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[35] inferring that these men quit the assault and left Pickett's men unsupported, whereas my men were the last to leave the field (or the charge).

This I know, as I rode in the line between the two brigades, from the start down to the Emmettsburg road, passing over the wreck of Heth's division (Pettigrew's). Before my line recoiled under a concentrated fire from my front and left, I looked to the right where Pickett's men had been seen to advance, and beheld nothing but isolated and scattered remnants of that splendid line.

When we reached the Emmettsburg road, the terrific fire right in their faces, with their comrades melting away around them, our line slowly began to yield, or rather ceased to advance beyond the road. It was there, as I still sat on my horse, wounded and at the road, that my aid, Charley Grogan, said: “General, the men are falling back, shall I rally them?” Before replying, I looked again to our right for the effect of Pickett's charge, but could see nothing but a few men in squads moving to the rear, and at considerable distance from the Emmettsburg road. It was there, after a brief but deliberate view of the field, that I said, “No, Charley, the best thing these brave fellows can do, is to get out of this.” So, mounting my horse, from which I had alighted with help of Grogan, we followed, at a walk, our men to the rear, who marched back sullenly and slowly, in almost as good order as they had advanced, and I halted them on the summit of Seminary ridge. On the presumption that the enemy would pursue us, I here prepared for defence, and feeling faint from my wound, turned over the command to General Lane.

Thus I am sure that my command continued the contest some time after Pickett's force had been dispersed. Not that we fought better, but because, as a second line, we did not reach the enemy quite as soon as the troops on our right, but maintained our ground after they had been driven back.

It was hard, in your splendid composition, to avoid some errors. Not until every one puts down what actually took place under his own eye in a battle, can its true and exact history be related by one writer.

Pickett's men were nearer the enemy at the start, and did bear the brunt bravely, but they were not the only “heroes of Gettysburg.”

Yours truly,

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