waiting for him to begin, as the orders required them to do. General Ewell, in his report, in speaking of a contemplated movement by Johnson on our extreme left, says:

Day was now breaking, and it was too late for any change of plans. Meantime orders had come from the General Commanding for me to delay my attack until I heard General Longstreet's guns open on the right.

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