previous next

[121] pitched near the road, for a night halt. He called me to where he was seated, and unfolding a map of Pennsylvania, asked me about the topography of the country east of the South Mountain in Adams county and around Gettysburg. He said with a smile,‘as a civil engineer you may know more about it than any of us.’ After my description of the country and saying that ‘almost every square mile contained good positions for battle or skillful manoeuvering,’ he remarked (and I think I repeat his words nearly verbatim) ‘Our army is in good spirits, not over fatigued, and can be concentrated on any one point in twenty-four hours or less. I have not yet heard that the enemy have crossed the Potomac, and am waiting to hear from General Stuart. When they hear where we are they will make forced marches to interpose their forces between us and Baltimore and Philadelphia. They will come up, probably through Frederick; broken down with hunger and hard marching, strung out on a long line and much demoralized, when they come into Pennsylvania. I shall throw an overwhelming force on their advance, crush it, follow up the success, drive one corps back on another, and by successive repulses and surprises before they can concentrate; create a panic and virtually destroy the army.’

When asked my opinion, I said the plan ought to be successful, as I never knew our men to be in finer spirits in any campaign. He said: ‘That is, I hear, tile general impression.’

At the conclusion of our interview, he laid his hand on the map, over Gettysburg, and said hereabout we shall probably meet the enemy and fight a great battle, and if God gives us the victory, the war will be over and we shall achieve the recognition of our independence. He concluded by saying General Ewell's forces are by this time in Harrisburg; if not, go and join him, and help to take the place.

June 28th, Sunday.—Reached Carlisle. General Early had been sent to York, but no force against Harrisburg. Told General Ewell it could easily be taken, and I thought General Lee expected it. I volunteered to capture the place with one brigade, and it was arranged we should start before day Tuesday morning. That night, Tuesday, General Ewell received by courier from General Lee a despatch that the enemy had crossed the Potomac—26th and 27th—with an order to cross at once the South Mountain, ‘and march to Cashtown or Gettysburg, according to circumstances.’ These were the words.

Tuesday, June 30th.—Ewell started from Carlisle with Rodes'

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
R. S. Ewell (3)
R. E. Lee (2)
James Ewell Brown Stuart (1)
R. E. Rodes (1)
J. A. Early (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
June 30th (1)
June 28th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: