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[127] see that the conflict was ended there, as but a few stragglers could be seen. Hence it was mere folly for our small force to continue the fight, and I said to my aid: ‘No; the best thing the men can do, is to get out of this, and let them go.’ I know these brigades were the last troops to leave the field, and as we moved slowly back, but few of Pickett's men were visible.

In reviewing the events preceding the battle, and the occurrences during the three days, we cannot fail to be impressed with the cause of embarrassment to General Lee, and the reasons for his failure to obtain a decided and useful victory. For the proof is abundant that Gettysburg fight was a drawn battle, though with General Lee in the enemy's country, failure of victory was a defeat to his campaign.

The errors, a want of judgment which defeated General Lee's plans, are conspicuous and numerous, and it is strange, thoa reasonably certain, that if any one of these errors had not been made, the result of Gettysburg would have been a victory for us.

But all in succession were against us, and we were crushed by a combination of mistakes and disasters, to which few armies have ever been subjected.

I will enumerate these errors:

1st. The absence of Stuart's cavalry. That officer disobeyed two orders of General Lee, to keep his cavalry between our army and the enemy. Hence General Lee was seriously embarrassed, as he never knew the precise movements of the enemy, and could not prepare to meet them as he desired.

2nd. General Ewell not moving directly on Gettysburg early on the 1st, where he would have begun the fight with Hill, made it speedily successful at an early hour of the day, and prevented the enemy from halting on Cemetery Hill.

3rd. Our success the first day not having been followed up by vigorous pursuit of the enemy.

4th. Failure to attack the enemy by daybreak on the 2nd, before he had concentrated, as desired by General Lee.

5th. Want of concert in attacks on 2nd, and especially Rodes' failure to sustain Early at night.

6th. Longstreet's delay in reaching the field early on 2nd, when only three miles distant, until 4 o'clock P. M.

7th. Longstreet's not vigorously attacking with his whole force on the 3rd.

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