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[71]

As I have already stated, General Longstreet had informed me just previous to my arriving in view of the enemy's position, that I would arrive entirely on their flank, and he wished me to march into my position in column of companies, and when well on the enemy's flank to face or form line to the left and march down upon them. General Kershaw in his report says, his brigade being at the head of my column, that General Longstreet came to him while marching, and told him that his (General Longstreet's) desire was, that he (Kershaw) should attack the enemy at the peach orchard, turn his flank and extend along the cross road with his left resting towards the Emmettsburg road. You can see by the accompanying map what a very different state of affairs existed from what General Longstreet must have thought really did, as it would simply have been absurd for General Kershaw to have attempted to do as he was required or desired.

General Hood writes that his orders were to place his division across the Emmettsburg road, form line and attack; but that from a rapid reconnoissance he saw that if he made the attack according to orders he should first be compelled to attack and drive off the advanced line of battle, to pass over a very broken, rocky character of country, which would scatter his men very much, and that his division would be exposed to a heavy fire from the main line of the enemy, posted on the crest of the high range of which Round Top was the extreme left, and that he would be subjected to a destructive fire in flank and rear as well as in front. As bad as he represents the difficulties to be overcome, if he attempted to carry out his orders, I would have been in a worse position if I had attempted to carry out mine, as the main body of the enemy was directly in my front, and the enemy's numerous batteries were posted in front of me in the peach orchard and to its rear. General Hood says he reported that it was unwise to attack up the Emmettsburg road as ordered, and urged that he be. allowed to turn Round Top and attack the enemy in flank and rear, but that General Longstreet returned answer: “General Lee's orders are to attack up the Emmettsburg road.”

That he went again, and reported that nothing was to be gained by such an attack, and the answer was: “General Lee's orders are to attack up the Emmettsburg road.”

That during these intervals of time he had continued to use the batteries against the enemy, and it seemed to his more extended reconnoissance that the position occupied by the enemy was naturally

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James Longstreet (5)
P. M. Kershaw (3)
Round Top (2)
Fitzhugh Lee (2)
John B. Hood (2)
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