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[257]

Southern Historical Society Papers,

Vol. V. Richmond, Va., June, 1878. no. 6.

General Longstreet's Second paper on Gettysburg.

We again depart from our general rule against copying articles which are published in other periodicals, in order that we may give General Longstreet the fullest opportunity of putting on record his views concerning Gettysburg. We published for the first time his official report; we have published a number of the reports of gallant officers belonging to his corps; and we have published letters from his division commander, General Hood, and his artillery commanders, General E. P. Alexander and Colonel J. B. Walton, besides his own narrative in the Philadelphia Times. We now copy from the Times his second paper:

I am induced to prepare an article on the campaign of Gettysburg, supplementary to the one that appeared in the columns of your paper some weeks ago, that I may correct some slight errors of print or transcription that occurred in that paper; that I may make some additional statements, forbidden in my first paper by reason of its length; that I may correct an apparent injustice to a very worthy officer; and, last and least, to make some allusion to the ill-natured and splenetic attacks provoked by that paper from certain wordy soldiers. I prepared my first paper with genuine reluctance. It was brought into existence by the request of the editor of the Times and the petition of the Comte de Paris, in which he publicly announced his inability to settle definitely certain points of that campaign, and urged the surviving Confederate officers to give the theory and the detail of the invasion from their point of view. It was justified, in my own mind, by the reflection that I was, perhaps, the only person living who could explain the motif of that campaign and the true reasons of its failure. It was made necessary by the fact that our amateur historians, through misapprehension or malice, had nearly all gone wrong, and utterly misconstrued the plan and purpose of that invasion, misused and misstated its facts, and dislocated its responsibilities. The Comte de


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