Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 26.djvu/126

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116 Southern Historical Society Papers.

THE BATTLE AND CAMPAIGN OF GETTYSBURG.

From the original MS. Furnished by Major Graham Daves, of North

Carolina.

BY MAJOR-GENERAL ISAAC R. TRIMBLE, C. S. A.

["The Battle of Gettysburg" is of trite discussion--nevertheless this paper, in its perspicuous candor and fidelity, has its value.

It was, as Major Daves, (a student and valiant veteran, with due share of reverence, as his connection with the Roanoke Island Memorial Association may attest), states, "originally written for one of the Veteran Associations and has never been in print." He adds, as of significance, that after leaving the army "General Trimble was for many years prominent as a civil engineer, and was familiar with all the region about Gettysburg, "and as is well known" in the third day's fight at Gettysburg, he commanded Lane's and Scale's brigades, of Pender's division (Pender had been mortally wounded), both brigades of North Carolina."]

Much has been said and written about the Battle of Gettysburg, but many errors are yet entertained concerning it. Many of the transactions of that great event are either unknown, misrepresented, or put down at a wrong hour--and as yet have not been precisely stated and joined together in regular chronological order; so as to display all the features of the great battle.

The proper conception of General Lee's design in entering Pennsylvania, and correct apprehension of the causes which led to the conflict at Gettysburg, and the reasons which compelled General Lee to carry it on when once accidentally begun, are alike erroneous or distorted by ignorance and prejudice.

We can easily comprehend the difficulty of understanding the suc- cessive movements of any battle, which was begun without the intent or knowledge of either commander of the adverse forces; and we can as easily see that after such a battle had commenced, how much confusion, uncertainty, and absence of well combined action would mark its progress on both sides. All this was true of the battle of Gettysburg; but the difficulty is greatly enhanced when we know that the extent of ground from flank to flank covered by the opposing forces, was about six miles; rendering concert of action extremely