Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 06.djvu/133
General C. M, Wilcox on the Battle of Gettysburg. 123:
place these two hostile forces ignorant of the designs and prox- imity of each other. Had the cavalry been with the army, Hill would have known the condition of affairs in his front, and pushed the Federal cavalry back and passed through Gettysburg before these two corps had left camp. As Hill advanced he met, within a jmile or two of the town, the Federal infantry, and a bloody battle was fought. Two of Swell's divisions came upon the field, .and one, to be followed soon by the other, joined in the fight at 2:30 P. M., thus showing that General Lee had his army well in hand. The enemy were routed, with heavy losses, and driven back through the town of Gettysburg.
It is almost certain that had this collision taken place with a full knowledge of the enemy's position the night before, the victory would have been more complete, and it is probable there would not have been a second collision, at least not at Gettysburg. It was the want of information due to the absence of the cavalry that brought about the second day's battle at Gettysburg. I believed at the time, and that belief has been strengthened by subsequent information gained, that our failure to end the contest on the second day was owing to the late hour at which Longstreet attacked and his not making the attack as directed, of which latter fact I was- not aware at the time. The attack on the third was not made with, concert, nor did Longstreet make it with the force that he was ordered to use, nor was he ready as early as had been expected.
General Longstreet refers more than once to "the affectionate, intimate, tender and confidential relations existing between himself and General Lee during the whole war." If this be true, a great change had been brought about within a few days after Appomat- tox, for in the presence of a number of Confederate officers he spoke so unkindly, disrespectfully and disparagingly of General Lee, that several of them refused to speak to him; among the number was a Major-General and a graduate of the Military Academy.
He asserts that " that matchless equipoise that usually charac- terized General Lee, had forsaken him through undue excitement," &c., &c., &c. ; that he was under a subdued excitement, which oc- casionally took possession of him when the " hunt was up," and "he had a taste of victory." General Longstreet was not the first to express this opinion, using the same words. Other officers who saw quite as much of General Lee on the occasion in question, and who knew him equally well, know that he was never quicker in his-