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[55] to judge, we may say with confidence that we should have destroyed the Federal army, marched into Washington, and dictated our terms, or, at least, held Washington and marched over as much of Pennsylvania as we cared to, had we drawn the enemy into attack upon our carefully chosen position in his rear. General Lee chose the plans adopted; and he is the person appointed to choose and to order. I consider it a part of my duty to express my views to the Commanding-General. If he approves and adopts them, it is well; if he does not, it is my duty to adopt his views, and to execute his orders as faithfully as if they were my own. I cannot help but think that great results would have been obtained had my views been thought better of; yet I am much inclined to accept the present condition as for the best. I hope and trust that it is so. Your programme would all be well enough, had it been practicable; and was duly thought of, too. I fancy that no good ideas upon that campaign will be mentioned at any time that did not receive their share of consideration by General Lee. The few things that he might have overlooked himself were, I believe, suggested by myself. As we failed, I must take my share of the responsibility. In fact, I would prefer that all the blame should rest upon me. As General Lee is our commander, he should have the support and influence we can give him. If the blame (if there is any) can be shifted from him to me, I shall help him and our cause by taking it. I desire, therefore, that all the responsibility that can be put upon me shall go there and shall remain there. The truth will be known in time, and I leave that to show how much of the responsibility of Gettysburg rests on my shoulders. ...

Most affectionately yours, J. Longstreet. To A. B. Longstreet, Ll. D., Columbus, Ga.

I sincerely regret that I cannot still rest upon that letter. But I have been so repeatedly and so rancorously assailed by those whose intimacy with the Commanding-General in that battle gave an apparent importance to their assaults, that I feel impelled by a sense of duty to give to the public a full and comprehensive narration of the campaign from its beginning to its end; especially when I reflect that the publication of the truth cannot now, as it might have done then, injure the cause for which we fought the battle. The request that I furnish this history to the Times comes opportunely, for the appeal just made through the press by a distinguished foreigner for all information that will develope the causes of the failure of that campaign has provoked anew its partisan and desultory discussion, and renders a plain and logical recital of the facts both timely and important.

After the defeat of Burnside at Fredericksburg in December, it was believed that active operations were over for the winter, and I was sent

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