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[113] all against him. Ewell was directed towards Cashtown or Gettysburg, as circumstances might require. The movement ultimately was determined towards Gettysburg. General Longstreet, in his official report made at the time, after speaking of events on the 30th, says, ‘On the next day the troops set out for Gettysburg.’ But if there could be any doubt about so plain a proposition, it is settled by a personal letter from General Lee to Mr. Davis, written on the 4th of July, just after the battle, in which this passage occurs, ‘Our whole force was directed to concentrate at Gettysburg.’

As to the charge that Hill should have remained at Cashtown, and that his advance beyond that place was reckless and unauthorized; had he stood still at Cashtown, he would have blocked the passage of Longstreet's corps, which was on its way to Gettysburg, and which, as it was, was greatly retarded by Anderson's division and by Ewell's trains. In the absence of special instructions for the day, it may be asked what was the natural and proper thing for Hill to do. General Lee stood greatly in need of information as to the enemy. Hill was his lieutenant, and in the absence of cavalry, who, it may be asked, but the lieutenant in charge of the advance, could furnish the information wanted, and in what other way could this be done than by a reconnaissance, even supposing Gettysburg were not the objective point of the movement. The effort to make it appear that Hill's advance beyond Cashtown was unauthorized, in the light of these facts, falls to the ground. As to how far and with what insistence the reconnaissance should have been pressed, opinions may differ. On the one hand he was handicapped by the knowledge that General Lee did not wish a general engagement brought on; this led him to put his troops into action by detachments and exposed him to the criticism which Captain Battine makes; at the same time he was too sturdy a fighter, willingly to give ground, and he must have thought the alternative, in the face of increasing numbers, was between a vigorous offensive and abandoning his ground. Doubleday, on the Union side, has been censured for pretty much the same thing. In replying to criticisms, against him on this account, he says, ‘A retreat without hard fighting has a tendency to demoralize the troops who retreat, and would in the present instance, in my opinion, have dispirited the whole army and encourage ’

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