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R. E. Rodes (search for this): chapter 1.17
roves? (I was a staff officer in Johnson's division and kept a careful diary of the campaign). But, if it was written on the 28th, dispatched at midnight, and received by Ewell by 6 or 7 A. M., of the 29th, orders to Gen. Edward Johnson and to Gen. Rodes might well have been issued as early as 9 A. M. Again, if Ewell received the order on the morning of the 29th, it exactly harmonizes with his statement in his report that he was starting on the 29th for Harrisburg when ordered by the Generalon on General Ewell's right, that officer was just leaving Hagerstown. In his report (Rebellion Records, Vol. XXVII, part 2, p. 443,) he says that on June 22nd, he received orders from the Commanding General to take Harrisburg, and next morning Rodes and Johnson commenced their march into Pennsylvania.] This order was repeated in a letter to General Stuart dated June 23, a part of which I ,will quote: headquarters, army of Northern Virginia, June 23, 1863, 3:30 P. M. Major-General J. E.
John S. Mosby (search for this): chapter 1.17
says it was between 1 and 2 A. M. From this Col. Mosby infers they must have started on the evening the fact was really known on the 27th. Colonel Mosby's whole argument on this point hinges on ten ordered to move against Harrisburg; yet Colonel Mosby asserts that Lee had no such plan, though d not carry out those instructions? Now Colonel Mosby here puts a gloss on the record, and repre In his zeal to justify General Stuart, Colonel Mosby has misread and so mis-stated the records.nd himself after he parted with General Lee. Col. Mosby says Gen. Lee had studied astronomy and knewnsistencies Col. Mosby alleges disappear. Col. Mosby is of opinion that the scout who came in at e easily rent asunder by the ipse dixil of Colonel Mosby. What appears conclusive proof to ColonelColonel Mosby that the story of the scout is a myth is the statement, in after years coupled with it, thatStuart with the larger part of the cavalry. Col. Mosby knows better—Lee had all the cavalry that he[41 more...]
Wade Hampton (search for this): chapter 1.17
1st, if he had burned the wagons. He crossed the river the night of the 27th, and York is about 80 miles from the ford. More important is the statement of General Stuart himself in his report in more than one place. Thus, on p. 695, Rebellion Records, Vol. XVII, he says, speaking of the engagement at Hanover: If my command had been well closed now, this column would have been at our mercy; but, owing to the great elongation of the column, by reason of the 200 wagons and hilly roads, Hampton was a long way behind, and Lee was not yet heard from on the left. Again on page 696, he says: Our wagon train was now a subject of serious embarrassment, but I thought by making a detour of the right by Jefferson, I could save it. Two possibilities were eliminated by the drag put on General Stuart's column by the captured wagon train: 1. But for the delay thus occasioned he might have marched from Westminster to Gettysburg by Littletown, as apparently he hoped to do. for he could
Jefferson Davis (search for this): chapter 1.17
owing paragraph: There is a floating legend that General Lee assumed all the blame of his defeat. He did not: his reports put all the blame on Stuart. That General Lee said to his soldiers after the repulse of Pickett's charge that he was responsible for the failure is not a floating legend but a well attested fact. That he refrained from reproaching his three Lieutenants, Hill and Ewell and Longstreet, with their share in the defeat is another well known fact. That he wrote to Jefferson Davis that touching and pathetic letter asking that a younger and better man be placed in command of the army, because of his lack of success is yet another proof that he assumed the responsibility of the failure. And to say that in his report he put all the blame on Stuart is a grave inaccuracy. The first report states the simple fact, without any animadversion that the absence of the cavalry rendered it impossible to obtain accurate information. The second rehearsed the orders given Gen
arlisle on the 27th, and he is satisfied by this by the letter in Lee's letter-book, not copied, but written from memory afterwards by Colonel Venable. His whole argument on this point rests, as I have said, on the accuracy of the date of that letter. I have shown that on the hypothesis of an error in date, the 28th instead of the 29th, the inconsistencies Col. Mosby alleges disappear. Col. Mosby is of opinion that the scout who came in at Chambersburg late on June 28th was as unreal as Caesar's ghost at Philippi. No spy came in at Chambersburg, he says. Yet General Longstreet positively affirmed it. General Lee's report states it as a fact and Colonel Marshall says that he was sent for to General Lee's tent after 10 P. M., June 28th and found him in conference with a man in citizen's dress, who proved to be General Longstreet's scout. This is a threefold cord of testimony not to be easily rent asunder by the ipse dixil of Colonel Mosby. What appears conclusive proof to Colone
