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[349] detachments were not detailed for these solemn and affecting duties, and that our whole army was not launched in prompt and eager pursuit. They were burdened by heavy trains filled with plunder, without ammunition, and woefully demoralized. Had the half of our army, flushed with success, fallen on them in flank or rear, or anywhere, or any how, General Lee might have got across the Potomac, but his army never. “The trains, with the wounded and prisoners,” says Lee's report, “were compelled to await at Williamsport (about the eighth of July) the subsiding of the river and the construction of boats. . . The enemy had not yet made his appearance.” The rebel army must have trembled with anxiety lest the dreaded Yankees should heave in sight before they could escape over the swollen Potomac, which Providence seemed to have destined as the place of their surrender. It was not till the twelfth of July, that our army, too long delayed, came up; but, unfortunately, the enemy had nearly finished their preparations for flight “An attack,” says Lee, “was awaited during that and the succeeding day. This did not take place, though the two armies were in close proximity.” Why it did not take place, the country has never yet understood. General Meade, in his report, gives no explanation. The press of the day stated that General Meade again held councils of war at this supreme moment, and that several of his generals opposed falling on the crippled enemy. All we know is that Lee, having completed his preparations, slipped quietly over the river on the morning of the fourteenth. “The crossing was not completed until one P. M.,” says Lee, “when the bridge was removed. The enemy offered no serious interruption, and the movement was attended with no loss of materiel except a few disabled wagons and two pieces of artillery, which the horses were unable to drag through the deep mud.” It seems that General Meade and the recalcitrant members of the council of war finally made up their minds to attack. “But on advancing on the morning of the fourteenth,” reports General Meade, “it was ascertained he (the enemy) had retired the night previous by the bridge at Falling Waters and the ford at Williamsport.”

In striking confirmation of the sketch now given of this important battle, it may be interesting to quote a few brief extracts from the diary of a British officer, who was a guest of General Lee during the campaign in Pennsylvania, and which was published in Blackwood's Magazine, in September last. The writer was an eye-witness of the battle of Gettysburgh, and the hearty praise he lavishes upon the confederate troops and their generals, shows that all his sympathies were with the South, and he takes no pains to conceal his prejudices against the North. Speaking of the moment when the columns of Longstreet had been finally repulsed by our left, on Friday afternoon, July third, he says: “It is difficult to exaggerate the critical state of affairs, as they appeared about this time. If the enemy or his general had shown any enterprise, there is no saying what might have happened. General Longstreet talked to me,” he narrates, “for a long time about the battle. The General said, the mistake Lee had made was in not concentrating the army more and making the attack with thirty thousand men instead of fifteen thousand. It is impossible to avoid seeing,” adds the English officer, “that the cause of this check to the confederates lies in their utter contempt for the enemy.” He continues: “Wagons, horses, mules, and cattle, captured in Pennsylvania--the solid advantages of this campaign — have been passing slowly along this road (Fairfield) all day, (July fourth.) So interminable was this train, that it soon became evident that we should not be able to start. As soon as it became dark, we all lay around a big fire, and I heard reports coming in from the different generals that the enemy was retiring, and had been doing so all (lay long. But this, of course, could make no difference to General Lee's plans. Ammunition he must have, as he had failed to capture it from the enemy, according to precedent. Our progress,” he continues, “was naturally very slow, indeed, and we took eight hours to go as many miles.”

I will close these extracts with the following graphic sketch of a “stampede” which occurred on Monday, July sixth, about seven P. M., and demonstrates most unequivocally the utter demoralization of the confederate army:

About seven P. M.,

the writer states, “we rode through Hagerstown, in the streets of which were several dead horses and a few dead men. After proceeding about a mile beyond the town, we halted, and General Longstreet sent four cavalrymen up a lane, with directions to report every thing they saw. We then dismounted and lay down. About ten minutes later (being nearly dark) we heard a sudden rush — a panic — and then a regular stampede commenced, in the midst of which I descried our four cavalry heroes crossing a field as fast as they could gallop. All was now complete confusion — officers mounting their horses and pursuing those which had got loose, and soldiers climbing over fences for protection against the supposed advancing Yankees. In the midst of the din I heard an artillery officer shouting to his cannoneers to stand by him and plant the guns in a proper position for enfilading the lane. I also distinguished Longstreet walking about, hustled by the excited crowd, and remarking, in angry tones, which could scarcely be heard, and to which no attention was paid, ‘Now, you don't know what it is — you don't know what it is!’ While the row and confusion were at their height, the object of all this alarm, at length, emerged from the dark lane in the shape of a domestic four-wheeled carriage, with a harmless load of females. The stampede had, however, spread, increased in the rear, and caused much harm and delay.”

It is to be hoped that the above narrative will be regarded as dispassionate, as it is meant to be impartial. Some slight errors may have crept in; but this may possibly stimulate others to come forward with a rectification. Had General


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