previous next
[78] But when Major Johnston, who was conducting my division, came suddenly in view of Round Top, with the enemy's signal flags waving thereon, he appeared equally astonished as I was; and, therefore, if General Lee was relying on his report, he was misinformed as to the true condition of affairs.

I had been forbiden to reconnoitre; so had my engineer officer. General Longstreet had not done it, and General Lee had not; and therefore it must have been that Major Johnston had gone there early in the morning, and not seeing any one had so reported, and if after that time a different state of affairs was known by anybody to exist, it had not been reported to either General Lee or General Longstreet; at least it appears so. All this resulted from defective and deficient organization of our staff corps; not from anybody's fault, but from the force of circumstances. We read since the war that there was an abundance of reconnoitering on our left, but very little, if any, on our right.

The night of the 2d was spent in reorganization and attending the wounded, as I had one Brigadier-General (Barksdale) killed, one (General Semmes) mortally wounded, and many colonels and officers of less rank killed and wounded.

The Chief Surgeon reported that I had lost in killed, wounded and missing twenty-three hundred and forty.

One company, numbering thirty-seven, had, by the bursting of a shell in its front as it went into the charge, lost thirty men--six killed, leaving but seven unhurt.

I will read here a short extract from General Longstreet's account of the charge of the divisions of Hood and myself, as he was in position to see general results untrammelled by attention to details:

Before pursuing this narrative further, I shall say a word or two concerning this assault. I am satisfied that my force, numbering hardly thirteen thousand men, encountered during that three and a half hours of bloody work, not less than sixty-five thousand of the Federals, and yet their charge was not checked nor their line broken until we ordered them to withdraw. Mr. Whitelaw Reid, writing a most excellent account of this charge to the Cincinnati Gazette, says: “It was believed from the terrific attack that the whole Rebel army, Ewell's corps included, was massed on our centre and left, and so a single brigade was left to hold the rifle pits on the right and the rest hurried across the little neck of land to strengthen our weakening lines.” He describes, too, the haste with which corps after corps was hurried forward to the left to check the advance of my two-thirds of one corps.

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 (3)
Fitzhugh Lee (3)
Joseph E. Johnston (2)
Round Top (1)
Semmes (1)
Whitelaw Reid (1)
John B. Hood (1)
R. S. Ewell (1)
Barksdale (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: