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[265] 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,


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