had no reference to the mere mechanical task of writing, or the employment of another as his amanuensis, for if he had but done the latter he would only have followed the example of many very able writers, and among them Homer
, whose blindness rendered it necessary for them to use the services of others in transferring the grandest productions.
of their brains to paper.
So if General Longstreet
had merely employed another to commit to paper his own ideas, or to correct and render more perspicuous their expression, there would have been no impropriety in that.
The objection is that the views, speculations, and criticisms of a professional newspaper writer, without military experience, should be palmed on the public as historical matter, to solve the disputed points as to the battle of Gettysburg
The fact is, that it would be better for General Longstreet
if he would get some competent person to do his thinking as well as his writing.
He would then avoid the difficulties into which he has been floundering, deeper and deeper, inot only with his own productions, but through the instrumentality of those written for him by his friend, the professional writer for the Times
Though professing to be on “The mistakes of Gettysburg
,” one of the prime objects of the last article in the Times
seems to have been to claim for General Longstreet
the principal credit for the victory gained at the second battle of Manassas
, at the expense of both General Lee
and General Jackson
The pretence for advancing this new claim is found in the following passage:
At this late date the official relations of General Lee and myself are brought in 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 evident that allusion is here made to the language used by General Lee
, as given by me, in the conference had with Generals Ewell
, and myself, after the close of the first day's fight, when he said: “Longstreet
is a very good fighter when he gets in position and gets everything ready, but he is so slow.”
It will be seen, from a letter given by General Fitz Lee
, in his article in the April number of the Papers
, from a distinguished gentleman to himself, that General Lee
made a similar remark to that gentleman after the war; and, if the fact was that General Longstreet
was slow in his movements, there could be no possible impropriety in mentioning it under the circumstances attending General Lee
It is a little curious, though, that while General Lee
's exalted character is cited as being inconsistent with such a remark, General Longstreet
himself wrote a letter to the editor of the Times
, of which the latter gives the substance, as follows:
The letter from General Longstreet, which accompanies these extracts, dwells particularly upon a point which he wishes to have his readers understand as the justification of his present narrative.
It is that while General Lee on the battle-field assumed all the responsibility for the result, he afterwards published a report that differs from the report he made at the time while under that generous spirit.
General Longstreet and other officers made their official reports upon the battle shortly after its occurrence, and while they were impressed with General Lee's noble assumption of all the blame;