previous next
[277] Longstreet to get ready? It must be borne in mind that General Lee wanted to make the attack on the enemy the day before, according to Longstreet's own statement, and wanted him to begin it, bqt he demurred and asked permission to take time to reconnoitre. It was twenty-seven hours after his arrival on the field before he was ready to begin, and if the troops of McClellan, the junction of which with Pope's Army Jackson's movement had been intended to prevent, had been hurried to the front, what a different result might have taken place!

Is it to be credited that, when General Lee was anxious for Longstreet to begin the attack as soon as his troops arrived on the 29th, he said nothing to him, nor gave him any orders on the 30th, until, as Longstreet says, after 3 P. M. a courier arrived in great haste with orders from General Lee for him to hurry to the assistance of Jackson; and that the only other part General Lee took in the battle that ensued, was to write him a note saying that if he had “found anything better than reinforcing Jackson, to pursue it” ? Let us see what General Longstreet says in his official report, intended for General Lee's own eye. In that report, after describing his riding to the front, and his determination to direct an artillery fire on the attacking column, he says:

Two batteries were ordered for the purpose, and one placed in position immediately and opened. Just as this fire began, I received a message from the Commanding General, informing me of General Jackson's condition and his wants. As it was evident that the attack against General Jackson could not be continued ten minutes under the fire of these batteries, I made no movement with my troops. Before the second battery could be placed in position,. the enemy began to retire, and in less than ten minutes the ranks were broken, and that portion of his army put to flight. A fair opportunity was offered me, and the intended diversion was changed into an attack. My whole line was rushed forward at a charge. The troops sprang to their work, and moved forward with all the steadiness and firmness that characterize warworn veterans. The batteries, continuing their play upon the confused masses, completed the work of this portion of the enemy's line, and my attack was, therefore, made against the forces in my front. The order for the advance had scarcely been given, when I received a message from the Commanding General, anticipating some such emergency, and ordering the move which was then going on, at the same time offering me Major-General Anderson's division. The Commanding General soon joined me, and, a few minutes after, Major-General Anderson arrived with his division. The attack was led by Hood's brigades, closely supported by Evans. These were rapidly reinforced by Anderson's division from, the rear, Kemper's three brigades and D. R. Jones' division from the right, and Wilcox's brigade from the left. The brigades of Brigadier-Generals Featherston and Prior became detached, and operated with a portion of General Jackson's command. The attacking columns moved steadily forward, driving the enemy from his' different positions as rapidly as he took them.

The claims here made are exorbitant enough in all conscience, but there is a little room left for a suspicion that Jackson's men had something to do with the repulse of the enemy from their front, and that it was not all the work of Longstreet's two batteries, and that they also took some part in the pursuit of the enemy. The relations which General Lee is made to bear to Longstreet's operations and the battle, are very different from those indicated in the extract from the article in the Times.

Creative Commons License
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.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Jackson (Mississippi, United States) (2)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
James Longstreet (7)
Fitz Lee (6)
Stonewall Jackson (5)
R. H. Anderson (3)
Wilcox (1)
Prior (1)
Pope (1)
McClellan (1)
Kemper (1)
D. R. Jones (1)
Hood (1)
Featherston (1)
John H. Evans (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
30th (1)
29th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: