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hdraw through the mountains with our large trains. When I left General Lee on the night of the 1st, I believed he had made up his mind to attack, but was confident that he had not yet determined a5,000;--these are our highest figures and the enemy's lowest. We had learned on the night of the 1st, from some prisoners captured near Seminary Ridge, that the First, Eleventh, and Third corps had d not be expected to fail to seek it. As to Ewell's failure to prosecute the advantage won on the 1st, there is little to be said, as the Commanding-General was on the field. I merely quote from hise, which I now proceed to disprove. I have said that I left General Lee late in the night of the 1st, and that he had not then determined when the attack should be made; that I went to his headquartI quote in this connection the order that I issued to the heads of departments in my corps on the 1st. I present the order issued to Colonel Walton of the artillery, similar orders having been issue
f my corps occupied the same positions as on the 2d. I was directed to hold my line with Anderson'sginning Our artillery, etc., should read: On the 2d, Colonel Alexander's battalion being at the heade corps was not together, as was the case on the 2d. On the 3rd, Colonel Alexander's special serv co-operation of Generals Ewell and Iill, on the 2d, by vigorous assault at the moment my battle wasordered me to attack the enemy at sunrise on the 2d. General J. A. Early has, in positive terms, ind order for attack on the enemy at sunrise on the 2d, nor can I belive any such order was issued by Ge continued in position until the morning of the 2d, when I received orders to take up a new line ofinforced General Johnson during the night of the 2d, ordered him forward early the next morning. Ineral Lee to attack until about 11 o'clock on the 2d; that I immediately began my dispositions for atl Halleck in cipher just before my battle on the 2d: If not attacked, and I can get any positive inf[1 more...]
pending the absence of Colonel Walton, chief of artillery. On the 3rd, Colonel Alexander being an officer of unusual promptness, sagacity, entire corps was not together, as was the case on the 2d. On the 3rd, Colonel Alexander's special service, after seeing that the batterieI quote General Fitzhugh Lee, who says, speaking of the attack on the 3d: He told the father of the writer (his brother) that he was controlleivision should not have been ordered to assault Cemetery Ridge on the 3d, as we had already tested the strength of that position sufficiently e. General Meade in his official report, says: On the morning of the 3d, General Geary, having returned during the night, attacked at early d Hood's and McLaws' divisions to the attack opened by Pickett, on the 3d: A reading of the testimony before the committee on the conduct 408) will show that General Meade fully anticipated my attack on the 3d, and was determined, if we moved our army in a direct column of assau
s right, my brave fellows; stand your ground, and we will presently serve these chaps as they have us. For, by all the rules of warfare, the Federal troops should (as I expected they would) have marched against our shattered columns, and sought to cover our army with an overwhelming defeat. General Trimble being wounded, I was again thrown in command of the division, and with Lowrance's brigade and my own, under command of Colonel Avery, moved back to the rear of Thomas and Perrin on the 4th. There was skirmishing at intervals that day, and at dark we commenced falling back in the direction of Fairfield, Captain W. T. Nicholson, of the Thirty-seventh, being left in command of the skirmishers from my brigade. We formed line of battle at Hagerstown, id., on the 11th, and threw up breastworks along our entire front. Next day the Light division was consolidated with Heth's, and the whole being put under the command of General Heth, I again returned to the command of my brigade.
