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[68] he was not ready at 4 o'clock when the attack was really made. His orders were to hold himself in readiness to co-operate with my attack when it was made. In breaking his line of battle he rendered himself unable to support me when he would have been potential. Touching the failure of the supporting brigades of Anderson's division to cover McLaws' flank by echelon movements, as directed, there is little to be said. Those brigades acted gallantly, but went astray early in the fight. General Anderson in his report says: “A strong fire was poured upon our right flank, which had become detached from McLaws' left.” General Lee, alluding to the action of these two brigades, says: “But having become separated from McLaws, Wilcox's and Wright's brigades advanced with great gallantry, breaking successive lines of the enemy's infantry and compelling him to abandon much of his attillery. Wilcox reached the foot and Wright gained the crest of the ridge itself, driving the enemy down the opposite side; but having become separated from McLaws, and gone beyond the other two brigades of the division they were to attack in front and on both flanks, and compelled to retire, being unable to bring off any of the captured attillery, McLaws' left also fell back, and it being now nearly dark General Longstreet determined to await the arrival of Pickett.” So much for the action of the first day.

I did not see General Lee that night. On the next morning he came to see me, and fearing that he was still in his disposition to attack, I tried to anticipate him by saying: “General, I have had my scouts out all night, and I find that you still have an excellent opportunity to move around to the right of Meade's army and manceuvre him into attacking us.” IHe replied, pointing with his fist at Cemetery Hill: “The enemy is there, and I am going to strike him.” 1 felt then that it was my duty to express my convictions; I said: “General, I have been a soldier all my life. I have been with soldiers engaged in fights by couples, by squads, companies, regiments, divisions and armies, and should know as well as any one what soldiers can do. It is my opinion that no 15,000 men ever arrayed for battle can take that position,” pointing to Cemetery Hill. General Lee in reply to this ordered me to prepare Pickett's division for the attack. I should not have been so urgent had I not foreseen the hopelessness of the proposed assault. I felt that I must say a word against the sacrifice of my men; and then I felt that my record was such that General Lee would or could not misconstrue my motives. I said no more, however, but turned away. The most of the morning was consumed in waiting for Pickett's men and getting into position. The plan of assault was as follows: Our artillery was to be massed in a wood from which Pickett was to charge, and it was to pour a continuous fire upon the cemetery. Under cover of this fire, and supported by it, Pickett was to charge.

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Pickett (5)
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