Heth intended to cover his error.Colonel John S. Mosby gives his version of New chapter in Lee-Stuart controversy.
Colonel T. M. R. Talcott publishes a letter written by General Heth over thirty years ago in reference to the manner in which he brought on the battle of Gettysburg without order from General Lee. Heth's letter was published in the Southern Historical Society Papers; but they did not publish my reply. This is the way that history is manufactured in Richmond. I refer in my book, ‘Stuart's Cavalry in the Gettysburg Campaign,’ to Heth's letter and quote it on pages 150-151-152-154. Heth gives an entirely different account in this letter of the way the battle was precipitated against orders by A. P. Hill and himself from both his own and Hill's official reports to General Lee. The latter says they went on July 1st after shoes: both reports say they went to make a reconnaissance and do not say they went after shoes; nor do they pretend they went under orders. Heth's motive in writing his letter was to create a diversion from himself and to put historians on a false scent.
What Records show.He says that the letter was written to give information to the Count of Paris. He succeeded in fooling the Count. According to Heth's letter only his division went after shoes. The Records show that A. P. Hill took Pender's and Heth's divisions and two battalions of artillery to make what he calls in his report to cover his blunder, a reconnaissance; but which it is clear he intended as nothing but a foray. In my book (page 152) I say,
Now Heth's story is contradicted by A. P. Hill, the commander of the