General Lee's Final and Full Report of the Pennsylvania Campaign and Battle of Gettysburg.
General Lee's report was originally printed in the Historical Magazine of New York, for February, 1869, and was reprinted by General Early in the Southern Magazine for August, 1862, with the following explanatory letter:
Editor of the Southern Magazine:
Sir—In the Historical Magazine for February, 1869, published by Mr. Henry B. Dawson, at Morrisania, New York, there is a copy of General Lee's report of the Pennsylvania campaign mid the battle of Gettysburg. This report was furnished to the Historical Magazine by Mr. William Swinton, who says that it chanced to be on the person of one of General Lee's staff-officers at the time of the destruction of his headquarters papers on the retreat from Petersburg; but he declines to state how he came in possession of it. In a conversation with General Lee, in April, 1869, I was informed by him that he had received a copy of the report as published, and he said that the report was substantially correct, though he was at a loss as to how Mr. Swinton got possession of it. He stated that the report as prepared for the Adjutant-General at Richmond was with his other papers in the headquarters wagons on the retreat, and that when he found the wagons cut off and about to fall into the hands of the enemy's cavalry, he sent a courier to destroy all the papers; and he thought it possible that this paper may have escaped destruction and been picked up by some straggler or other person. After General Lee's death I received a copy of the number of the Historical Magazine containing the report from Mr. Dawson, and when in Baltimore in April, 1871, I showed it to Colonel Charles Marshall, who then informed me that when the report was written it was copied under his superintendence, and that the copy only was returned to General Lee, he (Colonel Marshall) retaining the rough draft, in which a number of corrections had been made. He also said that this rough draft as corrected happened to be with some of his own papers which he had with him on the retreat and at the time of the surrender, and thus escaped destruction; and that he loaned it to Mr. Swinton shortly after the close of the war, who, he supposed, copied it while in his possession, and was thus enabled to furnish the copy to the Historical Magazine.There can then be no question about the substantial authenticity of the report; and as it is a document of great historical value, I request that it be published in your valuable journal, in order that it may be more accessible to the officers and soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia and the Southern people, very few of whom have had an opportunity of seeing it, as the Historical Magazine,