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[209] that he gave the order to charge at the opportune moment cannot be doubted. The writer of this communication distinctly remembers hearing him in the summer of 1865 give the same account of his part in the action that he gave in 1872 in a letter to General Mahone. But it must be borne in mind that other participants have made statements tending to show that General Weisiger was mistaken, however strong was his belief that his order, and not an order coming directly from General Mahone or indirectly from him through his staff officer, Captain Girardey, put in motion the Virginia Brigade when it made its charge. The conflict in the statements touching the point of controversy leaves the contemporaneous official records, from which quotations have been made, as our proper and only safe guide in determining what occured; from which records there is but one inference to be drawn, and that is, that, whatever the actual facts were, General A. P. Hill, General Robert E. Lee, and President Davis, who may properly be assumed to have voiced the current sentiment of the army and people of the Confederacy on the subject, which was the talk of the day, and was everywhere discussed were of opinion that the honors of the battle belonged to General Mahone.

Now for another feature of The Times editorial, its imputation, a very unjust one, that General Mahone was in the covered way, in a place of safety, all of the time that General Weisiger was with the troops, in the firing line, at the breastworks. This charge was made, for the first time in 1880, some sixteen years after the battle. Upon its appearance in print a committee of four of the best soldiers in the Virginia Brigade took the matter in hand, and a few weeks later published the statements of a number of trustworthy participants, which made it clear beyond controversy that, so far from it being true, as charged, that General Mahone remained in the covered way from the time General Weisiger moved forward with his brigade to the time when, after having been wounded, he met and talked with him (Mahone) on his way from the field, it is, on the contrary, true, that within a few minutes after General Weisiger and his men reached the breastworks General Mahone was there with them and among them.

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