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After the charge.

You asked me to tell how the field looked after the charge, and how the men went back. This I am unable to do, as I was disabled at Armistead's side a moment after he had fallen, and left on the Federal side of the stone fence. I was picked up by the Union forces after their lines were reformed, and I take this occasion to express my grateful recollection of the attention I received on the field, particularly from Colonel Hess, of the 72d Pennsylvania (I think). If he still lives, I hope yet to have the pleasure of grasping his hand and expressing to him my gratitude for his kindness to me. Only the brave know how to treat a fallen foe.

I cannot close this letter without reference to the Confederate chief, General R. E. Lee. Somebody blundered at Gettysburg but not Lee. He was too great a master of the art of war to have hurled a handful of men against an army. It has been abundantly shown that the fault lay not with him, but with others, who failed to execute his orders.

This has been written amid interruptions, and is an imperfect attempt to describe the great charge, but I have made the effort to comply with your request because of your very kind and friendly letter, and because there is no reason why those who once were foes should not now be friends. The quarrel was not personal, but sectional, and although we tried to destroy each other thirty-odd years ago, there is no reason why we should cherish resentment against each other now.

I should be very glad to meet you in Lynchburg if your business or pleasure should ever bring you to Virginia.

With great respect,

Yours most truly,

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Rawley W. Martin (1)
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