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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 4. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Causes of the Confederate defeat at Gettysburg. (search)
right, commanding a Georgia brigade in A. P. Hill's corps, who had come out there for an observation of the position, I received a note from General Longstreet, which I copy from the original still in my possession, as follows: Headquarters, July 3rd, 1863. Colonel: If the artillery fire does not have the effect to drive off the enemy or greatly demoralize him so as to make our efforts pretty certain, I would prefer that you should not advise General Pickett to make the charge. I shall relyis is entirely successful it can only be so at a very bloody cost. Very respectfully, &c., E. P. Alexander, Colonel Artillery. To this note I soon received the following reply — the original still in my possession: Headquarters, July 3rd, 1863. Colonel: The intention is to advance the infantry if the artillery has the desired effect of driving the enemy's off, or having other effect such as to warrant us in making the attack. When that moment arrives advise General P., and of c
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 4. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Leading Confederates on the battle of Gettysburg. (search)
at Gettysburg; but in my opinion no greater than it would have been from the series of battles I would have been compelled to fight had I remained in Virginia. General Lee, says Major Seddon, then rose from his seat, and with an emphatic gesture said, and sir, we did whip them at Gettysburg, and it will be seen for the next six months that that army will be as quiet as a sucking dove. The Army of the Potomac made no aggressive movement, saving the fiasco known as Mine Run, from the 3d of July, 1863, until General Grant crossed the Rapidan in May, 1864, precisely ten months afterward. Whatever opinions may be entertained in regard to the details of the Battle of Gettysburg, whether if Stonewall Jackson had been in command of Hill's corps on the first day-July 1st-a different result would have been obtained; whether Longstreet unnecessarily delayed his attack on the second day; whether, as expresses it, the way in which the fights of the second day were directed does not show th
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 4. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Colonel E. P. Alexander's report of the battle of Gettysburg. (search)
sition turned out to be unsheltered from the enemy's shells, though out of his sight. At 12 M., while awaiting on the flank of my line of guns for the signal to open fire, I received the following note from General Longstreet: Headquarters, July 3d, 1863. Colonel: If the artillery fire does not have the effect to drive off the enemy, or greatly demoralize him, so as to make our effort pretty certain, I would prefer that you should not advise General Pickett to make the charge. I shall re (if at all) after serious loss, and recommending, if there was any alternative other than the direct attack contemplated, as his note would seem to indicate, that it should be adopted. To this I received the following reply: Headquarters, July 3d, 1863. Colonel: The intention is to advance the infantry, if the artillery has the desired effect of driving off the enemy, or such other effect as to warrant us in making the attack when that moment arrives. Advise General Pickett, and of cour
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 5. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Leading Confederates on the battle of Gettysburg. (search)
erstood that Colonel Alexander had been charged with the duty of observing the effect of the fire of the batteries upon the enemy's lines, and to give the signal for General Pickett to advance to the assault. Everything was in readiness — no firing on either side-when, at a few minutes after one o'clock, P. M., while in rear of the Washington Artillery, near the peach orchard, I received by a courier, the following in General Longstreet's hand-writing. Headquarters, in the field, July 3d, 1863. Colonel: Let the batteries open. Order great care and precision in firing. If the batteries at the peach orchard cannot be used against the point we intend attacking, let them open upon the rocky hill. Most respectfully, J. Longstreet, Lieutenant-General Commanding. To Colonel Walton. Major Eshleman, in command of the Washington Artillery, was ordered to fire the signal gun, when instantly from the right to the extreme left of the line, as had been arranged by order of Gen
. C. Kelton, Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C. Official correspondence. headquarters, Vicksburgh, July 3, 1863. Major-Gen. Grant, Commanding U. S. Forces: General: I have the honor to propose to you an armistice for — hours, w. To this General Grant replied as follows: headquarters, Department of Tennessee, in the field, near Vicksburgh, July 3, 1863. Lieut.-General J. C. Pemberton, Commanding Confederate Forces, etc.: General: Your note of this date, just receive by the hands of General Logan and Lieutenant-Colonel Wilson: headquarters, Department of Tennessee, near Vicksburgh, July 3, 1863. Lieut.-General J. C. Pemberton, Commanding Confederate Forces, Viclksburgh, Miss.: General: In conformity with theght, and it was not till a little before peep oa day that the proposed reply was furnished: headquarters, Vicksburgh, July 3, 1863. Major-Gen. Grant, Commanding U. S. Forces: General: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communicat
