Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 37.djvu/138
130 Southern Historical Society Papers.
at an early hour by Longstreet, was not made until 4 P. M. In- stead of a simultaneous attack by Ewell, he opened his guns at 5, and not until after an hour's fighting. The attack was begun by Johnson on the left a little before dark and taken up by Early, but not followed up by Rodes and Fender.
In spite of those discouragements, success lay on the whole, with the Confederates at the close of the second day. Their lines had been materially advanced, a number of prisoners and some artillery had been captured, and they had inflicted enor- mous losses on the enemy.
On the right the high ground near the Emmittsburg road had been secured for the use of the artillery, and McLaws and Hood had pushed . forward beyond Devil's Den, and reached out to the foot of Little and Big Round Top.
On the left, Johnson had captured a considerable line of breast- works, and was in immediate proximity to the enemy's main line. Though not aware of it, he was within a short distance of Meade's headquarters and a park of reserve artillery.
General Lee, while disappointed, was not dismayed. He says in his report, "The result of the day's operations induced the belief that with proper concert of action and with the increased support that the position gained on the right would enable the artillery to render the assaulting column, we should ultimately succeed, and it was accordingly determined to continue the at- tack. The general plan was unchanged. Longstreet, reinforced by Pickett's three brigades, which arrived near the battlefield dur- ing the afternoon of the 2d, was ordered to attack the next morning, and General Ewell was directed to assail the enemy's right at the same time."
In passing upon the correctness of General Lee's judgment in renewing the assault on the third day, no one can venture to say that success was not possible and that his plans could not have carried with better co-operation. In that case success would have borne its own vindication. Judged by results, the most sagacious critics will probably agree that General Lee did not correctly estimate either the difficulties of the position or the difficulties of procuring the concert of action upon which he relied. He had already, on the previous day, experienced the