previous next
[100] no orders to cover McLaws' flank, did protect it, and struck the enemy simultaneously with Barksdale's, or, for the reason assigned, their attack preceded that of Barksdale. It will be seen that in my reply to General Longstreet, written before the letter of General Humphreys was received by me, I gave the time at which the battle began, and the hour when it terminated,--the same as General Humphreys represents it; and as it commenced about 6 o'clock and terminated “about sunset or a little after sunset,” it was not a three hours fight, as General Longstreet would have it believed,--at least not for Barksdale's and Wofford's brigades, or in truth for any part of McLaws' division.

As to the second charge, that of uncovering McLaws' flank, I denied it positively, and stated, on the contrary, that my own right was uncovered when my brigade was ordered to retire. There was no more obligation on my part, from orders given, to guard McLaws' flank, than for him to guide mine — the protection given was such as mutual safety and the desire to defeat the enemy would prompt. The following letter from the colonels of my two right regiments will explain what and whose flank was first uncovered. They are at present representatives in Congress from the State of Alabama, and the letter is published by their permission:

Washington, D. C., February 28, 1878.
General — We, the undersigned colonels and commanding each a regiment in your brigade at the battle of Gettysburg, have read your reply to General Longstreet, published in the Weekly Times of November 24th, 1877, and know it to be correct in giving the manner and time of the advance, striking the enemy and following him down the descent beyond the Emmettsburg road, in the battle fought late in the afternoon of July 2d, 1863. We further concur with you in stating that our right flank was uncovered at the time the brigade was withdrawn.


Colonel Forney, subsequently a Brigadier-General, commanded the Tenth Alabama regiment, was wounded near the extreme point reached by the brigade and left on the field. Colonel Herbert, a Lieutenant-Colonel at the time, commanded the Eighth Alabama regiment.

In his supplementary1 article General Longstreet uses the following

1 Weekly Times, February 23, 1878.

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.
Washington (United States) (1)
Alabama (Alabama, United States) (1)

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.
Lafayette McLaws (4)
James Longstreet (4)
William Barksdale (3)
A. A. Humphreys (2)
H. A. Herbert (2)
W. H. Forney (2)
W. T. Wofford (1)
C. M. Wilcox (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: