confidence, but was ordered back.
I then reconnoitred myself for my own information, and was soon convinced that by crossing the ridge where I then was, my command could reach the point indicated by General Lee
, in a half hour, without being seen.
I then went back to the head of my column and sat on my horse and saw in the distance the enemy coming, hour after hour, on to the battle ground.
At length — my recollection is that it was about 1 P. M.--Major Johnston
, of General Lee
's staff, came to me and said he was ordered to conduct me on the march.
My command was at once put in motion--Major Johnston
and myself riding some distance ahead Suddenly, as we rose a hill on the road we were taking, the Round Top
was plainly visible, with the flags of the signal men in rapid motion.
I sent back and halted my division and rode with Major Johnston
rapidly around the neighborhood to see if there was any road by which we could go into position without being seen.
Not finding any I joined my command and met General Longstreet
there, who asked, “What is the matter?”
I replied, “Ride with me and I will show you that we can't go on this route, according to instructions, without being seen by the enemy.”
We rode to the top of the hill and he at once said, “Why this won't do. Is there no way to avoid it?”
I then told him of my reconnoissance in the morning, and he said: “How can we get there?”
I said: “Only by going back — by countermarching.”
He said: “Then all right,” and the movement commenced.
But as General Hood
, in his eagerness for the fray (and he bears the character of always being so), had pressed on his division behind mine so that it lapped considerably, creating confusion in the countermarch, General Longstreet
rode to me and said: “General, there is so much confusion, owing to Hood
's division being mixed up with yours, suppose you let him countermarch first and lead in the attack.”
I replied: “General, as I started in the lead, let me continue so;” and he replied, “Then go on,” and rode off.
After very considerable difficulty, owing to the rough character of the country in places and the fences and ditches we had to cross, the countermarch was effected, and my troops were moving easily forward along a road with fences on the side not giving room enough for a company front, making it necessary to break files to the rear, when General Longstreet
rode up to me, and said: “How are you going in?”
and I replied, “That will be determined when I can see what is in my front.”
He said: “There is nothing in your ”