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Texas, December 9, 1845. I wrote my last letter to you on the 1st inst. I am sorry to say I have been quite unwell in the meantime, havin Texas, January 20, 1846. Your letters of the 29th ultimo and 1st instant have come to hand since I last wrote you. I had been in perfect all to some five hundred and fifty men. We left our camp on the 1st instant, to march to the relief of this place, and to procure provisionsere in want of supplies, always having had an abundance. On the 1st instant, when we left our camp to go to Point Isabel, we had in camp tenattached to Major Munroe's Company, but on our going down on the 1st instant, he had the good fortune to be transferred to one of the marchinritory of Mexico, but again says that the Congress will meet on the first of this month, and will act as best suits the high interests of theon for this place. We dropped down to the bar of Tampico on the 1st instant, but did not get over it till the evening of the 2d. We had a p
one road to Germanna Ford and I on another to Ely's ford, of the Rapidan. These fords were reached and crossed by the evening of the 29th. On the 30th we advanced and concentrated at Chancellorsville, a small place on the plank road from Fredericksburg to Gordonsville, and distant some ten miles from Fredericksburg. In this movement we uncovered the United States ford and established communication with our left wing opposite Fredericksburg; thus far the movement was successful. On the 1st inst. two more corps were brought over to Chancellorsville, and the Fifth and Twelfth corps advanced from Chancellorsville towards Fredericksburg; but just as we reached the enemy we were recalled. On our retiring the enemy attacked Sykes's division of my corps and we had a smart fight till dark. The next day, May 2d, the enemy attacked in force, and after a day's hard fighting, owing to the bad behavior of a portion of our troops, the Eleventh Corps, we had to fall back and draw in our lines.
ion on my staff—the chief-of-staff, Major-General Butterfield. Now, indulging in the utmost charity towards General Butterfield, and believing that he is sincere in what he says, I want to explain how it is possible that such an extraordinary idea could have got into his head. I utterly deny, under the full solemnity and sanctity of my oath, and in the firm conviction that the day will come when the secrets of men shall be made known—I utterly deny ever having intended or thought, for one instant, to withdraw that army unless the military contingencies which the future should develop during the course of the day might render it a matter of necessity that the army should be withdrawn. I base this denial not only upon my own assertion and my own veracity, but I shall also show to the committee, from documentary evidence, the dispatches and orders issued by me at different periods during that day, that if I did intend any such operation, I was at the same time doing things totally i
. Pleasonton. To Gen. A. Doubleday. By way of rebuttal, Mr. Swinton parades the following declaration of Gen. Meade. A very slight examination will show that it refers to a different period of the battle: to the morning of the 2nd, and not to the evening. Gen. Meade says: I utterly deny, under the full solemnity and sanctity of my oath, and in the firm conviction that the day will come when the secrets of all men shall be made known — I utterly deny having intended or thought for one instant to withdraw that army, unless the military contingencies which the future should develope during the course of the day might render it a matter of necessity that the army should be withdrawn. The italics are mine. I will now give the reason for this emphatic declaration on the part of Gen. Meade. On the morning of the 2nd he directed his Chief of Staff, Gen. Butterfield, to study and mark out the lines of retreat. It was subsequently asserted that this was a positive order for the
e evening. General Meade says: I utterly deny, under the full solemnity and sanctity of my oath, and in the firm conviction that the day will come when the secrets of all men shall be made known — I utterly deny having intended or thought for one instant to withdraw that army, unless the military contingencies which the future should develop during the course of the day might render it a matter of necessity that the army should be withdrawn. The italics are mine. This purports to be a passr consideration is now republished on a sheet for special distribution. But is it correct? No. General Meade said: I utterly deny, under the full solemnity and sanctity of my oath, . . . I utterly deny ever having intended or thought, for one instant, to withdraw that army, unless the military contingencies which the future should develop during the course of the day might render it a matter of necessity that the army should be withdrawn. Proceeding, General Meade added: I base this