adly; Jacob Van Wickley, company F, leg; S. B. Howell, company H, scalp wound; Oscar Lockwood, company I, lower jaw and neck, badly; Corporal Louis A. Le Blanc, company D, leg; Denis McCabe, company I, mouth — all of the One Hundred and Thirty-ninth New-York. To-morrow I expect a severe engagement on the same ground. General Keyes must fight and dislodge the enemy from their position in front, or himself fall back to White House. headquarters Fourth army corps, Baltimore cross-roads, July 3, 1863. In my previous correspondence from this point I had but time to state the fact that the gallantry of Colonel West, commanding the advance, had, on Thursday last, the second day of our occupation of this place, drawn upon us an attack from the enemy in force, which unmistakably developed their strength to be considerable. In that letter I could not report particulars, as the last chance for the night from here to the White House was going down. I must again briefly state that the who
Doc. 118.-battle of Gettysburgh, Pa. Official report of General Custer. headquarters Second brigade, Third division, cavalry corps, army of the Potomac, Berea Church, August 22, 1863. Captain Estes, A. A.G., Third Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac: in compliance with instructions received from the headquarters of the Third division, I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my command in the engagements near Gettysburgh, July third, 1863. At an early hour on the morning of the third, I received an order through a staff-officer of the Brigadier-General commanding the division, to move at once my command, and follow the First brigade on the road leading from Two Taverns to Gettysburgh. Agreeably to the above instructions, my column was formed and moved out on the road designated, when a staff-officer of Brigadier-General Gregg, commanding Second division, ordered me to take my command and place it in position on the pike leading f
means of imparting to your party, your rulers, and your people is neither here nor there. Let it suffice to assure you, and I know you will believe me, that my opportunities have been as sure as the use I make of them is pure. Let me comfort you with the assurance that I shall serve these facts to you in a form as compact as possible; for, indeed, I have but little to hope from the chances of this letter's ever reaching you. As to the peril to myself — that is nothing. On the third day of July, 1863, the Honorable Alexander H. Stephens, Vice-President of the confederate States of America, ran down from Richmond in a confederate steamer, under a flag of truce, to the mouth of the James River, where he had conference with Acting Rear-Admiral S. P. Lee, commanding your blockading squadron, as to certain matters of state. I need not occupy your space (or at least your time, sir) with formal dilations. You know there was brief correspondence between our Vice-President and your Go
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War. Volume 3., The great charge and artillery fighting at Gettysburg. (search)
fired by the Washington Artillery. In the United service magazine for August, 1885, Lieutenant-Colonel William Miller Owen, of the Washington Artillery, says: Returning to the position of the Washington Artillery, we all quietly awaited the order to open the ball. At 1:30 P. M. a courier dashed up in great haste, holding a little slip of paper, torn evidently from a memorandum-book, on which, written in pencil and addressed to Colonel Walton, was the following: headquarters, July 3d, 1863. Colonel: Let the batteries open. Order great care and precision in firing. If the batteries at the Peach Orchard cannot be used against the point we intend attacking, let them open on the enemy on the rocky hill. Most respectfully, J. Longstreet, Lieutenant-General Commanding. The order to fire the signal-gun was immediately communicated to Major Eshleman, commanding the Washington Artillery, and the report of the first gun rang out upon the still summer air. There was a momen
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War. Volume 3., chapter 4.53 (search)
l's line. It needs but a moment's examination of the official map to see that our troops on the left were locked up. As to the center, Pickett's and Pettigrew's assaulting divisions had formed no part of A. P. Hill's line, which was virtually intact. The idea that there must have been a gap of at least a mile in that line, made by throwing forward these divisions, and that a prompt advance Colonel Eliakim Sherrill, commanding the Third Brigade of Hays's division, Second Corps. Killed July 3, 1863. from a photograph. from Cemetery Ridge would have given us the line, or the artillery in front of it, was a delusion. A prompt counter-charge after a combat between two small bodies of men is one thing; the change from the defensive to the offensive of an army, after an engagement at a single point, is quite another. This was not a Waterloo defeat with a fresh army to follow it up, and to have made such a change to the offensive, on the assumption that Lee had made no provision again
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