previous next

[131] difficulties of the latter on such an extended line, and the failure of Anderson's assault on the same ground was an ominous warning that the conditions were too difficult to be overcome.

He thought, however, to supply this by making the assaulting column larger and putting in fresh troops. His confidence in his army was unshaken, and his own courage rose with the occasion. General Longstreet, on the other hand, was full of foreboding and had no confidence in the attack. He was for adopting the move which Reynolds wrote to Butterfield, the Confederates would attempt, that is, to turn their left in the direction of Fairfield.

It was most unfortunate that while differing with the General commanding as to the policy of the campaign, the difference was one not simply of opinion, but one which seems to have affected General Longstreet's conduct, and was in itself sufficient to mar the success of any enterprise.

In his official report he says, ‘On the following morning (3d) our arrangements were made for renewing the attack by my right, with a view to pass around the hill occupied by the enemy on his left, and to gain it by flank and reverse attack. This would have been a slow process probably, but I think not very difficult. A few moments after my orders for the execution of this plan were given, the commanding General joined me and ordered a column of attack to be formed of Pickett's, Heth's and part of Pender's divisions, the assault to be made directly at the enemy's main position, the Cemetery Hill.’

It appears then, that Longstreet had given orders for the execution of a movement at variance with the plan of the commanding General, and which was only prevented by Lee's joining him and countermanding the order. Inserted, as it is, in his official report made at the time, it bears the marks of a purpose not only to act independently of his superior, but also to distinctly declare and put on record what the purpose was.

In the account of the battle subsequently given, speaking of General Lee's report, he says, ‘This is disingenuous. He did not give or send me orders for the morning of the 3d day, nor did he reinforce me by Pickett's brigade for the morning attack. In the absence of orders I had scouting parties out during ’

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.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Fairfield, Pa. (Pennsylvania, United States) (1)

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.
Longstreet (3)
Pickett (2)
Fitz Lee (2)
Reynolds (1)
Pender (1)
A. P. Hill (1)
Heth (1)
Butterfield (1)
R. H. Anderson (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: