This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
“  who could accomplish all that you have. wished; and you will do me the justice to believe that if Providence should kindly offer such a person, I would not hesitate to avail myself of his services. To ask me to substitute you by some one, in my judgment, more fit to command or who would possess more of the confidence of the army or of the reflecting men of the country, is to demand an impossibility.” I give extracts from these two letters because, some two years ago, General Lee's whole letter to Mr. Davis was reproduced in some of the public prints. It was followed by General Longstreet's letter to his uncle, (again republished in his paper to the Times,) and which first gave to the world the information that another plan to fight this great battle had been considered by the Commander of the Confederate army. This news was in turn succeeded by an extract from a letter from General Lee to General Longstreet, wherein he says, “Had I taken your advice at Gettysburg, instead of pursuing the course I did, how different all might have been.” Following this came an extract from a letter of Captain Gorie to General Longstreet. The captain had been sent as a bearer of dispatches from General Longstreet, then in East Tennessee, to General Lee at Orange Courthouse. In this extract Captain Gorie tells us that, “upon my arrival there General Lee asked me in his tent, where he was alone, with two or three Northern papers on his table: He remarked that he had just been reading the Northern official reports of the battle of Gettysburg, and that he had become satisfied that, if he had permitted you to carry out your plans on the 3rd day, instead of making the attack on Cemetery Hill, we would have been successful.” These little extracts which General Longstreet uses again in his narrative, seem to appear as a. desirable connection and to ring out a public notice, that the younger and abler man referred to by General Lee was the commander of his First army corps, and as there are witnesses still living to testify that General Longstreet once said in the house of the late John Alexander, at Campbell Courthouse, just after the surrender at Appomattox, that in case of another war he would never fight under General Lee again, it is fair to presume that he, too, was conscious of his own superiority, if all this be true.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.