indications of a design on their part to attack there, and that seeming to be our most assailable point, I went in person to headquarters and reported the facts and circumstances which led me to believe that an attack would be made there, and asked for orders.
I did not receive any orders, and I found that my impression as to the intention of the enemy to attack in that direction was not concurred in at headquarters; and I was satisfied, from information which I received, that it was intended to retreat from Gettysburg.
I asked General Meade to go over the ground on the left and examine it. He said his arrangements did not permit him to do that.
's division was removed very early in the morning, and Sickles
' corps remained on that flank, alone, until late in the afternoon.
It was in the morning that he reported to Meade
his apprehension of an attack on that flank, as shown by Meade
's testimony, and yet no arrangements were made for transferring troops to meet such an attack, and Sickles
did not go into position until near 4 o'clock. In fact Mleade had been projecting an attack from his right flank on our left until the afternoon, when it was reported impracticable.
He then ordered the Fifth corps (Sykes
') over to the left about 2 o'clock P. M. In his testimony he says:
About half-past 3 o'clock in the afternoon — it having been reported to me about two o'clock that the Sixth corps had arrived — I proceeded from headquarters, which were about the centre of the line and in rear of the cemetery, to the extreme left, in order to see as to the posting of the Fifth corps, and also to inspect the position of the Third corps, about which I was in doubt. ... When I arrived on the ground, which I did a few minutes before four o'clock in the afternoon, I found General Sickles had taken a position very much in advance of what it had been my intention that he should take.
, after saying he had reconnoitred in front of their right and advised against an attack there, adds:
Soon afterwards I rode out with General Meade to examine the left of our line, where General Sickles was. His troops could hardly be said to be in position.
He then says that he went to Round Top
, by Meade
's direction, and from there sent word to Meade
that that point would have to be occupied very strongly.
then ordered a division of Sykes
' corps, which was coming up, to the position, and Warren
The troops under General Sykes arrived barely in time to save Round Top hill, and they had a very desperate fight to hold it.
The assumption, under these circumstances, that, “had the attack been made earlier or later, we should have seen the Federals
move just as they did, and with the same results,” argues a degree of obtuseness on the part of the writer of the above passage, or of reliance upon the credulity of his readers, which is marvellous.
The idea is, that, if Longstreet
's columns had gone to the attack at sunrise, or at any time in the morning, when Meade
apprehended no attack in that quarter, and Round Top
was not occupied and he knew nothing of the character of the ground, he would have been able to make precisely the same dispositions before the enemy was reached by Longstreet