assigned the position they occupied.
If General Longstreet
found it necessary to take two of his divisions, which were intended to support the attacking column on the 3d, in order to protect his right flank against two brigades of Pleasanton
's cavalry, it was certainly not unreasonable to take two brigades to protect a flank that was very much more exposed.
This objection is really too insignificant to discuss.
In the second article there is this passage:
In my first article I declared that the invasion of Pennsylvania was a movement that General Lee and his council agreed should be defensive in tactics, while of course it was offensive in strategy.
I have italicized the words “his council” to fix attention upon them, and the question very naturally arises: who constituted this “council” that exercised or claimed to exercise powers co-equal with those of the Commanding General
Was General Lee
, or was it a divided responsibility which he shared with a “council” ? It is a novel proposition that there existed any such body or person.
On turning to the first article, there will be found the following remarkable passage, a portion of which I have also italicized:
I recall these points simply because I desire to have it distinctly understood that, while I first suggested to General Lee the idea of an offensive campaign, I was never persuaded to yield my argument against the Gettysburg campaign, except with the understanding that we were not to deliver an offensive battle, but so to manoeuvre that the enemy should be forced to attack us-or, to repeat, that our campaign should be one of offensive strategy but defensive tactics.
Upon this understanding my assent was given, and General Lee, who had been kind enough to discuss the matter with me patiently, gave the order of march.
This passage bears very strong “corroborative and sympathetic relations” to the one taken from the second article, and it becomes very apparent that it was General Longstreet
himself who was the self-constituted “council” of General Lee
, and claimed the right to dictate and control the policy of the Gettysburg campaign
The impudence, arrogance, and presumptuous self-conceit which characterize both passages, are intolerable; and the only response that is necessary, is simply a reference to the story of that obtuse though useful animal, who, not content with the subordinate station assigned him, essayed to play the part of the monarch of the beasts, by wearing his skin, and succeeded tolerably well in palming himself, in his assumed character, upon the more foolish animals, but when he had the folly to open his mouth, betrayed himself by his voice.
I will not again undertake to discuss the propriety of the attack on the third day of the battle of Gettysburg
, but will merely say that the officer who was entrusted with the conduct of the attack from our right, and who failed to begin it at the designated time, but shifted the responsibility for the final order for his charge, that properly attached to himself, to the shoulders of a colonel of artillery, and then withheld two divisions intended and directed to