“  properly attributed,” I should answer: 1st. The absence of General Stuart's cavalry from the army. 2d. Thbe non-occtpation of the hills south of Gettysburg by General Ewell on the afternoon of the 1st July, 1863. 3d. To the delay in the attack upon the 2d. Let me turn your mind briefly to the two first, the third having already been commented upon. It is evident'that General Stuart was ordered to give information of the enemy's crossing the Potomac, or why did General Lee loiter after crossing his army and wait to hear from him? Without orders it was his duty to do so as commander of his cavalry. The advance of the Army of Northern Virginia, under Ewell, entered Pennsylvania on the 22d of June. The Federal army crossed the Potomac on the 25th and 26th. General Lee heard of that event on the night of the 28th June through a scout. Up to that period he thought their army was still in Virginia, because he had heard nothing from Stuart. Knowing as I do Stuart's strict attention to forwarding all species of information, I am bound to believe he did not fail to send the notice of this important fact. It may have miscarried. It has been charged that Stuart disobeyed orders in crossing his command at a lower point on the Potomac than that at which the Federals crossed, and making the circuit which interposed the army of the enemy between his command and the force of General Lee. I deny that. I know that he was left to the exercise of his own discretion. Indeed, Gen. Lee says in his report, that “in the exercise of the discretion given him, when Longstreet and till crossed into Maryland, General Stuart determined to pass around the rear of the Federal army with three brigades and cross the Potomac between it and Washington.” Free to act, I think the move selected was not the best under the circumstances. As soon. as the Federal army began to cross the river, he should have marched to the west side of the Blue Ridge, crossed also, and moving rapidly to General Lee's front, have placed himself at once in direct communication
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Battle of Kelleysville , March 17th , 1863 -Reports of Generals J. E. B. Stuart and Fitz. Lee .
Causes of the defeat of Gen. Lee 's Army at the battle of Gettysburg -opinions of leading Confederate soldiers.
Letter from Gen J. A. Early .
Causes of the Confederate defeat at Gettysburg .
Letter from General E. P. Alexander , late Chief of artillery First corps , A. N. V .
Leading Confederates on the battle of Gettysburg .
Letter from General John B. Hood .
Official Reports of the battle of Gettysburg .
Report of General Patton Anderson of operations of his division from 30th of July to 31st of August , 1864 , including the battle of Jonesboro , Georgia .
The peace Commission .-letter from Ex-President Davis .
Letter from Hon. J. P. Benjamin .
Farewell address of Brigadier-General R. L. Gibson to the Louisiana brigade after the terms of surrender had been agreed upon between Lieut.-Gen. Richard Taylor , C. S. A. , and Major-Gen. E. R. S. Canby , U. S. A.
Reminiscences of torpedo service in Charleston Harbor by W. T. Glassel , Commander Confederate States Navy.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.