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[263] movements inevitably, no matter when they had been made. Had the attack been made earlier or later, we should have seen the Federals move just as they did, and with the same results-except that if I had attacked earlier I should have had Geary's division of the Twelfth corps in my immediate front in addition to the Third corps. This would certainly have been the effect of “a sunrise attack.”

Colonel Taylor, in referring to the hour of my battle on the 2d, says: “Round Top, the key of their position, which was not occupied in the morning, was now held in force.” The answer to this statement, direct and anthoritative, is at hand. General Meade says, in Congressional Report, page 332: “Immediately upon the opening of the batteries (which began the battle), I sent several staff officers to hurry up the column under General Sykes, of the Fifth corps, then on its way, and which I expected would have reached there at that time. The column advanced rapidly, reached the ground in a short time, and General Sykes was fortunately enabled by throwing a strong force upon Round Top mountain, where a most desperate and bloody struggle ensued, to drive the enemy from it and secure our foothold upon that most important position.” Even the muses were invoked to speed this helter-skelter march toward the knob of grotrnd now suddenly grown into importance. ““On to the. Round Top!” hailed Sykes to his men;
“On to the Round Top!” echoed the glen.
“On to the Round Top!”

In my former narrative I showed that General Meade did not appreciate the importance of this position until the battle had finally opened. He had ordered Sickles to occupy it “if practicable” ; but it was not occupied in force when my battle opened, and was made strong as the fight progressed, as much by the fragments of the enemy's broken lines that took shelter behind its boulders as by any definite plan to seize it. It is needless to say that the same thing would have happened had the battle taken place either earlier or later. The force stationed there when the battle opened had been there all day, and was wholly inadequate to hold it; hence Gederal Meade's anxiety to hurry up additional troops after the battle had opened, and his congratulation that Sykes, by throwing forward “a strong force,” was enabled to drive us from it and secure it to the Federals. But why go further with these details? It is impossible that any sane man should believe that two of my divisions, attacking at any hour or in any manner, could have succeeded in dislodging the Army of the Potomac. We had wrestled with it in too many struggles, army against army, to prefer, in sincerity, any such claim. From daylight until dark not a single Confederate soldier, outside of my two divisions and the three supporting brigades, was advanced to battle, or made to even threaten battle. The work was left entirely with my men. General Ewell dates his co-operative move at dusk. General Meade says it was at 8 o'clock. In any event, it was after my battle had closed, and too late to do any good Hence there seems to be no place for honesty in the speculation that my cornmand

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