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[179]

On the night of July 1st two corps of General Lee's army lay in close proximity to the enemy, ready, willing, and expecting to fight as early as possible on the next morning; and two divisions, McLaws and Hood's, of the three in the remaining corps the same night bivouaced some four miles in rear.

The natural inference to be deduced from their positions would be that the Federal troops hastening up would concentrate and fortify in front of the two corps already in position, while the force in rear would be used to attack at the most vulnerable and available point. That such was General Lee's intention I think can be as clearly established as that General Longstreet did not, upon the 2nd of July, 1863, use due dilligence in carrying out the wishes of his chief.

General Early, a division-commander in Ewell's corps, in a recent paper on Gettysburg, gives a detailed narrative of a conference which General Lee held on the evening of the 1st with Ewell, Rodes, and himself, in which General Lee seemed very anxious for an attack to be made as early as possible next morning, and after being persuaded that it would not be best to make the main attack in Ewell's front said, “Well, if I attack from my right, Longstreet will have to make the attack-Longstreet is a very good fighter when he gets in position and gets everything ready, but he is so slow.” General Early further states that General Lee left the conference with the distinct understanding that he would order Longstreet up to make the attack early the next morning. General W. N. Pendleton, General Lee's chief-of-artillery, testifies that General Lee told him on the night of the 1st, when he reported to him the result of a reconnoissance on the right flank, that he “had ordered General Longstreet to attack on that flank at sunrise next morning.”

The official reports of Generals Ewell, Early, and Pendleton, all confirm this testimony. General A. P. Hill, in his official report of the battle of Gettysburg, says, speaking of the operations of the morning of the 2nd, “General Longstreet was to attack the left flank of the enemy and sweep down his line, and I was directed to co-operate with him.” General Long, one of the witnesses introduced by General Longstreet, who was at that time General Lee's military secretary, says, (in the portion of his letter which General Longstreet found it convenient to leave out, but which Gen.

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