r, to repeat, that our campaign should be one of offensive strategy, but defensive tactics. Upon this understanding my assent was given, and General Lee, who had been kind enough to discuss the matter with me patiently, gave the order of march. The movement was begun on the 3d of June. McLaws' division of my corps moved out of Fredericksburg for Culpeper Courthouse, followed by Ewell's corps on the 4th and 5th of June. Hood's division and Stuart's cavalry moved at the same time. On the 8th we found two full corps (for Pickett's division had joined me then) and Stuart's cavalry concentrated at Culpeper Courthouse. In the meantime a large force of the Federals, cavalry and infantry, had been thrown across the Rappahannock and sent to attack General Stuart. They were encountered at Brandy Station on the morning of the 9th, and repulsed. General Lee says of this engagement: On the 9th a large force of Federal cavalry, strongly supported by infantry, crossed the Rappahannock at
ry concentrated at Culpeper Courthouse. In the meantime a large force of the Federals, cavalry and infantry, had been thrown across the Rappahannock and sent to attack General Stuart. They were encountered at Brandy Station on the morning of the 9th, and repulsed. General Lee says of this engagement: On the 9th a large force of Federal cavalry, strongly supported by infantry, crossed the Rappahannock at Beverly's Ford and attacked General Stuart. A severe engagement ensued, continuing from9th a large force of Federal cavalry, strongly supported by infantry, crossed the Rappahannock at Beverly's Ford and attacked General Stuart. A severe engagement ensued, continuing from early in the morning until late in the afternoon, when the enemy was forced to recross the river with heavy loss, leaving four hundred prisoners, three pieces of artillery, and several colors in our hands. The failure of General Lee to follow up his advantage, by pouring the heavy force concentrated at Culpeper Courthouse upon this detachment of the Federals, confirmed my convictions that he had determined to make a defensive battle, and would not allow any casual advantage to precipitate a g
ing defeat. General Trimble being wounded, I was again thrown in command of the division, and with Lowrance's brigade and my own, under command of Colonel Avery, moved back to the rear of Thomas and Perrin on the 4th. There was skirmishing at intervals that day, and at dark we commenced falling back in the direction of Fairfield, Captain W. T. Nicholson, of the Thirty-seventh, being left in command of the skirmishers from my brigade. We formed line of battle at Hagerstown, id., on the 11th, and threw up breastworks along our entire front. Next day the Light division was consolidated with Heth's, and the whole being put under the command of General Heth, I again returned to the command of my brigade. On the 13th we had one man killed in the works, and had twenty-seven (27) skirmishers captured. The skirmishers were taken by a body of the enemy that advanced from a point of woods under cover of stone fences and an orchard. The retreat from Hlagerstown the night of the 13t
town, id., on the 11th, and threw up breastworks along our entire front. Next day the Light division was consolidated with Heth's, and the whole being put under the command of General Heth, I again returned to the command of my brigade. On the 13th we had one man killed in the works, and had twenty-seven (27) skirmishers captured. The skirmishers were taken by a body of the enemy that advanced from a point of woods under cover of stone fences and an orchard. The retreat from Hlagerstown We then took position covering the crossing there and at Falling Water, a short distance below. As the other corps arrived they were assigned positions and we went to work, as rapidly as possible to strengthen our line with field-works. On the 13th General Lee informed me that the river had fallen sufficiently at Williamsport to allow us to ford, and that the bridge at Falling Water had been repaired, and that he would that night recross the river with his entire army. I suggested as a matt
m with a knowledge of our future movements. I supplied him with all the gold he needed, and instructed him to spare neither pains nor money to obtain full and accurate information. The information gathered by this scout led to the most tremendous results, as will soon be seen. General A. P. Hill, having left Fredericksburg as soon as the enemy had retired from his front, was sent to follow Ewell, who had marched up the Valley and cleared it of the Federals. My corps left Culpeper on the 15th, and, with a view of covering the march of Hill and Ewell through the Valley, moved along the east side of the Blue Ridge and occupied Snicker's and Ashby's Gaps, and the line of the Blue Ridge. General Stuart was in my front and on my flank, reconnoitering the movements of the Federals. When it was found that Hooker did not intend to attack, I withdrew to the west side and marched to the Potomac. As I was leaving the Blue Ridge, I instructed General Stuart to follow me, and to cross the Po
xplicit in saying that the question was whether he should move all the troops around on the right and attack on that side. I do not think that the errand on which I was sent by the Commanding General is consistent with the idea of an attack at sunrise by any portion of the army. Yours, very truly, Chas. S. Venable. I add upon this point the letter of Dr. Cullen, medical director of the First corps: Richmond, Va., May 18, 1875. General James Longstreet: dear General-Yours of the 16th ult. should have received my immediate attention, but before answering it I was desirous of refreshing my memory of the scenes and incidents of the Gettysburg campaign by conversation with others who were with us and who served in different corps of the command. It was an astounding announcement to the survivors of the First army corps that the disaster and failure at Gettysburg was alone and solely due to its commander, and that had he obeyed the orders of the commander-in-chief that Meade's
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