The battle of Gettysburg, [from the times-dispatch, April 10, 1904.]And the charge of Pickett's Division.
Accounts of Colonel Rawley Martin and Captain John Holmes Smith.With Prefatory note by U. S. Senator John W. Daniel.
[Very much has been published regarding the momentous battle of Gettysburg, but the following additions can but be welcome to our readers. Reference may be made to ante p. 33 and preceding volumes of the Southern Historical Society Papers, particularly the early volumes, Ii-X inclusive.—editor.]
Washington, D. C., March 30, 1904.Sir,—Enclosed are accounts of the charge at Gettysburg by two officers of Pickett's Division of high reputation for courage and reliability—the one being Lieutenant-Colonel Rawley W. Martin, then of the 53d Virginia Infantry, Armistead's Brigade, and the other Captain John, Holmes Smith, of the Lynchburg Home Guard, who, after Lieutenant-Colonel Kirkwood Otey, and Major Risque Hutter, were wounded in that battle, commanded the 11th Virginia Infantry. In 1897 Commander Sylvester Chamberlain, of an Association of United States Naval Veterans, of Buffalo, New York, wrote to Colonel Martin (now Dr. Martin, of Lynchburg, Va.), asking him to recount the charge, saying: ‘The charge of Pickett's Division outrivals the storied heroism of the Old Guard of Napoleon. They knew no such battle as that of Gettysburg, and, I believe, the old First Confederate Army Corps could have whipped the best two corps in Napoleon's army, taken in the zenith of his fame.’ Dr. Martin wrote this paper under the call from a Northern camp commander.  Captain John Holmes Smith was with his regiment on the right wing of Pickett's charge, under Kemper, and struck the Federal line to the right of where General Armistead made the break. The soldiers of Kemper there took the Federal entrenchments, and remained about twenty minutes in possession of them. Twice couriers were sent back for reinforcements. Slowly, but surely, the details of this magnificent exploit of war come to light; and the more brilliant does it appear. Slowly, and surely, also do the evidences gather that point toward the responsible agents of the failure that ensued. Respectfully,
Editor of the Times-Dispatch:
Editor of the Times-Dispatch:
Colonel Rawley Martin's account.
Pickett's charge at Gettysburg, I may unavoidably repeat what has often been told before, as the position of troops, the cannonade, the advance, and the final disaster are familiar to all who have the interest or the curiosity to read. My story will be short, for I shall only attempt to describe what fell under my own observation. You ask for a description of the ‘feelings of the brave Virginians who passed through that hell of fire in their heroic charge on Cemetery Ridge.’ The esprit dot corps could not have been better; the men were in good physical condition, selfreliant and determined. They felt the gravity of the situation, for they knew well the metal of the foe in their front; they were serious and resolute, but not disheartened. None of the usual jokes, common on the eve of battle, were indulged in, for every man felt his individual responsibility, and realized that he had the most stupendous work of his life before him; officers and men knew at what cost and at what risk the advance was to be made, but they had deliberately made up their minds to attempt it. I believe the general sentiment of the division was that they would succeed in driving the Federal line from what was their objective point; they knew that many, very many, would go down under the storm of shot and shell which would greet them when their gray ranks were spread out to view, but it never occurred to them that disaster would come after they  once placed their tattered banners upon the crest of Seminary Ridge.