[We know that some of our readers have grown weary of the Gettysburg
discussion, but on the other hand we have assurances from every quarter that the papers on this great battle have been of deep interest and invaluable
as “material for the future historian.”
The following paper, by the commander of a division in Longstreet
's corps, was read some months ago before the Georgia Historical Society
, and should have been promptly admitted into our series had it been sent to us originally.
We print it just as we have received it, albeit the distinguished soldier who wrote it might probably have modified certain portions of it had he had opportunity of reading our series before preparing it.]
After the battle of Chancellorsville
, General Hooker
's army returned to its position on the Washington
side of the Rappahannock
, and that of General Lee
reoccupied its old grounds opposite Hooker
, on the Richmond
side, in and around Fredericksburg
As it was evident that the Federal
army could not be attacked as it stood, except under great disadvantages, it was determined to turn its flank and to transfer the war into the enemy's country.
Accordingly, on the 3d of June, 1863, my division moved from its camps in and around Fredericksburg
, and took position at Culpeper Courthouse.
's division followed mine and then came Ewell
's corps — Hill
's corps being left to watch the movements of Hooker
's army, with orders to follow our movements so soon as Hooker
could be manoeuvred out of his position.
Shortly after our arrival at Culpeper
's cavalry made such a sudden and unexpected irruption across the Rappahannock
, that, though driven back with loss, they captured General Stuart
's headquarters with all his orders and correspondence, and forced General Lee
to display his infantry or partially to do so. From both these sources General Hooker
was satisfied that General Lee
was on the move, and it was a reasonable presumption that he was trying to turn his flanks, in order to try the issue of battle on the same grounds, and under the same circumstances, that he had defeated General Pope
's army at the second Manassas
Accordingly, General Hooker
concentrated his army so as to cover Washington
, and be prepared to give front to General Lee
, let him come from what direction he might.
's army was at this time very much scattered, his advance being over one hundred miles or more from Hill