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 the Emmettsburg road, at the peach orchard, by misunderstanding of instructions, quite in advance of the natural position on the ridge and at the Round Top. And Longstreet placed McLaws directly in front of him with Hood on the right; in a line perpendicular. General Meade had instructed General Butterfield, his chief of staff, early in the morning to prepare an order for retreat, and later there was a conference of corps commanders to consider this order, but at 4 P. M., Longstreet's attack broke up this conference. General Law, on the right of Hood, urged the occupation of Round Top, his couriers finding the Federal flank unprotected. Three times it was urged. But Longstreet's reply was ‘General Lee's orders are to attack up the Emmittsburg road.’ After 4, Hood began the attack, his right going into Sickles' left about the Little Round Top and the Devil's Den. Then McLaws' division went in at the peach orchard with a terrific onslaught. Three Federal divisions came to Sickle's help, with 13,000 men, but all were forced back. A. P. Hill's line now moved forward, and soon sent the right of Sickle's corps in retreat to the Seminary ridge. And 7 o'clock in the evening found the complete defeat of Meade's left wing. Wright's Georgians went steadily up the slope, leaped the stone fences, and occupied the crest of the ridge, a short distance south of the Cemetery. But Hill's advance was in detail and was not supported. Wright could not stand alone, and with the converging forces pressing in on him, he was driven back, and the tide of Federal defeat was checked at the very summit of the ridge. Slow and recalcitrant as he was, Longstreet's battle of the second day, was in itself a great success. Late as it was, he accomplished Lee's purpose and rolled back the Federal left towards Gettysburg, overwhelming Sickles with his tremendous attack. But if he had heeded Hood and Law, he would also have taken Round Top, and probably have occupied the Tarrytown road, in rear of Meade's army. And the opportunity of the second day was lost to the Confederates. General Lee's left had not been idle. Edward Johnson and his division had fought bravely and persistently for Culp's hill, and entered the first line of the Federal entrenchments. Early sent two brigades gallantly against the cemetery, under withering fire, and breaking the line of the Eleventh corps, entered the Federal works on the summit. At three points that late afternoon the wave of
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