Causes of Lee's Defeat at Gettysburg, 111
ory) and were at once panic-struck. Such stories are not only absurd, but, in a history, are in bad taste, having a tendency to provoke retorts. The above has been written in piece-meal in leisure moments during the past month, and with scarcely the opportunity to read it over, which must be my apology for its deficiencies; but as a narrative of what fell under my personal
knowledge, it may assist in understanding some of the
points of his enquiries, and is at your service for that or any other purpose.
Very respectfully, yours,
E. P. ALEXANDER.
Letter from General C. M. Wlcox.
BALTIMORE, MD., March 26^, 1877.
DEAR SIR: The Rev. J. Wm. Jones, Secretary of the Southern Historical Society, has favored me with a copy of your letter of January 21st, 1877, and at his request I give you such facts as I have personal knowledge of connected with the battle of Gettys- burg, together with those derived from official reports of the same. I beg to assure you that it is with much pleasure that I contribute in a small way to aid in your commendable eiforts to get at the truth, believing, as I do, that few of the historians of our late war, or of the writers of biographies of officers, more or less distin- guished on either side, have written with that laborious pains- taking care indicative of intelligent or conscientious historians.
To begin, you err in stating that the Army of Northern Vir- ginia in its invasion of Pennsylvania was "more powerful than it had ever been before." In numbers it was at its maximum in 1862, when contending with the Army of the Potomac, then commanded by your old chief and my friend, General McClellan, having at that time between 80,000 and 90,000 of all arms, while at Gettys- burg it did not exceed 60,000.
I may add that our invasion of the North in 1863 could scarcely be characterized as "disastrous." It certainly was unfortunate in that we did not remain longer on Northern soil and detain the Army of the Potomac there, thus relieving Virginia of a great