but General Lee having since written a detailed and somewhat critical account of the battle-and the account from which General Longstreet's critics get all their points against him-Longstreet feels justified in discussing the battle on its merits.
It seems, then, that General Longstreet
's appreciation of General Lee
's exalted character did not prevent him from making the false charge, that General Lee
had, when time enough had elapsed for the generous feelings, which prompted him on the field to assume all the responsibility, to subside, written a report differing from his first report, and from the facts of the case, after General Longstreet
and other officers had been entrapped into making the reports which they sent in. For that is the real purport of the charge against General Lee
, as the editor of the Times
gives it, and it is very probable that the letter itself, which is withheld, made it in more emphatic language.
If there was any doubt before of a fact well known to the whole army, that General Longstreet
was very slow in his movements on all occasions, he has now furnished very conclusive evidence of its truth, in his narrative of incidents connected with the second battle of Manassas
When the head of my column reached that field it was about 12 o'clock on the 29th.
As we approached the field we heard sounds of a heavy battle, which proved to be General Jackson very heavily engaged with the enemy.
As soon as his troops were deployed into line, General Lee
wanted him to open the attack, but Longstreet
insisted on taking time to make a reconnoissance, which was delayed for a time by a report of an advance on his right, and the reconnoissance was not made until about nightfall.
This is according to his own showing, and in the meantime General Jackson
's command had sustained and repulsed seven different attacks in heavy force during the afternoon.
So little evidence had General Longstreet
given to the enemy of the presence of his command on the field, that General Fitz John Porter
, of the Federal
army, was afterwards court-martialed and cashiered for failing to carry out an order sent to him by Pope
, at half-past 4 o'clock of that very afternoon, to attack Jackson
's right flank — the very one on which Longstreet
was. It was not until after sunset that any part of Longstreet
's command became engaged, when there was a conflict between Hood
's. division and King
's division of McDowell
's corps, which was moving along the Warrenton Pike
to cut off Jackson
's troops, erroneously supposed to be retreating.
On the next day, though there was skirmishing and fighting in Jackson
's front all day, General Longstreet
was not ready to go into action until after 3 P. M. What caused this delay he does not pretend to explain, but gives his operations on that day as follows:
The next day the Federals advanced against General Jackson in very heavy force.
They soon made the battle so severe for him that he was obliged to call for reinforcements.
At about 3 P. Mi., while the battle was raging fiercely, I was riding to my front when I received a note from Generals Hood and Evans, asking me to ride to a part of the field where they were standing.
I changed my course and hurried to the point indicated.
I found them standing upon a