previous next


The attack instead of being made at sunrise, was not made until 4 o'clock P. M. No matter what may have been General Longstreet's suggestions to General Lee, as to the advisability of the attack, and no matter what pretexts or excuses may be offered by him or in his behalf for the delay, they cannot break the force of the fact that an attack which was to be made at sunrise or at an early hour, did not come off until late in the afternoon.

An attack at sunrise would have found only the second corps and a division of the third in occupation of the heights south of the Cemetery, and General Lee's idea of enveloping the enemy's left by Longstreet's extension, appeared feasible enough. By 4 o'clock the remainder of the third corps of the Federal army had arrived and taken up its position in prolongation of the Federal line. The fifth corps when relieved by the sixth, was also moved up to reinforce and extend the left.

In the early morning Meade's line of battle did not take in Little Round Top, and no guns were posted upon it or on Big Round Top beyond. When the brigades of Hood's division completed their flank movement in the afternoon, and wheeling to the left, emerged through the woods, they found upon the crest and sides of the hill two lines of infantry and a number of guns frowning down upon them.

It is difficult to account for General Longstreet's course throughout all the forenoon and into the afternoon of the 2d. He was always regarded as a sturdy fighter, and was called General Lee's ‘Old War Horse’: The soldiers familiarly spoke of him as ‘Old Pete,’ and he enjoyed the fullest love and confidence of his command. The only complaint ever made of him was that he was slow to move, and it is said that General Lee expressed himself to that effect to some of his general officers on the night of the 1st.

His loyalty to Lee, however, was never questioned, and the relations between them were cordial and friendly. In the publications of General Longstreet since the war, the tone of superiority, which he assumes in speaking of his intercourse with Lee and the claims made by him for the possession of superior judgment in the conduct of the campaign, have astonished all who knew

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Fitz Lee (6)
Longstreet (4)
Little Round Top (1)
Meade (1)
Hood (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: