were confronted by a force that required their utmost attention. The men of Generals Pickett, Pettigrew, and Trimble, however, received and executed their orders with cool and desperate courage. When the utmost measure of sacrifice demanded by honor was full they fell back, and the contest was ended. The charge was disastrous, and had the Federal army been thrown right upon the heels of Pickett's retreating column, the results might have been much more serious. General Wilcox, the volunteer witness on Gettysburg, attempts to controvert my criticism on his wild leadership during the battle of the 2d. I charged that, as commander of the directing brigade of support to my left, he went estray early in the fight, lost my flank, and of course threw the brigades that were looking to him for direction out of line. In reply, he refers me to certain maps published by the War Department for the correct position of his brigade on the 2d. I much prefer the evidence that I used in my first article, and think it will be generally accepted as much better authority than the maps. I quoted from General Lee's report as follows: “But having become separated from McLaws, Wilcox's and Wright's brigades advanced with great gallantry, breaking successive lines, etc. ... But having become separated from McLaws,” etc., “were compelled to retire.” This is certainly sufficient authority; but I quote further. General Anderson, General Wilcox's division commander, says: “A strong fire was poured upon our right flank, which had become detached from McLaws' left.” This testimony is corroborated by General McLaws, the division commander on his right, and by General Humphries, the brigade commander on his right. It is a plain case. General Wilcox was given the directing brigade and ordered to cover McLaws' left flank. He failed to do this. There is no doubt that he and his. troops fought gallantly, as did those of Wright's and Perry's brigades. Their courage was splendid; but, misguided by the brigade of direction, under General Wilcox, their work was not as effective as it should have been. In this connection it may be noted that the Federal line in front of these troops was not broken so much by direct assault as by crushing in the lines on their left. General Humphreys was forced to change front partially two or three times to meet threatened flank movements against him, and he was in that way drawn off from immediate connection with his right. The skillful handling of these troops, commanded by General A. A. Humphreys, was noted at the time, and has been particularly noted since by General Humphries, of Mississippi. At this late day the official relations of General Lee and myself are brought into question. He is credited with having used uncomely remarks concerning me, in the presence of a number of subordinate officers, just on the eve of battle. It is hardly possible that any one acquainted with General Lee's exalted character will accept such statements as true. It is hardly possible that any general could have been so indiscreet as to have used such expressions under such circumstances. There certainly never was in the relations between General Lee and myself anything to admit the possisibility of his having used the expression attributed. Our relations were affectionate,
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Fifth annual meeting of the Southern Historical Society , October 31st ., 1877 .
Address of General John T. Morgan , U. S. Senator from Alabama .
Fifth annual report of the Executive Committee of the Southern Historical Society , for year Ending October 31st , 1877 .
Leading Confederates on the battle of Gettysburg .
General James Longstreet 's account of the campaign and battle.
Our Gettysburg series.
The true story of the capture of Jefferson Davis .
Letter from Admiral Semmes .
Letter from Colonel William Preston Johnston , late aid to President Davis .
A correction of General Patton Andersons report of the battle of Jonesboro , Ga.
Advance sheets of Reminiscences of secession, war, and reconstruction, by Lieutenant-General Richard Taylor .
Torpedo service in the Harbor and water defences of Charleston .
A review of the First two days operations at Gettysburg and a reply to General Longstreet by General Fitz. Lee .
Letter from General Winfield Hancock .
Letter from John B. Bachelder , Esq.
Letter from General R. Lindsay Walker .
Official report of General W. N. Pendleton , Chief of artillery , A. N. V .
Battle of Murfreesboro .
Letter from President Davis -reply to Mr. Hunter .
Decision of the Supreme Court of Tennessee that the Confederacy was de jure as well as de facto-opinion of Judge Turney .
The bank of Tennessee v. Wm. B. Cummings , Adm'r.
Steuart 's brigade at the battle of Gettysburg .--a narrative by Rev. Randolph H. McKim , D. D. , late First Lieutenant and Aide-de-camp, Confederate army .
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.