Robert M. Stribling (search for this): chapter 1.17
s marked thus: From memory—sketch of a letter. It is not the original letter. It was copied afterwards sometime before July 1—the date of the next letter. It cannot therefore have the same authority as the original would have. Especially on the question of date, it is more liable to error. Let us now suppose that there was a mistake in the date, and that it should have been dated June 29th, 7:30 A. M., instead of June 28th, 7:30 A. M. Since writing the above I have learned that Col. Stribling has made a similar suggestion, but I have not yet seen his paper. Then the first order to Ewell to march back from Carlisle written last night, would be dated June 28th, not June 27th. If this hypothesis harmonizes with the Reports of Ewell and Lee and with the dates when the Divisions of the 3rd Corps began their march to Cashtown, then the probability of its correctness becomes very strong. It seems to me it does thus harmonize. Consider that such a dispatch was of supreme imp
Charles Venable (search for this): chapter 1.17
ndisputable facts of the campaign. The genuineness of the letter is undisputed—it is in the well known handwriting of Col. Venable, of Lee's staff—but the accuracy of the date is called in question. Suppose it to have been written on June 29th, and. Early. Now this famous letter turns out to have been copied in the letter-book of General Lee from memory, by Col. Charles Venable. It is marked thus: From memory—sketch of a letter. It is not the original letter. It was copied afterwards ste of the letter or rather sketch of a letter written down from memory. It appears to me immensely more likely that Colonel Venable made a mistake of date in writing that sketch of Lee's letter, than that all the improbabilities I have enumerated sncile this letter, as dated, with the facts of the campaign as reflected in the reports of Ewell and Early. Either Colonel Venable in writing the letter from memory made a mistake in dating it the 28th, or General Lee and General Longstreet, and G<
f the Potomac and so made sure of rejoining the army, but his character was not one to lightly abandon an enterprize which he had once undertaken. P. 160. Col. Henderson, the distinguished author of the Life of Stonewall Jackson, is of the same opinion. He says: Stuart forgot for once that to cover the march of the army and t and Hill, and would thus probably have prevented the battle from being precipitated by Hill on the morning of July 1st. Since writing the above, I find that Col. Henderson reached the same conclusion. See his Science of War, p. 289. There can be no doubt that the march of Stuart's horsemen was seriously impeded by the captuin the peach orchard uncovered— in the air , and that Longstreet took advantage of it and struck him a stunning blow. These two statements are inconsistent. Col. Henderson is of opinion that the skillful handling of the Federal cavalry practically decided the issue of the conflict. Science of War, p. 278. Colonel Mosby make
Thus, on p. 695, Rebellion Records, Vol. XVII, he says, speaking of the engagement at Hanover: If my command had been well closed now, this column would have been at our mercy; but, owing to the great elongation of the column, by reason of the 200 wagons and hilly roads, Hampton was a long way behind, and Lee was not yet heard from on the left. Again on page 696, he says: Our wagon train was now a subject of serious embarrassment, but I thought by making a detour of the right by Jefferson, I could save it. Two possibilities were eliminated by the drag put on General Stuart's column by the captured wagon train: 1. But for the delay thus occasioned he might have marched from Westminster to Gettysburg by Littletown, as apparently he hoped to do. for he could have reached Westminster certainly by the morning of the 29th, instead of at sundown (for that place is only 45 or 50 miles from Seneca ford), and at that earlier hour he probably would not have found the Federal Caval
George H. Stewart (search for this): chapter 1.17
s report. He says that on the evening of the 29th, he received Gen. Ewell's instructions to move back to the west side of South Mountain, together with a copy of Lee's order to him-evidently the first order. Now if my hypothesis is correct, and if Ewell received Lee's letter in the early hours of the 29th, what was to prevent Captain Elliott Johnson from riding from Carlisle to York, a distance of 36 miles, as Col. Mosby points out, between 8 A. M., and 5 P. M.? I myself rode for General Geo. H. Stewart 50 miles by daylight on June 23rd, in Pennsylvania. But on the supposition that Ewell received that famous letter and order on the morning of the 28th, how can we account for the fact that Early did not receive Ewell's order till the evening of the 29th? I submit that these facts make it beyond contradiction that there is an error in the date of the letter as it was copied from memory. The supposition that General Lee sent that letter to Ewell on the night of June 27th bristles
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