previous next

[76] given you I never knew of it, or it has strangely escaped my memory. I think it more than probable that if General Lee had had your troops available the evening previous to the day of which you speak, he would have ordered an early attack, but this does not touch the point at issue. I regard it as a great mistake on the part of those who, perhaps, because of political differences, now undertake to criticise and attack your war record. Such conduct is most ungenerous, and I am sure meets the disapprobation of all good Confederates with whom I have had the pleasure of associating in the daily walks of life.

Yours, very respectfully, W. H. Taylor. To General Longstreet.

The next letter is from Colonel Charles Marshall, of General Lee's staff, who has charge of all the papers left by General Lee. It is as follows:

Baltimore, Md., May 7, 1875.
dear General: Your letter of the 20th ult. was received and should have had an earlier reply but for my engagements preventing me from looking at my papers to find what I could on the subject. I have no personal recollection of the order to which you refer. It certainly was not conveyed by me, nor is there anything in General Lee's official report to show the attack on the 2d was expected by him to begin earlier, except that he notices that there was not proper concert of action on that day.

Respectfully, Charles Marshall. To General Longstreet, New Orleans.

Then a letter from General A. L. Long, who was General Lee's military secretary:

dear General: Your letter of the 20th ult., refering to an assertion of General Pendleton's, made in a lecture delivered several years ago, which was recently published in the Southern fHistorial Society Maqgazine sub-stantially as follows: “That General Lee ordered General Longstreet to attack General Meade at sunrise on the morning of the 2d of July,” has been received. I do not recollect of hearing of an order to attack at sunrise, or at any other designated hour, pending the operations at Gettysburg during the first three days of July, 1863. ...

Yours truly, A. L. Long. To General Longstreet.

I add the letter of Colonel Venable, of General Lee's staff, which should of itself be conclusive. I merely premise it with the statement that it was fully 9 o'clock before General Lee returned from his reconnoissance of Ewell's lines:

University of Virginia, May 11, 1875.
General James Longstreet:
dear General: Your letter of the 25th ultimo. with regard to Gen. Lee's battle order on the 1st and 2d of July at Gettysburg, was duly received. I did not know of any order for attack on the enemy at sunrise on the 2d, nor can I belive any such order was issued by General Lee. About sunrise on the 2d of July I was sent by General Lee to General Ewell to ask him what he thought of the advantages of an attack on the enemy from his position. (Colonel Marshall had been sent with a similar


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 Places (automatically extracted)
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 (11)
James Longstreet (5)
Charles Marshall (3)
A. L. Long (2)
Ewell (2)
Charles S. Venable (1)
Walter H. Taylor (1)
William N. Pendleton (1)
Gederal Meade (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
July 2nd (3)
20th (2)
May 31st, 1875 AD (1)
May 11th, 1875 AD (1)
May 7th, 1875 AD (1)
July, 1863 AD (1)
July 1st (1)
25th (1)
2nd (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: