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[377]

General Lee, in his report, noticing the large loss of men and officers, says:

I can not speak of these brave men as their merits and exploits deserve. Some of them are appropriately mentioned in the accompanying reports, and the memory of all will be gratefully and affectionately cherished by the people in whose defense they fell.

The loss of Major-General Pender is severely felt by the army and the country. . . . Brigadier-Generals Armistead, Barksdale, Garnet, and Semmes, died as they had lived, discharging the highest duty of patriots with devotion that never faltered, and courage that shrank from no danger.

The testimony of General Meade, above mentioned, contains this statement respecting his losses:

On the evening of the 2d of July, after the battle of that day had ceased, and darkness had set in, being aware of the very heavy losses of the First and Eleventh Corps on the 1st of July, and knowing how severely the Third Corps, the Fifth Corps, and other portions of the army, had suffered in the battle of the 2d of July—in fact, as subsequently ascertained, out of the twenty-four thousand men killed, wounded, and missing, which was the amount of my losses and casualties at Gettysburg—over twenty thousand of them had been put hors de combat before the night of the 2d of July.

Thus closed the campaign in Pennsylvania. The wisdom of the strategy was justified by the result. The battle of Gettysburg was unfortunate. Though the loss sustained by the enemy was greater than our own, theirs could be repaired, ours could not.

Had General Lee been able to compel the enemy to attack him in position, I think we should have had a complete victory, and the testimony of General Meade quoted above shows that he was not at all inclined to make the experiment. If General Lee, by moving to the right, would only have led General Meade to fall back on his preferred position of Pipe Creek, his ability to wait and the impossibility under such circumstances for General Lee to supply his army for any length of time seem to me an answer to that point in the criticism to which our great captain has been subjected. To compel Meade to retire would have availed but little to us, unless his army had first been routed. To beat that army was probably to secure our independence. The position of Gettysburg would have been worth nothing to us if our army had found it unoccupied. The fierce battle that Lee fought there must not be considered as for the position; to beat the great army of the North was the object, and that it was of possible attainment is to be inferred from the various successes of our arms. Had there been a concentrated attack at sunrise on the second day, with the same gallantry and skill which were exhibited in the partial assaults, it may reasonably be assumed that the

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