previous next

[79] until Ewell's wagon train had passed, which did not happen until after 4 o'clock P. M. The train was calculated to be fourteen miles long, when I took up the line of march and continued marching until I arrived within three miles of Gettysburg, where my command camped along a creek. This was far into the night. My division was leading Longstreet's corps, and of course the other divisions come up later. I saw Hood's division the next morning, and understood that Pickett had been detached to guard the rear. While on the march, at about 10 o'clock at night, I met General Longstreet and some of his staff coming from the direction of Gettysburg, and had a few moments conversation with him. He said nothing of having received an order to attack at daylight the next morning. Here I will state that until General Pendleton mentioned it about two years ago when he was on a lecturing tour, after the death of General Lee, I never heard it intimated even that any such order had ever been given.

I close the testimony on this point by an extract from a letter from General Hood. He writes:

I arrived with my staff in front of the heights of Gettysburg shortly after daybreak, as I have already stated, on the morning of the 2d of July. My division soon commenced filing into an open field near me, when the troops were allowed to stack arms and rest until further orders. A short distance in advance of this point, and during the early part of the same morning, we were both engaged in company with Generals A. P. Hill and Lee in observing the position of the Federals. General Lee, with coat buttoned to the throat, sabre belt around his waist and field glasses pending at his side, walked up and down in the shade of large trees near us, halting now and then to observe the enemy. He seemed full of hope, yet at times buried in deep thought. Colonel Freemantle, of England, was esconced in the forks of a tree not far off with glasses in constant use examining the lofty position of the Federal army. General Lee was seemingly anxious that you should attack that morning. He remarked to me: β€œThe enemy is here, and if we do not whip him he will whip us.” You thought it better to await the arrival of Pickett's division, at that time still in the rear, in order to make the attack, and you said to me subsequently, while we were seated together near the trunk of a tree: β€œGeneral Lee is a little nervous this morning. He wishes me to attack. I do not wish to do so without Pickett. I never like to go into a battle with one boot off.”

Having thus disproved the assertions of Messrs. Pendleton and Early in regard to this rumored order for a sunrise attack, it appears that they are worthy of no further recognition; but it is difficult to pass beyond them without noting the manner in which, by their ignorance, they marred the plans of their chief on the field of battle. Mr. Pendleton robbed Pickett's division of its most important adjunct, fresh field artillery, at the moment of its severest trial, and thus frustrated the wise and brilliant programme of assault planned by General Alexander, and without the knowledge of that officer. (See narrative of General Alexander in the Southern Historical Papers for September, 1877.] General Early broke up General Lee's line of battle on the 2d of July by detaching

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.
Gettysburg (Pennsylvania, United States) (3)
England (United Kingdom) (1)

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

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.
Fitzhugh Lee (6)
Pickett (4)
William N. Pendleton (3)
James Longstreet (2)
Hood (2)
J. A. Early (2)
E. P. Alexander (2)
A. P. Hill (1)
Freemantle (1)
Ewell (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
July 2nd (2)
September, 1877 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: