Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 23.djvu/245
Cause / tin Loss of f /*////.</;///;//.
'.iv.ilry was to operate with tin- first corps ( Longstreet's) in the gen- eral plan, the commander (Stuart) was ordered to follow its with- drawal W-M of the Blue Ridge and (Toss the Potomac on its right at Shepherdstown and make his ride towards Baltimore. He claimed that General Lee had given him authority to cross east of the Blue Ridge. The point at which the cavalry force should cross the river was not determined between the Confederate commander and his chief of cavalry, there being doubt whether the crossing could be made at Point of Rocks between the Union army and Blue Ridge, or between that army and Washington city. That question was left open, and I was ordered to choose between the points named at the moment that my command took up its line of march. So our plans, adopted after deep study, were suddenly given over to gratify the youthful cavalryman's wish for a romantic ride." General Long- street does not pretend to have any written record or evidence to support his assertion; on the contrary, the record shows that at that time no such plan could have been entertained, or even discussed.
He writes history on the a priori principle of the ancient philoso- phers, who never went outside of their own consciousness to enquire about facts. It is an exercise of imagination, not of memory; if he runs up against a fact then, like a battery or a line of battle that got in his way so much the worse for the fact. Not that I would in- sinuate that he has consciously been guilty of invention; but seeing, as he supposes, in the light of events, that certain things ought to have been done, he persuades himself that they were done. At the above date (June igth) General Lee had not determined on sending any of his army north of the Potomac, except Ewell's Corps that was in the advance. Only Rodes' and Johnson's Divisions, with Jenkins' Cavalry, had then crossed the river. A. P. Hill's Corps, that had been left at Fredericksburg, had not then reached the Shenandoah Valley. General Lee, with Longstreet's Corps, was about Berry ville; Stuart, with the cavalry, was east of the Blue Ridge, guarding the approaches to the gaps; Longstreet on the west, was supporting him. Longstreet was facing east; Hooker in his front, was, of course, facing west.
GENERAL LEE*S PLANS.
Now, on June iQth, the day that Longstreet says that all their plans of invasion were matured, and Stuart was ordered to follow his corps and cross the Potomac at Shepherdstown, General Lee