88 Southern Historical Society Papers.
as fail," for whom the impossible did not exist, and who, in com- bined manoeuvres depending- for success upon separate and consen- taneous movem.ents, ever assumed that one which was most difficult and made it the most certain of execution. Never his the task of giving good, bad or indifferent reasons for the non-execution of any order confided to him, or for not executing it in the manner, or within the time contemplated. Alas ! we now approach the critical and disastrous campaign of Gettysburg, the whole history of which, on the Confederate side, is made up of controversies as to why this, that, or the other order of the commander was not executed, or exe- cuted too late, or executed imperfectly, and at every turn of which we involuntarily exclaim, " Where, oh where was Jackson then ? One blast upon his bugle horn were worth a thousand men!"
The motives for the advance into Pennsylvania were similar to those already indicated as prompting the movement into Maryland ot the previous year.
The campaign was attended with misfortune from the start. The miscarriage of Stuart's cavalry deprived General Lee of its co- operation and left him in a strange and hostile country without its necessary aid in feeling his way and keeping him apprised of his surroundings. This precipitated the unexpected clash at Gettys- burg, which took place without premeditation on either side.
I shall not enter into the details of this tremendous battle, because I cannot do so without involving myself in the controversies already suggested.
The failure to press the advantage gained in the first day's fight- ing, as ordered by Lee, and thus to gain the historic heights of Gettysburg; the delay to deliver the assault ordered for the early morning of the second day until four o'clock in the evening, thus allowing the enemy to increase his forces, strengthen his position and to occupy the eminence of Round Top; the disjointed charac- ter of the assault when made, in which the advantage gained by our right wing was lost because the delay of the left wing in advancing, left the former without necessary support; the like miscarriage and failure of the general assault ordered for the following morning, in which the advance of our left wing was paralyzed because not res ponded to by the simultaneous movement of the right; and the final tremendous blunder, by which the immortal charge of Pickett's and Heth's divisions, launched across half a mile of open plain swept by an overwhelming fire of artillery, against fortified heights occupied by vastly sujjerior numbers, and culminating in their actual capture