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ramatic speeches and ejaculations in time of battle as about real bayonet charges. Our failure to carry the position at Gettysburg was not due so much to the superior fighting of Meade's army in position as to the failure to support according to General Lee's instruction the several attacks made on the 2d and 3d, and the delay in making those attacks. Meade did not select the position at Gettysburg; but that position was forced on him by the engagement which took place unexpectedly on the 1st. He had previously selected another position, behind Pipe creek, for his battle-ground, and even on the 2d, after his arrival at Gettysburg, deliberated about withdrawing to the former position, and was probably prevented from doing so by the attack on our part.-See the testimony of himself and others before the Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the War, contained in the 1st vol. (2d series) of its report. Your third proposition, that the way in which the fights of the 2d of July
ad previously selected another position, behind Pipe creek, for his battle-ground, and even on the 2d, after his arrival at Gettysburg, deliberated about withdrawing to the former position, and was prf co-operation. In regard to your fourth proposition, that General Lee, after the fight on the 2d, having found Meade's position very strong, ought to have attempted to turn it by the south, whichmind, that if the attack from our right flank had been made at an early hour on the morning of the 2d, or, in fact, at any time in the forenoon of that day, we would have achieved the anticipated victill and Chancellorsville. 4th. I do not understand why Lee, having gained some success on the 2d, but found the Federal position very strong, did not attempt to turn it by the south, which was itcamp only four miles in rear, an attack upon the Federal force, not yet wholly concentrated on the 2d; but whose numbers were hourly growing stronger and whose position was hourly rendered more impreg
ll that would have ensured us tle victory. Again: On the 3d the attack from our right was to have been made at a very easition, that The heroic but foolish attack of Pickett on the 3d, should never have been attempted, may now appear very plaint, promptly attacked the enemy's right on the morning of the 3d, with Johnson's division of his corps, reinforced with two o intervals from the night of the 1st to the afternoon of the 3d, and defended by an army outnumbering ours by some 30,000 sor army, and fighting the enemy's cavalry in my front on the third. My personal knowledge of these events, which I fear I ort with his entire army. He urged concert of action on the 3d; but Johnson's division fought and suffered in the morning aim. 4th. Had Longstreet and Hill attacked early on the third, as was first designed, while Ewell was engaged. 5th. of success. He was ordered to renew the fight early on the 3d; Ewell was to co-operate. Ewell ordered Johnson to attack a
Causes of the defeat of Gen. Lee's Army at the battle of Gettysburg-opinions of leading Confederate soldiers. In February last the Secretary received a letter from a distinguished foreign military critic propounding a series of questions as to the causes of the failure of the Confederate army to win the battle of Gettysburg, and requesting us to obtain the opinions of leading Confederates who were participants in that great battle. We at once had twenty copies of the letter made, and sent them to representatives of every corps and division and every arm of the service of the Army of Northern Virginia. We have received a number of replies, and have the promise of several others, and we are sure that our readers will agree with us that the series of papers form the most valuable contribution to the history of that great campaign which has yet been published. As the letter of our distinguished correspondent was not intended for publication, we suppress both the letter and the n
, 1862, just before the commencement of the campaign against Pope, was 69,559, and the force for duty at the close of November, 1862, just before the battle of Fredericksburg, was 73,554. There is no return at the close of April, 1863, just before Chancellorsville, for the enemy had then begun his movement by crossing the river in our front, and the steps necessary to oppose him rendered it impracticable to make returns. The force present, however, was not as large as it was at the close of May following, for two divisions of Longstreet's corps were absent south of James river, though the army in the aggregate was larger than it was at the beginning of the movement into Pennsylvania, by reason of the loss at Chancellorsville and at Fredericksburg at the same time. No reliance whatever is to be placed in the conjectural estimate of our strength for June of that year made by Mr. Swinton, nor in the statements of any of the writers on the Federal side as to our strength at Gettysburg.
