The origin of the series of papers on Gettysburg
which we have published since August last, was the following letter of enquiry which we have recently received permission from its distinguished author to publish.
We sent some twenty-five copies of this letter to leading Confederates who participated in the battle and were in position to know its inside history, selecting representatives of every corps and division of our army, and of every arm of the service.
The replies received we forwarded to the Count
, and have published in our papers without note or comment of our own.
Besides these we have published at different times the official reports of Generals R. E. Lee
, A. P. Hill
, J. E. B. Stuart
, R. H. Anderson
, Brigadier-General J. B. Robertson
, Colonel W. W. White
, commanding Anderson
's brigade, Brigadier-General H. L. Benning
, Brigadier-Gereral J. B. Kershaw
, Colonel E. P. Alexander
, and Brigadier-General J. H. Lane
The reports of Generals Early
, and Ewell
had been previously published in the Southern Magazine
, and the report of General W. N. Pendleton
, Chief of Artillery
, Army Nothern Virginia
, which is crowded out of this number, will be published hereafter.
These letters and official reports, and the other papers which we have published have made a series which has excited wide interest and attention, and called forth warm expressions as to their value and importance.
says, in a recent letter concerning these papers: “I cannot say how valuable, how interesting for one who wishes to reach the truth, these letters are. As far as opinions go they do not always agree, and even where it is so, one may take a view different from those expressed by the writers; but they give, with a large number of unknown facts, a roost interesting insight into the way in which the campaign, and especially the battle of Gettysburg
was managed by General Lee
and his subordinates.”
It will be seen in the letter from our friend Major Scheibert
, of the Prussian Royal
Engineers, which we publish below, that he regards these papers as of the very highest interest and value.
We have thought proper to prefix these remarks to the letter which originated the series, which we now give in full as follows: