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[123] having reached the field on our extreme left, encountered a heavy body of the enemy, who were sent to turn our left, and drove them back in confusion and with heavy loss.

From the position I was in, I could command a view a mile and a half in extent from one flank to the other, and noticed that the whole space in open fields was covered with Union soldiers retreating in broken masses towards the town from our own and General Hill's front.

This was about 2.30 P. M. Soon after General Ewell rode to the town, passing a numerous body of prisoners. I said to an officer: ‘Fortune is against you to-day.’ He replied: ‘We have been worse whipped than ever.’

Riding through one of the streets with his staff, General Ewell was fired on from the houses; and soon after rode out to a farmhouse, near a hospital. At this time, about 3, the firing had ceased entirely, save occasional discharges of artillery from the hill above the town. The battle was over and we had won it handsomely. General Ewell moved about uneasily, a good deal excited, and seemed to me to be undecided what to do next. I approached him and said: ‘Well, General, we have had a grand success; are you not going to follow it up and push our advantage?’

He replied that ‘General Lee had instructed him not to bring on a general engagement without orders, and that he would wait for them.’

I said, that hardly applies to the present state of things, as we have fought a hard battle already, and should secure the advantage gained. He made no rejoinder, but was far from composure. I was deeply impressed with the conviction that it was a critical moment for us and made a remark to that effect.

As no movement seemed immediate, I rode off to our left, north of the town, to reconnoitre, and noticed conspicuously the wooded hill northeast of Gettysburg (Culp's), and a half mile distant, and of an elevation to command the country for miles each way, and overlooking Cemetery Hill above the town. Returning to see General Ewell, who was still under much embarrassment, I said: ‘General, there,’ pointing to Culp's Hill, ‘is an eminence of commanding position, and not now occupied, as it ought to be by us or the enemy soon. I advise you to send a brigade and hold it if we are to remain here.’ He said: ‘Are you sure it commands the town?’

‘Certainly it does, as you can see, and it ought to be held by us at ’

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