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[162]

A review of the First two days operations at Gettysburg and a reply to General Longstreet by General Fitz. Lee.

[Even if his gallant services and military reputation did not entitle him to speak, we are sure that our readers will be glad to have the following paper from one so closely allied to our great Commander-in-Chief.]

The “great battle of Gettysburg” has always occupied a prominent position in the mind of the Confederate soldier. This surpassing interest is due from the fact that there prevails, throughout the South, a wide-spread impression that had the plans of the Southern chieftain been fully endorsed, entered into, and carried out by his corps commanders, the historic “rebel yell” of triumph would have resounded along Cemetery Ridge upon that celebrated 2d July, 1863, and re-echoing from the heights of Round Top, might have been heard and heeded around the walls of Washingtoi, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. There is a ghastliness about that picture of the struggle at Gettysburg, that the blood of the heroes who perished there serves but to increase; and over that splendid scene of human courage and human sacrifice, there arises like the ghost of Banquo at Macbeth's banquet, a dreadful apparition, which says that the battle was lost to the Southern troops because “some one blundered.” Military critics, foreign and native, have differed as to the individual responsibility of what was practically a Confederate defeat. The much-alused cavalry is lifted into great prominence and is constrained to f3el complimented by the statement of many of these critics that the failure to crush the Federal army in Pennsylvania in 1863 can be expressed “in five words” (General iHeth, in a late paper to the Philadelphia Times), viz: “the absence of our cavalry;” but such language implies an accusation against General J. E. B. Stuart, its commander, who has been charged with a neglect of duty in rot reporting the passage of the Potomac by Hooker's army (afterwards Meade's), and with disobedience of orders, which resulted in placing the Federal al my between his command and the force of General Lee, thereby putting out the eyes of his own “giant.” There are those who bring our troubles to the door and cast them at the feet of General Ewell, the gallant commander of the Second corps, who is charged with not obeying his chief's orders, by following

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