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[202] I was ordered to take command of all the artillery on the field for action, but to leave Colonel Walton's own battalion where it was then in bivouac near the Cashtown road. I did take the command and exercised it actively, and personally put in position every battalion, and nearly every battery, except a a part of Henry's battalion, on our extreme right flank, which the pressure in the centre did not allow me time to visit. I did not see or hear from Colonel Walton again that day. During the night his own battalion, under Major Eshleman, reported to me, and I myself placed it in position before daylight, and after daylight corrected its position and posted every other battalion in the corps, and some batteries lent me from the Third corps. Throughout that da.y I was in the most entire and active command of the whole line of guns, and only withdrew with the last battery late at night, and I have remained in ignorance until this day that my personal supervision was not exclusive. Again, on the 4th, I was sent for by General Longstreet at daylight, and put in charge of a few batteries which, with the infantry, were held to cover the retreat of the rest. Permit me to add brief extracts from a few, out of many letters in my possession, from the best living witnesses, that my statements may not rest on my own word alone. Colonel H. C. Cabell writes to me:

... You rode up and said you were assigned to the command of the artillery for the fight. Halting my battalion, we rode together to the front, where you showed me the positions you had selected for my guns. ... In short, you were generally recognized as exercising a general command for the fight by me, and the other commands I was in contact with. ... Similar authority was frequently conferred on you — for instance, at Ashby's Gap, Downesville, and notably at Chancellorsville. “Colonel W. M. Owens, then Colonel Walton's own adjutant, writes me that late on the night of July 2d, he” found wagon and Colonel Walton on Cashtown road; slept until dawn; firing heard on right; saddled and rode to front. Firing was from left of peach orchard by Washington artillery, under Eshleman, put there by you during the night.

Major B. F. Eshleman writes me, “You placed my battalion in position just to left of peach orchard before dawn of day, and at dawn corrected my position to prevent an enfilade fire from the enemy. ... During the engagement I remember your visiting my command to find how ammunition was holding out.” Colonel John C. Haskell, then major of Henry's battalion, writes me, ... “I received an order from you to bring some batteries from the right to the peach orchard and to report to you. You were in command of the line as far as I knew anything about it and Walton was never on the line to my knowledge. You gave me orders to advance on Pickett's right and I heard you give orders to Major Dearing to advance on his left. In short it was notorious that you were in command.” Captain R. M. Stribling, of Dearing's battalion, writes, “I saw you frequently on the lines, as I supposed, commanding all the artillery. In frequent conversation afterwards with other artillery officers, it was always assumed as a known fact that you were in command. You in person gave me instructions where to direct my fire. I never saw Colonel Walton during the day.” Captain H. H. Carlton, whose battery was one of the nearest to Cemetery Hill, writes me, “My battery was put in position by yourself in front of Cemetery Hill about three or four o'clock on the morning of the 3d. I remember distinctly seeing you often during the day. ... I am confident the whole line of artillery considered itself altogether and entirely under your command. ... You advanced my battery after Pickett's charge and were present and gave all the orders about advancing and firing in person.”

These writers represent every battalion on the field except my own-from which it is unnecessary to quota. I omit also corroborating letters from staff officers of General Lee and General Longstreet, and conclude with the following conclusive statement addressed to me the 5th instant by General W. N. Pendleton, then chief of artillery of the army:


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J. B. Walton (6)
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