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Letter from Colonel J. B. Walton.

New Orleans, October 15th, 1877.
Rev. J. Wm. Jones, D. D., Secretary Southern Historical Society, Richmond, Va.:
Dear sir: My attention has been directed to the letter of Col. E. P. Alexander, of date of 17th March, 1877, on the subject of Causes of Confederate defeat at Gettysburg, published in the September No. of Southern Historical Society Papers, in which occurs the following statement by Colonel Alexander: “My rank and position during that campaign was colonel of artillery, commanding a battalion of six batteries attached as reserve to Longstreet's corps; and on the field at Gettysburg, I was placed by Gen. Longstreet in command of all his artillery on the field, as chief of artillery for the action.”

I am at a loss to comprehend how it could be stated by Colonel Alexander that he was “placed by General Longstreet in command of all his artillery on the field as chief of artillery for the action” at Gettysburg, for I had been for more than a year before, was during the battle and after the battle of Gettysburg, Chief of Artillery of the First Army Corps, under Lieutenant-General Longstreet, and caused all the batteries in the grand bombardment of the 3d July to be placed in position from right to left, placing the Washington Artillery, under Major Eshleman, in the centre as nearly as could be. During the entire engagement I was present in person on the field, directing and superintending the batteries in action. Colonel Alexander commanded one of the battalions, composed of six batteries of the First corps; all the artillery of that corps being under my command, as chief of artillery, corn manding.

On the 20th June, 1862, General Order No. 28, right wing Army Northern Virginia, I was announced as follows:

Colonel J. B. Walton, of the battalion Washington Artillery, having reported for duty with this command, he is announced as Chief of Artillery. He will be obeyed and respected accordingly.

By command of Major-General Longstreet.

G. M. Sorrel, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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