Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/367

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North Carolina and Virginia. 359

We have recently learned, that whilst our friends from North Car- olina do not now claim that their men entered the enemy's works, as some of Pickett's did, yet they say that as the point where Pick- ett's men struck these works they were further advanced to the front than where Pettigrew's men struck them, and as "Captain Satter- field and other North Carolinians of the 55th North Carolina fell within nine yards of the wall, this settles it that the men from this State (North Carolina), fairly earned the title ' Farthest at Gettys- burg.' ' Npte by the editor North Carolina Regiments, '61-65, Vol. V, p. 101.

We remark in the first place that the 55th North Carolina was in Davis' Brigade, the furthest brigade to the left (save one) in the "charging column," and being without any support, as explained by General Lane, we thought it was conceded that this brigade and Brockenbrough's were the first troops to give way.

But surely our friends are not basing their claim on any such nar- row and technical ground as is here indicated, and as surely this is not the meaning they intended to convey by this claim. We might as well claim that the picket on the flank of Meade's army or cap- tured within his lines, was "farthest to the front." Every soldier knows that the ' 'front " of an army is wherever its line of battle is (whether that line is zigzag or straight ), and the opposing troops which penetrate that line are farther to the 'front, than those which do not.

We have shown, we think, conclusively, that the Virginians under Pickett did penetrate the enemy' s line on the $d of July, 1863, in the famous charge at Gettysburg, and that the North Carolinians, under Pettigrew and Trimble, did not.

Another ground on which, we understand, North Carolina bases this claim is, that the losses in Pettigrew's and Trimble's Divisions in this battle were greater than those of Pickett. All the statistics of losses, we have seen, of the battle of Gettysburg include those in the different commands in all three days combined. Since, there- fore, Pettigrew's and Trimble's men were engaged in the battles of the first day, as well as those of the third, and as Pickett's were only engaged on the third day, of course, the losses of the first two divisions in the two days' battles were greater than those of the last named in the one day's battle.

If our friends from North Carolina would adopt the language of her gallant son, Captain Ashe, from whom we have already quoted, and say of Gettysburg: