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[203]

“ That up to the time of the battle of Gettysburg, Colonel Walton was duly sanctioned chief of artillery of the First corps, he may rightly claim, and that there was no formal order issued displacing him from that position and substituting yourself. But you at the same time are fully justified in affirming that, with care not to mortify Colonel Walton, you were actually put in charge of the artillery of the First corps on the field — as a younger and more active man and a trained officer. The direction was given by General Longstreet, but it had my ready sanction.”

The letter of General Longstreet of November 6th, which Colonel Walton prints, only conflicts with the above in saying that I arrived at the head of the column, and in implying that Colonel Walton was absent — on both of these points I am sure that Colonel Walton himself will admit that General Longstreet is mistaken.

General Longstreet also states that he considered me an engineer officer, but as he gave me an artillery command, I trust I am excusable in having spoken of it as such. It is proper to say, in closing, that nearly every letter from which I have quoted expresses personal respect and kind feeling toward Colonel Walton, with much surprise and regret that he should have forced this unplesant issue and statement of facts; and none can entertain the feelings more deeply and keenly than I do, and I have no desire to say any more than seems essential to establib.h the truth of my statement and relieve me from the imputation of having unjustly claimed credit due to a comrade.

Respectfully yours, E. P. Alexander.

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