Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 37.djvu/378
370 Southern Historical Society Papers.
corps, whose report says that he put Fender's division in to sup- port Heth's that was in distress, and that about 2 130 in the after- noon, Ewell with Early and Rodes' divisions came in and formed a right angle to his line and the field was won.
"Just as true an account of the battle as Heth's letter can be found in the Pickwick Papers. Rodes' report shows that Heth's story is a fable. The truth is that when Heth, early in the morning went into action, General Lee was ten miles away west of the mountain, Heth tries to make it appear that Lee was on the field."
OTHER REPORTS ON THE MOVEMENT.
"Pendleton's report says they heard the firing when they were on the western slope of the mountain and that General Lee did not understand it. When Rodes arived on the field Heth's divis- ion was in fragments. Heth says he 'stumbled' into the fight; he ought to have said he blundered into it. He says that had the cavalry been in position, General Lee would have known of Rey- nold's approach to Gettysburg and would have occupied the place and made it impregnable. But the absence of cavalry was no reason for Heth's going there on a raid; it might have been a good reason for his staying in camp. This statement assumes that Gettysburg was Lee's objective point ; it was not. Lee was as willing for Meade to be at Gettysburg as anywhere else; he had no idea of going there himself before he heard the firing. He went to the rescue of A. P. Hill and Heth/'
"General Lee had known for a week that Meade was moving North from Frederick and that he must be in the vicinity of Get- tysburg. As a cavalry division was already there, he knew with- out being told that Meade's army must be if ear. 3 T" -selected and held Cashtown Pass as his point of concentration because nature made it impregnable. He would have a mountain-wall to cover hi.-, flank ar/d the rich Cumberland Valley behind him.
"If he had ordered the army to Gettysburg he would have been with the ieauing division and would have occupied the place several days Icfore, instead of halting Hill's corps at Cashtown.
"There was more reason for censuring Lee for being absent from the field than Stuart.