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Having been informed that the greater portion of the rest of our army would move up during the night, and that the enemy's position would be attacked on the right and left flanks very early next morning, I gave orders to General Hays to move his brigade, under cover of night, from the town into the field on the left of it, where it would not be exposed to the enemy's fire, and would be in position to advance on Cemetery Hill when a favorable opportunity should occur. This movement was made, and Hays formed his brigade on the right of Avery, and just behind the extension of the low ridge on which a portion of the town is located. The attack did not begin in the morning of next day as was expected, and in the course of the morning I rode with General Ewell to examine and select a position for artillery. Having been subsequently informed that the anticipated attack would begin at 4 P. M., I directed General Gordon to move his brigade from the York road on the left to the railroad, immediately in rear of Hays and Avery, Smith with his regiments being left under General J. E. B. Stuart to guard the York road.1 The fire from the artillery on the

1 General Lee had come to the rear of the position of our corps between sunset and dusk on the evening before (the 1st), and had a conference with Ewell, Rodes and myself, for the purpose of ascertaining the exact condition of things, and, after we had given him all the information in our possession, he expressed the determination to attack the enemy at daylight next morning, and asked us if we could not make the attack from our flank at that time. We suggested to him that, as our corps constituted the only troops that were immediately confronting the enemy, he would manifestly concentrate and fortify against us by morning (which proved to be the case); and we informed him that the enemy's position in our immediate front was by far the strongest part of the line, as the ascent to it was very rugged and difficult; by reason of all of which we thought it would be very difficult to carry the position, and if we did so it would be at immense sacrifice. We also called his attention to the more favorable nature of the ground on our right for an attack on the enemy's left, and pointed out to him the outline of Round Top Hill, which we could see in the distance notwithstanding the approaching dusk, as a position which must command and enfilade that of the enemy. The three of us concurred in these views, and General Lee to whom the day's battle had been unexpected, and who was not familiar with the position, recognised the force of our views. He then remarked that if our corps remained in its then position, and the attack was made on the left flank of the enemy from the point suggested, our line would be very much drawn out and weakened, and the enemy might take the offensive and break through it, and he said it would perhaps be better for us to be drawn to the right for the purpose of concentration. We were very loth to yield the position we had fought for and gained, especially as a large number of the enemy's wounded and a large quantity of small arms were in our possession in the town, and many of our own wounded were not in a condition to be moved, and we assured General Lee that we could hold our part of the line against any force, and suggested that in the event of a successful attack on the enemy's left we would be in a better condition to follow it up from where we were. All of his remarks were made in that tone of suggestion and interrogation combined so familiar to those who had frequent intercourse with General Lee, and which often left those with whom he was conversing under the impression that they were really prompting him, when he was only drawing them out and trying to ascertain whether they understood what they were expected to perform. He finally announced his purpose to make the main attack at daylight from the right of the army, while an attack by division was to be made from the left of our corps, to be converted into a real attack on a favorable opportunity. He then left us to give the necessary orders for carrying out his plans, and we prepared for cooperation at the designated time, having undoubting faith in a successful result. If General Lee had contemplated receiving the attack of the enemy at Gettysburg, the arrangement of his line would have been faulty by reason of its length and form; but neither he nor any one else apprehended such an attack, and for the purpose of attack on our part the arrangement was the best that could have been made. Had we concentrated our whole force at one point, the enemy could have concentrated correspondingly, and we would not have been in as favorable a position for taking advantage of success.

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Fitzhugh Lee (5)
Harry T. Hays (3)
R. S. Ewell (2)
Clark M. Avery (2)
J. E. B. Stuart (1)
William Smith (1)
R. E. Rodes (1)
David S. Gordon (1)
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