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[87] well knew they were capable of doing what any other troops dare do, I was surprised at the vigor of their attack, and the tenacity with which they held their ground. * * *

A. R. Wright, Brigadier-General, etc.

No one can believe that General Lee contemplated any such disjointed action, but must be convinced that he had given orders for such co-operation as would in all probability have produced better results, or having left it to the judgment of his lieutenants whether to attack or not, they misunderstood their orders or did not exercise that independent judgment in carrying them out which was expected of them. But to continue.

As I have stated previously, the enemy did not pursue Pickett. If they had, I would have at once called to arms and prepared to act as the emergency called for — either attack the advance against Pickett, or, if the whole line of the enemy advanced, would have retired to my position of the 2d, before the charge, and defended that line. The enemy did not pursue, because perhaps of the presence in their front of the tremendous artillery fire that would have been concentrated on their advance, and more probably because of the presence on their immediate flank of Longstreet's two divisions.

But a short while after Pickett's charge was over and while my men were at rest, as I have described, a staff officer of General Law, in command of Hood's division (General Hood having been wounded), came to me from General Law, asking that I send one of my brigades to take the place of one of his in line that had been detached to act against cavalry. I directed him to tell General Law that as Pickett had been utterly routed, he must close on the centre and cover his vacant space as he best could, as I could not spare a brigade. Just after the officer had gone, Colonel Sorrel, General Longstreet's Adjutant-General, rode up, and I proceeded to inform him of General Law's request and my instructions to him. He said: “Never mind that now, General; General Longstreet directs that you retire to your position of yesterday. Retire at once, and I will carry the order to General Law to retire Hood's division.” I commenced to discuss the necessity of the order, as the advanced position I held was important, and had been won after a deadly struggle; that the order was given no doubt because of Pickett's repulse, but as there was no pursuit there was no necessity of it. Before concluding, Colonel Sorrel, interrupting, said:

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George E. Pickett (5)
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