ost glorious news, which gives me heartfelt pleasure to communicate to you. In my last letter I sent you a sketch of our position opposite Matamoras, with the fort, or rather field-work which we had constructed, and in which we left the Seventh Regiment of Infantry, with detachments from other corps, amounting in all to some five hundred and fifty men. We left our camp on the 1st instant, to march to the relief of this place, and to procure provisions and ammunitions. We arrived here on the second, finding all safe, and on the morning of the third we distinctly heard here heavy cannonading, supposed to be an attack on our fort by the Mexicans. General Taylor, as you may well imagine, was in great anxiety. He could not leave this point, without increasing its defences and strengthening its garrison; this required time and a diminution of his force. At the same time, the sound of the enemy's guns, and the consciousness that our force was too small in the fort for any purpose than mer
od, but that their spirit is undaunted, and that they are ready to fight. The morale of our army is better than it ever was, so you may look out for tough fighting next time. Falmouth, Va., April 5, 1863. Yesterday I received yours of the 2d instant, announcing you had been to Bailey's to see my sword. I saw the item in the Inquirer you allude to, and was not a little taken down by another in the next column, in which the presentation fever was most justly inveighed against. I did all I oon as we were established at Chancellorsville, they were withdrawn, and Reynolds joined us on the 30th. When the force of the enemy was perceived, Sedgwick was ordered to recross at Fredericksburg and attack in their rear, which he did, on the 2d inst. On the 3d we had a very heavy fight, in which we held our own, but did not advance, awaiting Sedgwick's operations. On the 4th remained quiet, and in the evening learned that Sedgwick was held in check by superior forces, and his position criti
y disappointed me, and since this campaign I really begin to think I am something of a general. I don't know whether you saw an article in the Inquirer of the 2d inst. on me, which the writer intended to be very complimentary. For article mentioned, see Appendix P. At the close of it he refers to an eventful occasion when Grous falsehood which I found had been extensively circulated all through the North, and the first intimation of which was a reference to it in the Inquirer of the 2d inst. Since writing, I have received the enclosed message from the Secretary of War, to which I sent the accompanying note. I do not remember whether I ever told you Lee appears so determined to be prudent and cautious. He confines himself strictly to the defensive, and lets slip the chances for a coup we offer him. On the second day, whilst I was on horseback on the field, talking to Generals Griffin and Bartlett, surrounded by my staff and escort, a shell fell in our midst, grazing Humph
ulate their ex parte statements, and, as you justly say, to distort history for their purposes. Both perfectly understand what I meant by my ante-battle order, referring to Pipe Clay Creek, also my instructions to Butterfield on the morning of the 2d, which he persists in calling an order for retreat, in the face of all my other acts, and of the fact that I did not retreat when I could have done so with perfect ease at any moment. Longstreet's advice to Lee To move from his right upon Generension of my orders, but I have recently learned from General Geary, who had the day before been sent by Hancock to hold the left, and who in doing so had seen the great importance of Round Top and posted a brigade on it, that on the morning of the 2d, when he received my order that he would be relieved by the Third Corps, and on being relieved, would rejoin his own corps (Twelfth) on the right, after waiting for some time to be relieved he sent to General Sickles a staff officer with instructio
eneral Warren, my chief engineer, who will tell you that he was with me the whole of that day, in constant intercourse and communication with me; and that, instead of intending to withdraw my army, I was talking about other matters. All these officers will corroborate what I say, that I never mentioned any such purpose to any of them. General Butterfield remained at Taneytown on the night of the 1st of July, and did not join me on the field until about 9 or 10 o'clock in the morning of the 2d, I having arrived there at 1 o'clock. Soon after he arrived I did direct him to familiarize himself with the topography of the ground, and I directed him to send out staff officers to learn all the roads. As I have already mentioned in my previous testimony here, I had never before been at Gettysburg, and did not know how many roads ran from our position, or what directions they ran. My orders to General Butterfield were similar to this: General Butterfield, neither I nor any man can tell
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