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 me and informed that General Picket would soon report to me, and then ordered that his troops were to be used as a column of assault, designating the point of assault, and that portions of the Third corps were to be used in support. About 7 o'clock General Pickett rode forward and stated that his troops would soon be upon the field and asked to be assigned his position. Colonel W. W. Wood, of Pickett's division, in his account of the day, says: “If I remember correctly, Pickett's division and the artillery were all in position by 11 A. M.” Hence we see that General Geary attacked General Ewell at least one hour before I had received my orders for the day; that at the very moment of my receiving these instructions General Ewell was engaged in a “spirited contest;” that this contest had continued several hours before General Pickett's troops came upon the field, and that the contest was virtually over before General Pickett and the artillery were prepared for the battle. When these arrangements were completed and the batteries ordered to open, General Ewell had been driven from his position and not a footstep was made from any other part of the army in my support. That there may have been confusion of orders on the field during the second and third days I am not prepared to deny, but there was nothing of the kind about the headquarters of the First corps. General Wilcox steps forward as a willing witness in all concerning the battle of Gettysburg, and seems to know everything of General Lee's wishes and the movements of the First corps, and in fact everything else except his own orders. His brigade was the directing brigade for the echelon movement that was to protect McLaws' flank. He went astray at the opening of the fight, either through ignorance of his orders or a misapprehension or violation of them. Had he but attended to his own brigade instead of looking to the management of the general battle, the splendid exhibition of soldiery given by his men would have given better results. I have not seen the criticism of the Comte de Paris upon the campaign, but I gather from quotations that he adduced as one of the objections to the invasion of Pennsylvania that the Federals would do superior fighting upon their own soil. The Confederates, whom I have read after, deny that this is true. Although not technically correct the Comte is right in the material point. The actual fighting on the field of Gettysburg by the army of the Potomac was not marked by any unusual gallantry, but the positions that it occupied were held with much more than the usual tenacity of purpose. There is little to say of the retreat of General Lee's army to the Potomac. When we reached South Mountain, on our retreat, we learned that the Federal cavalry was in strong force threatening the destruction of our trains then collecting at Williamsport, and that it was also intercepting
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