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“ [184] it intersected a road leading back in the direction of the Round Top. When we reached the bend of the road, I called General Longstreet's attention to the hill over which he would have to pass, in full view of the enemy, and also to a route across the field, shorter than the road and completely hidden from the enemy's observation. General Longstreet preferred the road, and followed it until the head of his column reached the top of the hill. He then halted McLaws and ordered Hood forward. At the time our movement was discovered we were not more than a mile and a half from the position finally reached by Hood. Had General McLaws pushed on by the route across the field he] would have been in position in less than an hour; yet General Longstreet says ‘several hours’ were lost by his taking the wrong road. The delay of ‘several hours’ cannot be attributed to General Longstreet's taking the wrong road (whether he or I is to blame for that), but in the delay in starting, the slowness of the march, the time unnecessarily lost by halting McLaws, and the time lost in getting into action after the line was formed. Tie fact that General Lee ordered me to make the reconnoissance and return as soon as possible, led me to believe, if he intended to attack at all, such attack was to be made at an early hour.”

Colonel Johnston did not even know where General Iongstreet was going. He supposed he had been ordered to ride with him simply to give him the benefit of his reconnoissance. He must be surprised then, as he states, to find himself considered by Gen. Longstreet in charge of McLaws' division, First corps, Army Northern Virginia. I dwell on this point because it is a most important one. Gettysburg was lost by just this delay of “several hours.”

Facts, however, do not warrant us in believing that General Longstreet was always so particular in following officers sent by General Lee to guide his column, because many of us recall that in the opening of the spring campaign of 1864, General Lee sent an engineer officer to General Longstreet, then encamped near Gordonsville, to guide him to the point he wanted him in the wilderness, but this officer was pushed aside by General Longstreet's saying he knew the route and had no use for his services. As a consequence, he lost his way and reached the wilderness twenty-four hours behind time, just as A. P. Hill was about to sustain

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