At that hour, big with promise, the Confederates
had also possession of the chief point of vantage, for their advance was entirely through the town of Gettysburg
and beyond its southern border, up to the very gates of the now famous cemetery, and Early
, also flushed with victory, the credit for which was in large part due to his division, was forming two of his brigades to the east of the town, and requesting Hill
to join his right with a division from Seminary ridge
, to move forward and dispossess the small Federal force that still heroically held on to Cemetery hill
and covered the roads by which Meade
must advance from the southward.
At this same time, about 5 in the afternoon, General Ewell
sent Capt. J. P. Smith
to General Lee
, asking that the forward movement he was preparing might be supported by Hill
was found on Seminary ridge
, accompanied by Longstreet
, and Hill
was near at hand.
The latter was reluctant to send to Ewell
his two divisions, which so recently had been hotly engaged.
then urged Longstreet
to hurry forward McLaws
, who were advancing from Cashtown
to join Ewell
's advance, and sent word to the latter, by Captain Smith
, that he would support his advance on his right as soon as he could, concluding: ‘I wish him to use whatever opportunity he has to advance and hold the ground in his front.’
was holding his men in check, impatient to advance as soon as they were reformed, to the south of Gettysburg
, a young staff officer came riding rapidly from the rear, with a message to General Early
from Brig.-Gen. William Smith
, who had recently been sent to the army to take command of Early
's old brigade, which Early
had left as a rear guard on the road to York
, north of Gettysburg
, as he advanced, distrusting the management of its leader in an engagement.
's message was that a Federal force was advancing upon his rear, from the direction of York
Instead of paying no attention to this report, which he well knew could have no foundation, Early
halted his advance movement and countermarched one of his best brigades, under Gordon
, to assist Smith
in meeting this imagined Federal movement on his rear.
The delay caused by this episode chilled in Ewell
the ardor of pursuit, and he refused the appeal of Early
for an immediate assault upon