previous next

[60] about ten miles from Chambersburg. My infantry was forced to remain in Greenwood until late in the afternoon of the 1st. My artillery did not get the road until 2 o'clock on the morning of the 2d.

General Lee spent the night with us, establishing his headquarters, as he frequently did, a short distance from mine. General Lee says of the movements of this day: “Preparation had been made to advance upon Harrisburg; but on the night of the 29th information was received from a scout that the enemy had crossed the Potomac, was advancing northward, and that the head of his column had already reached South Mountain. As our communications with the Potomac were thus menaced, it was resolved to prevent his further progress in that direction by concentrating our army on the east side of the mountains.” On the morning of the 1st General Lee and myself left his headquarters together, and had ridden three or four miles when we heard heavy firing along Hill's front. The firing became so heavy that General Lee left me and hurried forward to see what it meant. After attending to some details of my march, I followed. The firing proceeded from the engagement between our advance and Reynolds' corps, in which the Federals were repulsed. This rencontre was totally unexpected on both sides. As an evidence of the doubt in which General Lee was enveloped, and the anxiety that weighed him down during the afternoon, I quote from General R. H. Anderson the report of a conversation had with him during the engagement. General Anderson was resting with his division at Cashtown, awaiting orders. About 10 o'clock in the morning he received a message notifying him that General Lee desired to see him. He found Gen. Lee intently listening to the fire of the guns, and very much disturbed and depressed. At length he said, more to himself than to General Anderson: “I cannot think what has become of Stuart; I ought to have heard from him long before now. He may have met with disaster, but I hope not. In the absence of reports from him, I am in ignorance as to what we have in front of us here. It may be the whole Federal army, or it may be only a detachment. If it is the whole Federal force we must fight a battle here; if we do not gain a victory those defiles and gorges through which we passed this morning will shelter us from disaster.”

When I overtook General Lee at 5 o'clock that afternoon, he said, to my surprise, that he thought of attacking General Meade upon the heights the next day. I suggested that this course seemed to be at variance with the plan of the campaign that had been agreed upon before leaving Fredericksburg. He said: “If the enemy is there to-morrow, we must attack him.” I replied: “If he is there, it will be because he is anxious that we ahould attack him — a good reason in my judgment for not doing so.” I urged that we should move around by our right to the left of Meade and put our army between him and Washington, threatening

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Fitzhugh Lee (8)
R. H. Anderson (3)
Gederal Meade (2)
Washington (1)
Generat Stuart (1)
Reynolds (1)
A. P. Hill (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: