58 Southern Historical Society Papers.
Further light is thrown upon the matter by the reports of Wilcox and Anderson, of Hill's corps. It was part of Lee's plan that this corps should occupy the Confederate centre on July 2d, and that Longstreet should bring his divisions upon the field immediately to the right of Hill. Anderson's division, however, was a mile and a half west of Gettysburg on the morning of July 2d (O. fi., XXVII, Part II, page 613.) The brigade of Wilcox, Anderson's division, did not begin the advance movement until 7 A. M., and it was 9 A. M. when the brigade took its position in line of battle on Seminary Ridge. (Idem, page 617.)
These quotations furnish us a full explanation of Hood's indefinite letter, and show that Longstreet was delinquent in not hastening up his troops to Seminary Ridge as Lee had ordered; that those troops set forth from camp only after sunrise, were detained to some extent by Swell's wagon train, and the head of the column reached Semi- nary Ridge when the sun was three or three and a half hours above the horizon. We learn, further, that the quasi-debate between Lee and Longstreet, as described in Hood's letter, took place before the troops stood in Lee's presence; that when the First corps arrived, about 8 A. M., Lee at once gave specific orders to the leading divis- ion commander, over Longstreet's head, as it were, and bade Mc- Laws lead his men into battle along the Emmittsburg road, from the Peach Orchard towards Gettysburg.
There is further evidence from Long, Venable and others, to show that Lee then rode away through the town of Gettysburg to consult with Ewell about the co-operation of the left wing with the right wing, which he had just ordered forward to the attack. At EwelPs headquarters Lee waited to hear Longstreet's guns. At noon he rode from beyond Gettysburg to Seminary Ridge to seek Long- street, only to find that the latter had assumed authority to await the arrival of Law's brigade. This brigade came up about half-past 12 or i o'clock. Three hours were then consumed in finding a covered route to the Peach Orchard, where Longstreet's guns opened the battle about 4 P. M.
The above are the actual facts. On the other hand, however, General Early 's untenable theory, set forth twenty years ago, has be- come the basis of a modern myth. Early' s narrative with reference to that which he heard and saw on the evening of July ist is of course accurate beyond all question. But when Early took the fragments of Hood's letter and fastened an erroneous interpretation upon it, due to his own lack of information, he laid the foundation of the