This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
“  Hays recognized it as such and presently sent for Early. The latter thought as Hays, but declined to disobey orders. At the urgent request of General Hays, however, he sent for General Ewell. When the latter arrived many precious moments had been lost. But the enemy, who did not see its value until the arrival of Hancock, had not yet appeared in force.” General Hays told me ten years after the battle that he “could have seized the heights without the loss of ten men.” Here we see General Early adhering to orders when his own convictions told him he should not do so, and refusing to allow General Hays to seize a point recognized by him as of vast importance, because of technical authority, at a moment when he admitted and knew that disregard of the order would only have made more secure the point at issue when the order was given. Before closing this article I desire to settle finally and fully one point concerning which there has been much discussion, viz: the alleged delay in the attack upon the 2d. I am moved to this task not so much by an ambition to dissolve the cloud of personal misrepresentation that has been settled about my head, as by a sense of duty which leads me to determine a point that will be of value to the historian. It was asserted by General Pendleton, with whom the carefulness of statement or deliberateness of judgment has never been a characteristic, but who has been distinguished for the unreliability of his memory, that General Lee ordered me to attack the enemy at sunrise on the 2d. General J. A. Early has, in positive terms, indorsed this charge, which I now proceed to disprove. I have said that I left General Lee late in the night of the 1st, and that he had not then determined when the attack should be made; that I went to his headquarters early the next morning and was with him for some time; that he left me early after sunrise and went to Ewell's headquarters with the express view of seeing whether or not the main attack should be made then, and that he returned at about 9 o'clock; and that after discussing the ground for some time he determined that I should make the main attack, and at 11 o'clock gave me the order to prepare for it. I now present documents that sustain these assertions. The first letter that I offer is from Colonel W. H. Taylor, of General Lee's staff. It is as follows:
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.