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[181] that this conversation took place with Generals Lee, Longstreet, Hill, and perhaps Ewell.

But I am positive that in receiving my instructions from General Hill, on the night of the 1st of July, he told me that the orders were for the attack on the heights to be made at daybreak the next morning on both flanks — that the Third corps was to cooperate as circumstances might determine-and that the artillery should be held in readiness to support either flank, or to advance in front as should be decided.

We were ready at daybreak the next morning, and waited impatiently for the signal. Between 9 and 10 o'clock, I was lying under the shade of a tree near Colonel W. F. Poague, who commanded that day the reserve artillery of my corps, when General Lee rode up to him and, mistaking him for one of General Longstreet's officers, administered to him a sharp rebuke for being there instead of hurrying into position on the right. Colonel Poague explained that he was in Hill's, not Longstreet's command, and General Lee at once apologized and eagerly asked, “Do you know where General Longstreet is?” Colonel Poague referred him to me, and I immediately came forward from my position (where I had heard distinctly the conversation), and offered to ride with General Lee to where I thought he could find General Longstreet. As we rode together General Lee manifested more impatience than I ever saw him show upon any other occasion; seemed very much disappointed and worried that the attack had hot opened earlier, and very anxious for Longstreet to attack at the very earliest possible moment. He even, for a little while, placed himself at the head of one of the brigades to hurry the column forward.

I was fully satisfied then, as I am now, that General Lee had decided to attack early on the morning of the 2d; that he was bitterly disappointed at the protracted delay, and that this delay enabled General Meade to concentrate his forces and to occupy key positions, which we could have seized in the morning, and thus lost us a great victory.

I have the honor to be sir, Very respectfully, your obd't serv't, R. L. Walker.

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