The Confederate line was a long one, and the perfect co-operation in the attack needed, to prevent General Meade, whose line was a short one, from using the same troops at more than one point, was difficult of attainment. Two of the corps commanders, Hill and Ewell, were new in their places. Longstreet's attack on the Federal left on the 2d was delayed beyond the expected time, and was not promptly seconded by Hill and Ewell when made. Ewell's divisions were not made to act in concert — Johnson, Early, Rodes acting in succession. General Lee always expressed the strongest conviction that had the Confederate corps attacked General Meade simultaneously on either the 2d or 3d, he would have succeeded in overthrowing the Federal army; that he had used every effort to insure concert of action, but had failed. He said that he had consulted Ewell, and told him if he could not carry his part of the line, he would move his corps to the right of Longstreet, and threaten the Federal communications with Baltimore; but upon the statements of General Ewell and Johnson that the positions in their front could be carried, he did not change his plan. He urged concert of action on the 3d, but Johnson's division fought and suffered in the morning alone, and Pickett's attack in the afternoon was unsupported. There was nothing foolish in Pickett's attack had it been executed as designed. Pickett carried the works before him; had Pettigrew and Wilcox moved with him, and Hill and Ewell vigorously seconded this onset, General Lee never doubted that the Federal army would have been ruined.But although that battle was against us, and although the war was against us, and we lost all save our honor, we have been taught a lesson which I hope we will profit by. We are taught that the pluck of the South, when well directed, though with very few resources to back it, has wrestled with great chances of success against the most powerful combinations in war that perhaps was ever made against any people; and now that the war is over, let us again concentrate those inborn energies, that pluck, to the accomplishment of success in all the arts of peace that go to make a people prosperous and happy, and the habits of endurance which our heavy adversity has taught us will be but stepping stones to our success over all rivals.
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