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[227] Colonel Mosby's book involves very serious strictures on General Lee, which his soldiers are loath to accept save on the most incontrovertible evidence. He asks us to believe, as I have said, that the Report of the Gettysburg Campaign which General Lee signed in January, 1864, not only reflects gross injustice on General Stuart, but bristles with inconsistencies and grievous mistakes on points of capital importance. It is incredible that these two reports of the battle were signed by General Lee without reading them. It is inconsistent with his habit in other cases. We know that he took time to read Gen. Pickett's report of the battle. Why not then read his own report? And if General Lee read them, then certainly their salient statements, to say the least, have the stamp of his authority. But Col. Mosby asserts that it was not Lee's purpose on the 28th of June to advance against Harrisburg, though he says so in his report, and though Col. Marshall says he himself sent orders to that effect to Hill and Longstreet on the night of the 28th. He insists also that the change of plan and the orders to concentrate at Cashtown were not the consequence of the intelligence brought by a scout on June 28th, although General Lee affirms it in his report. No matter: Col. Mosby knows better: He is sure that Lee had ordered Ewell back from Carlisle on the 27th, and he is satisfied by this by the letter in Lee's letter-book, not copied, but written from memory afterwards by Colonel Venable. His whole argument on this point rests, as I have said, on the accuracy of the date of that letter. I have shown that on the hypothesis of an error in date, the 28th instead of the 29th, the inconsistencies Col. Mosby alleges disappear.1

1 Col. Mosby is of opinion that the scout who came in at Chambersburg late on June 28th was as unreal as Caesar's ghost at Philippi. ‘No spy came in at Chambersburg,’ he says. Yet General Longstreet positively affirmed it. General Lee's report states it as a fact and Colonel Marshall says that he was sent for to General Lee's tent after 10 P. M., June 28th and found him in conference with a man in citizen's dress, who proved to be General Longstreet's scout. This is a threefold cord of testimony not to be easily rent asunder by the ipse dixil of Colonel Mosby. What appears conclusive proof to Colonel Mosby that the story of the scout is a myth is the statement, in after years coupled with it, that the said scout also brought intelligence of the appointment of General Meade that very day to the command of the Army of the Potomac; but there is no mention of this in General Lee's report. It may be a later edition to the original story. But whether true or false, it does not concern the defenders of the accuracy of General Lee's statement in his report. It is not alluded to either in that report or in the report of General Longstreet. However, the fact is that General Hooker telegraphed his resignation on the evening of June 27th. Meade was at once appointed in his place, and the news of his appointment reached Frederick in the forenoon of June 28th. Colonel Mosby thinks it impossible that the alleged scout could have carried this news so soon from Frederick to Longstreet at Chambersburg. But if by some chance the said scout learned the news in the forenoon of the 28th, is it certain he could not have travelled 55 miles before 11 P. M.? President Roosevelt could have done it; perhaps he could. I do not think his quotation from Colonel Freemantle proves that the news of Hooker's being suspended was not received by Longstreet until the 30th of June. But, as I have said, the question is of no importance in the argument on behalf of the accuracy of General Lee's statement in his report.

Gen. E. P. Alexander is another witness in both these points. He says, p. 379, that on June 28th, General Lee still believed Hooker had not crossed the Potomac; that he issued orders for an advance of his whole army next day upon Harrisburg; but that his plan was changed by the arrival of General Longstreet's scout about midnight of the 28th, with news that Hooker had crossed into Maryland, and that he had been superseded.

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