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[140]

The road from Gettysburg to Taneytown ran just in rear of the Federal line and the conformation of the ground not only afforded cover for the troops, but made it easy to move them from one point of the line to another.

While, therefore, there was great want of concert of action on the part of General Lee's lieutenants, as will be seen from their several reports, and while a more vigorous demonstration on the part of McLaws and Hood as well as on the part of Hill and Ewell, would have been useful in dividing the attention of the enemy, it is not believed it would have materially affected the result.

General Lee assigns as a reason for giving battle the difficulty of withdrawing from Meade's front through the mountains in his rear with his large train. The fact that he was able to do so after the battle, justifies the belief that Longstreet was right in his opinion that an atack in front was not advisable, and that General Lee committed an error in determining upon that course. It is seen now from their correspondence that Meade and Reynolds both were prepared to withdraw, in case a flanking movement had been attempted.

General Lee's fame as a soldier will not suffer, however, from the untoward result. The greatness of his character was most conspicuous in the hour of defeat. He never appeared more serene than on the days succeeding the battle, when after holding his lines for twenty-four hours, he quietly withdrew, and conducting his army through the mountain passes, again offered battle to the enemy, and awaiting for the swollen waters of the Potomac to subside, effected his passage safely without loss of stores or baggage.

The night of the 3d and part of the 4th were spent in the sad duty of burying the dead and removing the wounded to places of greater safety, and also in the task of refitting and preparing for the future.

The ordnance officers report after the battle showed an expenditure of 1,395 rounds of ammunition fired during the three days engagement by my battalion. The number of rounds fired by Pegram's battalion was more than double that number. That


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