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paralyze the immense mass of men that was pressing steadily to his overthrow. We were standing on the flank of the advancing columns. They swept on at right angles to our line of vision. They were within easy artillery range, and I felt certain that a heavy enfilading fire poured unexpectedly into their charging column would disconcert and check it. Instead of moving to reinforce Jackson, therefore, I sent dispatches for batteries to hurry to where I was. In an exceedingly short time Captain Wiley's six-gun batteries came dashing up at full gallop, the horses covered with foam, and the men urging them forward. They were wheeled into position and directed against the moving flank of the enemy. The range was fair, and as the six guns flashed the heavy shot went ploughing through the solid flank of the Federals, doing terrible damage. The result was as anticipated. The line faltered for an instant, started again, hesitated, reformed and pressed forward, and then as a rear broad
r food to stay the cravings of hunger. The consequence would have been total and inevitable destruction, unless we began the retreat before the crisis arrived. Such considerations as these, doubtless, presented themselves to General Lee, but they seem never to have penetrated General Longstreet's brain. He thinks Meade would certainly have attacked us at once, if we had awaited his attack, or, by abandoning his position, given us the moral effect of a victory, because, in a telegram to Halleck he said: If not attacked and I can get any positive information of the enemy which will justify me in doing so, I will attack. If I find it hazardous to do so, and am satisfied that the enemy is endeavoring to move to my rear and interpose between me and Washington, I shall fall back on my supplies at Westminster. Longstreet's deduction from this is most illogical. All the inferences from his telegram are that Meade would not have attacked us in our then position, unless he coul
Jefferson Davis (search for this): chapter 3.25
most manfully; and after tugging at her skirts for some time, he presents to the public gaze a brazen-faced image, in which are to be recognized none of the lineaments of the diffident and modest goddess. Very soon after the war, in what Svinton designates as a full and free conversation with him, General Longstreet made the statements upon which were based the very severe criticisms of that writer on General Lee's conduct of the Gettysburg campaign; and when General Lee's letter to President Davis, written a short time after the close of that campaign, was made public, a little more than two years ago, General Longstreet hastened to publish the above-mentioned letter to his uncle. In General Lee's very self-abnegating letter to the President, there occurs this passage: Everything therefore points to the advantages to be derived from a new commander, and I the more anxiously urge the matter upon your Excellency, from my belief that a younger and abler man than myself can re
ut which I was in doubt. When I arrived on the ground, which I did a few minutes before four o'clock in the afternoon, I found General Sickles had taken a position very much in advance of what it had been my intention that he should take. General Warren, after saying he had reconnoitred in front of their right and advised against an attack there, adds: Soon afterwards I rode out with General Meade to examine the left of our line, where General Sickles was. His troops could hardly be s He then says that he went to Round Top, by Meade's direction, and from there sent word to Meade that that point would have to be occupied very strongly. Meade then ordered a division of Sykes' corps, which was coming up, to the position, and Warren says: The troops under General Sykes arrived barely in time to save Round Top hill, and they had a very desperate fight to hold it. The assumption, under these circumstances, that, had the attack been made earlier or later, we should ha
e 1st General Sickles rested with the Third corps upon the ground lying between General Hancock's left and Round Top, General Geary's division of the Twelfth corps occupying part of the same line. General Meade had given General Sickles orders to oeen the Federals move just as they did, and with the same results-except that if I had attacked earlier I should have had Geary's division of the Twelfth corps in my immediate front in addition to the Third corps. This would certainly have been theadquarters had been established at Gettysburg, and I was directed by him to relieve a division of the Twelfth corps, (General Geary's division, I think,) which was massed a little to my left, and which had taken position there during the night, I dineral Meade to go over the ground on the left and examine it. He said his arrangements did not permit him to do that. Geary's division was removed very early in the morning, and Sickles' corps remained on that flank, alone, until late in the aft
J. William Jones (search for this): chapter 3.25
