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[189] not have gotten up. And Meade testifies (page 332) that Sykes, by hurrying up his column, fortunately was enabled to drive the enemy back and secure a foothold upon that important position, viz., Round Top, “the key-point of my whole position,” General Meade says. And again, that “if they had succeeded in occupying that, it would have prevented me from holding any of the ground I subsequently held until the last.” Behold the sagacity of General Lee He wanted to attack early so as to “whip the Federals in detail,” and selected the very point admitted by his able opponent to be his “key-point.” It seems he would have gained the position if he could have imparted more velocity to the commander on his right. General Lee's plan seems, in a military sense, almost faultless. An English writer has said of General Lee, that with a character as near perfect as has been hitherto vouchsafed to mortals, there was yet in it, for a military man, a slight imperfection, viz., “a disposition too epicene.” To the tender and loving heart of the woman he united the strong courage and will of the man, but a reluctance to oppose the wishes or desires of others, or to order them to do things disagreeable to them which they would not fully consent to or enter into. Perhaps herein lies the secret of his troubles on the 2d of July. He was fully alive, on his part, to the necessity of an early attack, and he saw with an unerring eye the “key-point,” but in view of the unwillingness of the commander of the troops he had determined to begin the battle with, and who was at his headquarters at daylight arguing against, instead of making the attack, he may not have put his orders in that positive shape from which there could be no evasion, no appeal. General Hood, in a letter to me, says “I did not hear General Lee give the direct order to Longstreet to attack on the morning of the second day, nor have I ever believed that he gave a positive and direct order to do so, but merely as he (General Lee) often did, suggested the attack.” If Hood is correct, the suggestion had the strength of an order in General Lee's own mind at least, because upon no other theory can we explain his personal actions and impatience on that morning or his own words to others. The attempt of General Longstreet to hold General Lee to the full responsibility of the failure at Gettysburg, because, in a spirit of magnanimity which has excited the highest admiration both in this country and in Europe, he said on the

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