Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 06.djvu/109
General C. M. Wilcox on the Battle of Gettysburg. 99
In detailing the operations of my brigade in the battle of the 2d, it was stated that when the brigade on my right (Barksdale's) advanced, mine moved off rapidly by the left flank seven or eight hundred yards, for the reason that it was the best, as it was the only move under the circumstances that could be made, and in this march crossed two fences, one of stone; then charged by the right flank, rose up the slope of the ridge on which lay the Em- mettsburg road; was exposed to a terrible artillery fire from the left; crossed two fences before reaching the road, and then engaged the enemy at short range as they lay along that road. As they gave way, my men and Barksdale's impinged, and mine were made to incline slightly to the left. For the information of General Longstreet, and such other persons as may be disposed to belive an assertion of his, repeated a second time, as to the part taken in the battle of the 2d July by my brigade, Perry's and Wright's of An- derson's division, I will here insert what General A. A. Humphreys, Chief Engineer, United States army, says on the subject. Know- ing that I had been confronted by the command of General Hum- phreys in the afternoon of the 2d, when I read what General Long- street had written about myself personally and the brigades of Perry and Wright, I addressed him a note, requesting information on certain points connected with our collision. His reply was re- ceived too late to enable me to use the information he gave in my reply to General Longstreet. A few extracts will now be made from his letter. It was as follows:
WASHINGTON, November 30, 1877.
Dear Sir * * * It was a little after 6 o'clock when I was attacked. * * * I am positive the attack on my right, front and right was nearly simultaneous with that on my left per- haps, owing to swinging back my left, preceding it a little. [He mentions, moreover, that the troops, counting from left to right, engaged in whole or in part with him that day were] Barksdale's brigade of McLaws' division, Longstreet's corps; your (Wilcox's) brigade, Perry's brigade, Wright's brigade, in part or in whole of Anderson's division, Hill's corps. The fighting ceased about sunset or a little atter sunset.
Respectfully and truly,
A. A. HUMPHREYS.
General C. M. WILCOX.
I did not, therefore, "go astray," nor did I cause Perry and Wright to wander off, as twice charged in the most direct and positive manner by General Longstreet. Anderson's three brigades, with