General Lee known what was to happen, doubtless he would have manoeuvred to force General Meade away from his strong position by threatening his communications with the east, as suggested by----; but he felt strong enough to carry the enemy's lines, and I believe success would have crowned his plan had it been faithfully carried out. As previously stated, I obtained access to the Archives of the War Department, U. S. A., and have taken copies of the original returns of our army. On the 31st May our effective strength as 68,352; but one brigade, Pettigrew's, joined the army after this, and to offset Pettigirew, Corse's brigade, of Pickett's division, with one regiment of North Carolina troops (of Pettigrew's brigade), remained at Hanover Junction. Pickett had but three of his brigades at Gettysburg. I am sure that the causes already mentioned reduced General Lee's effective strength at Gettysburg, including Stuart's cavalry, to sixty-two thousand (62,000) men. Perhaps I had be
of the armies of Generals Lee and Grant, in which is embodied, on pafe 16, a table of returns of the forces in the Department of Northern Virginia at the end of each month from February, 1862, to February, 1865, inclusive, except for the months of June anmd August, 1862, April and June, 1863, and May and September, 1864. This table was made out by Mr. Swinton, author of the History of the Army of the Potomac, from the Confederate returns in the Archive Office at Washington, and is indisputably odied in Mr. Jones' Personal Reminiscences, a separate copy of which I now send you. Gen. Lee's force against Mc-Clellan, in June, 1862, was between 75,000 and 80,000-a fact I think I have demonstrated in a communication which you will find in the June number of the Society Papers for 1876, page 413. The table before referred to shows the force for duty in the Department of Northern Virginia, at the close of July, 1862, just before the commencement of the campaign against Pope, was 69,559, and t
ent of Northern Virginia consisted of 68,352 men and officers. The Department of Northern Virginia embraced all that portion of eastern Virginia and the Valley north of James river, and included all the troops within it. Of course, the movable army was less than the whole force in the department, as some troops had to be left guarding depots, &c. There were no accessions to the army after the returns showing 68,352 for duty, prior to the movement towards Pennsylvania, which begun on the 4th of June. Even some of the movable troops had to be left behind, and among them were two brigades of cavalry, Robertson's and Jones', as you will see from Gen. Lee's report in the same number of the Society Papers, pages 44-5. Those brigades arrived at Gettysburg on the 3d of July, too late to be of any service, except in guarding the trains on the retreat. The force with which Gen. Lee invaded Pennsylvania was really under 60,000 effectives, as I have stated in the address embodied in Mr. Jone
June 10th (search for this): chapter 9
orps them up. The result was a success of no small proportions to the Confederates. On the side of the enemy two corps were engaged besides Buford's cavalry. The forces were about balanced in strength as to infantry-22,000 to 24,000 each. The maximum average of Lee's divisions was 6,000 each--24,000-but at this date the four divisions had not over 22,000 present. Chief of Staff, Army of the Potomac.General Butterfield testified that the First and Eleventh Federal corps had 24,000 on 10th of June.-Page 428, vol. I, Conduct of the War. General Lee directed close pursuit. We should have occupied the heights that evening. I took the order to General Ewell to press the enemy and secure the heights if possible. Later, General Lee rode over to General Ewell's front and conferred as to the future movements. He wanted to follow up the success gained; thought that with Johnson's division, then up, that General Ewell could go forward at dawn next day. Ewell, Early and Rodes thou
June 22nd (search for this): chapter 9
, 1863. 3d. To the delay in the attack upon the 2d. Let me turn your mind briefly to the two first, the third having already been commented upon. It is evident'that General Stuart was ordered to give information of the enemy's crossing the Potomac, or why did General Lee loiter after crossing his army and wait to hear from him? Without orders it was his duty to do so as commander of his cavalry. The advance of the Army of Northern Virginia, under Ewell, entered Pennsylvania on the 22d of June. The Federal army crossed the Potomac on the 25th and 26th. General Lee heard of that event on the night of the 28th June through a scout. Up to that period he thought their army was still in Virginia, because he had heard nothing from Stuart. Knowing as I do Stuart's strict attention to forwarding all species of information, I am bound to believe he did not fail to send the notice of this important fact. It may have miscarried. It has been charged that Stuart disobeyed orders in
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