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‘ [132] the night in search of a way by which we might strike the enemy's left and press it down towards the centre. I found a way that gave promise of results, and was about to move the command when he rode over after sunrise and gave his orders. His plan was to assault the enemy's left centre by a column to be composed of McLaws' and Hood's divisions reinforced by Pickett's brigades. I thought that it would not do, that the point had been fully tested the day before by more men while all were fresh,’ &c.

The singular thing about this account is, the statement that the assaulting column was to be ‘composed of McLaws' and Hood's divisions, reinforced by Pickett's brigades.’ This confirms the language of General Lee's report that the attack was to be made ‘by Longstreet, reinforced by Pickett's three brigades’ and supports the contention of certain of General Lee's staff and others in the army, that the attack was to be general and that the assaulting column was to be actively supported on either flank.

As a matter of fact, McLaws' and Hood's divisions did not unite in the attack.

The official reports on file coming from these divisions, as well as the Federal reports from the fifth and sixth corps confronting them, show that there was no engagement between these respective lines on the 3d day beyond occasional skirmishing, and the activities of a brigade in Hood's division warding off a threatened attack of cavalry.

While the failure of McLaws and Hood to attack and cooperate actively with Pickett may well be said to have affected the result, the personal attitude of General Longstreet during the day of the 3d should be taken into account.

Granting that he differed with Lee as to the policy and plan of giving battle, and that his conceptions were right and those of Lee were strong, and granting, too, that he was affected, as he says he was, by the prospect of a useless effusion of blood, it was no less his duty to give a hearty and cordial support to his commander when the plan of battle was once determined. Whether this was done, any one may judge for himself from the following extract taken from his own account:


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Hood (5)
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