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[225] collect supplies for the army. Everything should have been subordinated to the accomplishment of this end. Had it been, General Stuart would have resisted the temptation to break the Federal communications with Washington, and to capture and carry off the enemy's wagon train, and would have joined Ewell several days before he did. However brilliant and daring his operations in Hooker's rear, and however beneficial their results, it is not pertinent to the question at issue, which is simply this: Did General Stuart exert himself with whole-hearted energy to carry out the instructions he received, and in the most expeditious manner? In so critical and fateful a movement as the invasion of Pennsylvania, it was supremely important that every officer should carry out the orders of the Commander-in-Chief with the strictest fidelity and exactness. As a matter of fact, Ewell made his march to the Susquehanna (starting on June 23rd from Hagerstown) without receiving any aid from General Stuart. That officer was not able to accomplish any of the things he was charged to do in connection with Ewell's advance. And he was not able to accomplish them because, first, he took the course behind the Federal army when the reason for that line of march no longer existed and when the circumstances under which he had received permission to do so, had completely changed; and, second, because having crossed the Potomac on the 27th, he did not then march as directed, and as expeditiously as possible, to effect a junction with General Ewell. It cannot be supposed that when Lee gave Stuart his instructions on June 22nd, he had any idea that that officer would not report to General Ewell until the 1st of July--the 9th day after.

Colonel Mosby says that Stuart's cavalry could not have been of any material service to Lee even had they been present at Gettysburg from the beginning of the battle, and yet he says (page 189), that ‘the withdrawal of Buford's cavalry left Sickels' flank in the peach orchard uncovered— “in the air” ,’ ‘and that Longstreet took advantage of it and struck him a stunning blow.’ These two statements are inconsistent. Col. Henderson is of opinion that the skillful handling of the Federal cavalry ‘practically decided the issue of the conflict.’ ‘Science of War,’ p. 278.

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