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[174]

By this brief explanation you will see that the best chance for a successful attack was within the first hour, and unquestionably the great mistake of the battle was the failure to follow the Union forces through the town, and attack them before they could reform on Cemetery Hill. Lane's and Thomas' brigades, of Pender's division, and Smith's, of Early's division, were at hand for such a purpose, and had fired scarcely a shot. Dole's, Hoke's, and Iays' brigades were in good fighting condition, and several others would have done good service. The artillery was up, and in an admirable position to have covered an assault, which could have been pushed, under cover of the houses, to within a few rods of the Union position.

I have a nominal list of casualities in the First and Eleventh corps, but not at my command at present. If you desire anything additional I shall be pleased to furnish it, if at my disposal.

I am sir, yours with respect, Jno. B. Bachelder.

These letters unquestionably show that had we known it at the time, the position on the heights fought for on the 2nd could have been gained on the afternoon of the 1st by continuing without delay the pursuit of the Federals. It will be observed that they also affirm that the success of an attack made by us after an hour's delay would have been involved in doubt. General Hancock says that an attempt had been made “to reform some of the Eleventh corps as they passed over Cemetery Hill, but it had not been successful;” and that when he arrived there, about 3 P. M., there were only some 1,000 or 1,200 troops on the hill, with Buford's cavalry in front; and that up to 6 P. M. the troops that had been collected from the First and Eleventh corps had only been reinforced by Williams' and Geary's divisions of the Twelfth corps, under Slocum-numbering together by return of June 30th, 8,056.

The number collected in the First corps amounted to 2,450-(Bates, page 82, and also Doubleday's, its com mander's, testimony). Of the Eleventh, (see Hancock,) 1,200. Estimating Buford's cavalry at about 2,500, we would have a Federal force, up to 6 P. M.., of 14,206,1 opposed to our 26,000. Birney's division of the Third

1 This includes all troops except those afterwards collected in Eleventh corps in addition to the 1,200 mentioned by General Hancock.

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