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[51]

Major Eshleman, in command of the Washington Artillery, was ordered to fire the signal gun, when instantly from the right to the extreme left of the line, as had been arranged by order of General Longstreet, the guns of every battery opened the tremendous cannonade.

On the 4th of July, at 1 o'clock A. M., I seceived the following, addressed to me as Chief of Artillery, First corps: “General Longstreet directs that you have your artillery in readiness to resist an attack by daylight, remembering you have no ammunition to spare except for the enemy's infantry,” etc., and the following order before day on the 4th July:

headquarters First army corps, July 4th, 1863.
Colonel: The Lieutenant-General directs that such of your wagons as can be spared from your command be sent to Cashtown during the day as quietly as possible, reporting to Colonel Corley and Major Mitchell about dark. Let there be as little confusion as possible. Have the wagons which are to accompany the troops parked on the Fairfield road, so that they can file in with the column as it passes.

Will you please send Colonel Alexander to see the General at this point at light.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, Osman Latrobe, Assistant Adjutant-General. To Colonel Walton, Commanding Artillery, &c.

Enough has been written to show that Colonel Alexander has made a mistake in the assertion that he was in command of all the artillery of the First corps on the field, “as chief of artillery for the action.” Certainly, I was chief of artillery of the First corps before the action, commanded in the action directly under General Longstreet's orders on the field, fired the signal guns, as agreed with General Longstreet, to commence the bombardment, and I never was relieved from nor did I at any time relinquish my command of all the artillery of the First corps, until long after General Longstreet was ordered to Tennessee; and I was subsequently appointed by the Secretary of War, “Inspector-General of field artillery,” in March or April, 1864.

I really regret that, in justice to myself and to the responsible, and I may say distinguished position, I had the honor to fill at the


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