tly thereafter, and, in that letter, he spoke in very complimentary terms of General Longstreet, but expressed a desire that the whole of General Lee's letter, from which the brief extract was given, should be published. This was the occasion of the publication of the communication in the New Orleans Republican, from General Longstreet, which has been referred to. That communication contained a bitter tirade of denunciation against General Fitz Lee, General William N. Pendleton, the Rev. J. William Jones, and myself, the greater part of it being directed against me. Thus originated the tom-tom warfare, in which the leading part on our side was borne by me, and two long articles were published on both sides. It implies no immoderate degree of vanity on my part to say that General Longstreet came out of the first campaign badly worsted. The only ground for his complaint against me has been already shown in my reply to his first article in the Philadelphia Times; and I will take occ
knows very well that there are a number of officers and men who entirely lost their right arms in the war, and are yet able to write with great facility; and it is hardly to be presumed that he suggested that appeal of the old soldier for sympathy. My suggestion had no reference to the mere mechanical task of writing, or the employment of another as his amanuensis, for if he had but done the latter he would only have followed the example of many very able writers, and among them Homer and Milton, whose blindness rendered it necessary for them to use the services of others in transferring the grandest productions. of their brains to paper. So if General Longstreet had merely employed another to commit to paper his own ideas, or to correct and render more perspicuous their expression, there would have been no impropriety in that. The objection is that the views, speculations, and criticisms of a professional newspaper writer, without military experience, should be palmed on the pub
J. A. Early (search for this): chapter 3.25
Reply to General Longstreet's Second paper. by General J. A. Early. General Longstreet is of the opinion that he is a very deeply-aggrieved man, because he has not been permitted, without question, to pronounce that General Lee's strategy in the Gettysburg campaign was very defective; that General Lee had lost his mind when hers for what is due to his own shortcomings. There is again in this second article an allusion to our line of battle having been broken through the advice of General Early. By this is meant the posting of two of my brigades in a position to protect our left flank, which was very much exposed before the arrival of Stuart's cavalras but met the fate of all who, not content with receiving the credit justly due them, aspire to honors to which they are not entitled. In all that I have written in this controversy, my sole purpose has been to vindicate the fame of the great commander of the Army of Northern Virginia and the truth of history. J. A. Early.
Winfield Hancock (search for this): chapter 3.25
or at any other hour in the forenoon, is an utter failure. It is sought to sustain it by the testimony of Federal officers, by detaching scraps of their testimony from the context, in order to give them a different meaning from that intended by the parties testifying. Here is what is said on that head in the article: Let us briefly review the situation on the morning of the 2d. During the night of the 1st General Sickles rested with the Third corps upon the ground lying between General Hancock's left and Round Top, General Geary's division of the Twelfth corps occupying part of the same line. General Meade had given General Sickles orders to occupy Round Top if it were practicable; and in reply to his question as to what sort of position it was, General Sickles had answered, There is no position there. At the first signs of activity in our ranks on the 2d, General Sickles became apprehensive that we were about to attack him, and so reported to General Meade. As our move pr
nd his men had not been of the stuff to withstand the shock of more than three times their numbers, for the long hours it took Longstreet to get ready? It must be borne in mind that General Lee wanted to make the attack on the enemy the day before, according to Longstreet's own statement, and wanted him to begin it, bqt he demurred and asked permission to take time to reconnoitre. It was twenty-seven hours after his arrival on the field before he was ready to begin, and if the troops of McClellan, the junction of which with Pope's Army Jackson's movement had been intended to prevent, had been hurried to the front, what a different result might have taken place! Is it to be credited that, when General Lee was anxious for Longstreet to begin the attack as soon as his troops arrived on the 29th, he said nothing to him, nor gave him any orders on the 30th, until, as Longstreet says, after 3 P. M. a courier arrived in great haste with orders from General Lee for him to hurry to the a
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