previous next
[122] between the right of our lines and the Appomattox. There could have been no occasion for Generals Lee and Longstreet discussing any move involving Five Forks, as the battle at that place had been fought the day before and ending in a disastrous defeat to the Confederates.

In conclusion, I may state that in my opinion the battle of Gettysburg would have been won by the Confederates but for the absence of the cavalry and the obstinate and apparently predetermined inertia of General Longstreet. That the absence of the cavalry was seriously felt and greatly embarrassed General Lee, we learn from his own official report, in which he refers to it several times and says: “General Stuart was directed to hold the mountain passes with part of his command as long as the enemy remained south of the Potomac, and with the remainder to cross into Maryland and place himself on the right of Ewell — upon the suggestion of the former officer that he could damage the enemy and delay his passage of the river by getting on his rear, he was authorized to do so — and it was left to his discretion whether to enter Maryland east or west of the Blue Ridge; but he was instructed to lose no time in placing his command on the right of the column, as soon as he should perceive the enemy moving northward.” And again: “It was expected that as soon as the Federal army should cross the Potomac, General Stuart would give notice of its movements, and nothing having been heard from him since our entrance into Maryland, it was inferred that the enemy had not yet left Virginia. Orders were therefore issued to move upon Harrisburg.” And the following: “The movements of the army preceding the battle of Gettysburg had been much embarrassed by the absence of the cavalry.” To appreciate fully the trouble resulting from the absence of the cavalry, or, in other words, the want of accurate information as to the position of the different corps of the Union forces, it should be borne in mind that while A. P. Hill with two divisions of his corps bivouacked at Cashtown the night of the 30th, eight miles west of Gettysburg, with the enemy's cavalry pickets between that place and his camp, two corps of Meade's army, the First and Eleventh rested at Emmettsburg, ten miles southeast of Gettysburg, and a division of infantry lay at Fairfield, twelve miles southwest of Gettysburg.

At 5 A. M. July 1st, Hill moved forward towards Gettysburg, eight miles distant, and at 8 A. M., three hours later, the First and Eleventh corps, two miles further off, moved towards the same

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)
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.
J. E. B. Stuart (2)
James Longstreet (2)
R. E. Lee (2)
A. P. Hill (2)
George Meade (1)
R. S. Ewell (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.
July 1st (1)
30th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: