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[124] while G. W. Smith's corps should advance on the Nine Mile road, and turn the left of Heintzelman and Keyes if Sumner should not have arrived, or engage and prevent the junction of his with the other corps, if he should cross. Longstreet and Hill were in position to attack at an early hour, but waited till ten o'clock for the arrival of Huger, whose division, except two regiments of Rodes (which created a diversion by vigorous attack on the right), did not arrive in time to participate in the action. Our failure to destroy an enemy who, by a concerted movement in the forenoon, would have been utterly routed and driven from the field or captured, was, as is universally conceded, one of the most palpable blunders of the war, but the question, upon whose shoulders the blame rests, still confronts us. No engagement of the war has given rise to more acrimonious censure and crimination than Seven Pines. Mr. Davis, General Johnston, General Longstreet, General Smith, and General Huger have, each in turn, discussed the conduct of both the active and passive leaders of that memorable day.

The future historians who shall make up for posterity their verdict upon the controverted points as to the battle of Seven Pines, will find one fact admitted by all of the disputants: that D. H. Hill was the hero of the occasion, and with his own gallant division, aided by two of Longstreet's brigades, drove the enemy in confusion from the breastworks and turned their own guns upon them as they retreated. Longstreet, who was in command on the right, generously said in his report: ‘The conduct of the attack was left entirely to Major-General Hill. The success of the affair is sufficient evidence of his ability, courage and skill.’ Commenting upon the language of Longstreet, President Davis said: ‘This tribute to General Hill was no more than has been accorded to him by others who knew of his services on that day, and was in keeping with the determined courage, vigilance and daring exhibited by him on other fields.’

General Johnston's language was not less unequivocal in according to Hill the credit of making a very gallant and the only successful attack upon the enemy's works, when he said in his report: ‘The principal attack was made by Major-General Longstreet with his own and Major-General D. H. Hill's division—the latter mostly in advance. Hill's brave troops, admirably commanded and most gallantly led, forced their way through the abattis which formed the enemy's external defences and stormed their entrenchments by a ’

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James Longstreet (6)
D. H. Hill (6)
G. W. Smith (2)
Robert D. Johnston (2)
Huger (2)
Jefferson Davis (2)
Sumner (1)
Rodes (1)
Keyes (1)
A. P. Hill (1)
Heintzelman (1)
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