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[62] upon this point will be presented in the course of this article. Suffice it to say at present that General Lee never in his life gave me orders to open an attack at a specific hour. He was perfectly satisfied that when I had my troops in position and was ordered to attack, no time was ever lost. On the night of the 1st I left him without any orders at all. On the morning of the 2d I went to General Lee's headquarters at daylight and renewed my views against making an attack. He seemed resolved, however, and we discussed the probable results. He observed the position of the Federals and got a general idea of the nature of the ground. About sunrise General Lee sent Colonel Venable, of his staff, to General Ewell's headquarters, ordering him to make a reconnoissance of the ground in his front, with a view of making the main attack on his left, A short time afterwards he followed Colonel Venable in person. He returned at about 9 o'clock and informed me that it would not do to have Ewell to open the attack. He finally determined that I should make the main attack on the extreme right. It was fully 11 o'clock when General Lee arrived at this conclusion and ordered the movement. In the meantime, by General Lee's authority, Law's brigade, which had been put upon picket duty, was ordered to rejoin my command, and upon my suggestion that it would be better to await its arrival, General Lee assented. We awaited about forty minutes for these troops and then moved forward. A delay of several hours occurred in the march of the troops. The cause of this delay was that we had been ordered by General Lee to proceed cautiously upon the forward movement so as to avoid being seen by the enemy. General Lee ordered Colonel Johnson, of his engineer corps, to lead and conduct the head of the column. My troops, therefore, moved forward under guidance of a special officer of General Lee, and with insructions to follow his directions. I left General Lee only after the line was stretched out on the march, and rode along with Hood's division, which was in the rear. The march was necessarily slow, the conductor frequently encountering points that exposed the troops to the view of the signal station on Round Top. At length the column halted. After waiting some time, supposing that it would soon move forward, I sent to the front to inquire the occasion of the delay. It was reported that the column was awaiting the movements of Colonel Johnston, who was trying to lead it by some route by which it could pursue its march without falling under view of the Federal signal station. Looking up toward Round Top 1 saw that the signal station was in full view, and, as we could plainly see this station, it was apparent that our heavy columns was seen from their position, and that further efforts to conceal ourselves would be a waste of time.

I became very impatient at this delay, and determined to take upon myself the responsibility of hurrying the troops forward. I did not order

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Fitzhugh Lee (10)
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