Causes of Lee's Defeat at Gettysburg. 285
very small portion of it was in position. A considerable portion of his army did not get up until after sunrise, one corps not arriv- ing until 2 o'clock in the afternoon; and a prompt advance to the attack must have resulted in his defeat in detail. The position which Longstreet attacked at four was not occupied by the enemy until late in the afternoon, and Eound Top Hill, which commanded the enemy's position, could have been taken in the morning with- out a struggle. The attack was made by two divisions, and though the usual gallantry was displayed by the troops engaged in it, no material advantage was gained."
This constituted my sole criticism on Longstreet's operations on the 2nd day. In speaking of the assault on the 3rd day, I said:
"On the next day, when the assault was made by Pickett's divi- sion in such gallant style, there was again a miscarriage in not properly supporting it according to the plan and orders of the Commanding-General. You must recollect that a Commanding- General cannot do the actual marching and fighting of his army. These must, necessarily, be entrusted to his subordinates, and any hesitation, delay, or miscarriage in the execution of his orders, may defeat the best-devised schemes. Contending against such odds as we did, it was necessary, always, that there should be the utmost dispatch, energy, and undoubting confidence in carrying out the plans of the Commanding-General. A subordinate who undertakes to doubt the wisdom of his superior's plans, and enters upon their execution with reluctance and distrust, will not be likely to ensure success. It was General Jackson's unhesitating confidence and faith in the chances of success that caused it so often to. perch on his banners, and made him such an invaluable executor of General Lee's plans. If Mr. Swinton has told the truth, in repeating in his book what is alleged to have been said to him by General Longstreet, there was at least one of General Lee's corps commanders at Gettysburg who did not enter upon the execution of his plans with that confidence and faith neces- sary to success, and hence, perhaps, it was not achieved."
The foregoing constituted all the criticisms I had made on Gen. Longstreet's operations at Gettysburg, or on any other theatre during the war, previous to the controversy before alluded to. The views in regard to the delay in the attack on the 2nd had been repeated more succintly in notes to my own report, which was published in the September and October numbers of the Southern Magazine for the year 1872. No where do I assert that General Lee had ordered General Longstreet to make the attack at sunrise, or at any other specific time. I merely state that he had announced to Generals Ewell, Bodes, and myself his purpose