previous next
[76] would have manoeuvred to force an attack upon himself. Nor have I a doubt but that if the corps had moved boldly in position by eight or nine o'clock in the morning, as it could have done beyond question, that Round Top could have been occupied without any very considerable difficulty; provided, those positions were not occupied in force by the enemy until after twelve o'clock, as is now asserted. But as the information up to three o'clock or three and a half was so faulty as to create the impression in both General Longstreet's and General Lee's minds that the left was not then occupied in any force, I am very much inclined to the belief that it is not known whether those positions were held in force at ten o'clock in the morning of the second or were not occupied until much later in the day, and that the arguments concerning the delay in attacking of Longstreet's corps, so far as the enemy's non-occupation of Round Top and vicinity is concerned, is based in a great measure on information received from publications since the war.

When I had the brief interview with General Lee before mentioned, he did not appear to be particularly anxious that Longstreet should occupy the left. He certainly was in no hurry for it, for both Hood's and my division were put under cover, and remained resting within a half a mile of where I left him, and he went off, if he did, with a full knowledge that they were not in motion. My information at the time was that he was not decided positively as to the main point of attack, but was waiting for information. Of course I do not know what his real intentions were, as I cannot boast of his having taken me into his confidence; but I believe he gave his orders for the movement of Longstreet's assault based on information obtained very early in the morning.

I do not take it upon myself to say that General Longstreet is to be blamed for not disobeying his orders to attack when he became aware that, contrary to expectations, the enemy was in great force in his immediate front. For, as I understood Major Latrobe, General Lee was with him when the enemy had opened on my division, thus disclosing their immediate presence, and but a short while after Hood's reports must have been received; and if, under those circumstances, Longstreet had not engaged, there were some, I am grieved to say, in the army who would have ascribed his conduct to the worst of motives, or who might have done so — and his orders were positive — and the greater the danger there is in obeying an order, the more imperative is it upon an officer's honor to do his

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.

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.
James Longstreet (6)
Fitzhugh Lee (3)
Round Top (2)
John B. Hood (2)
Latrobe (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: