114 Southern Historical Society Papers.
July 2, it was permitted to attack, had achieved a distinct suc- cess. The enemy was driven back to his main position with enormous loss. On the morning of July 3. Lee determined to assault this position in front and flank simultaneously, and, ac- cording to his chief of the staff. Longstreet's Corps, supported b}^ a division of the Third Corps, was to make the main attack on the center, while the Second Corps attacked the right. But again there was delay, and this time it was fatal. General Longstreet attempts to make some capital out of the fact that General Lee, in his official report, wrote as follows : "Long- street, re-enforced by Pickett's three brigades, which arrived on the battle field during the afternoon of the 2d, was ordered to attack the next morning." This, says Longstreet, "is disingen- uous. He did not give or send the orders for the morning of the third day, nor did he re-enforce me with Pickett's brigades for morning attack." And yet, a few lines further on, he writes : "He (Lee) rode over after sunrise and gave his orders. His plan was to assault the enemy's left center by a column to be composed of McLaw's and Hood's Divisions (Longstreet's Corps), re-enforced by Pickett's brigades. I thought it would not do." Passing by the fact that it was never Lee's plan to assault the center only, but both center and flank simultaneously, we may note that, according to Longstreet's own testimony, the order was given soon after sunrise ; and yet, although the Sec- ond Corps, attacking the Federal right, became engaged at day- light, it was not till i P. M., eight hours later, that the artillery of the First Corps opened fire, and not till 2 P. M. that the in- fantry advanced. Their assault was absolutely isolated. The Second Corps had already been beaten back. The Third Corps, although a division w^as ready to move to any point which Longstreet might indicate, was not called upon by him for as- sistance. Two divisions of his own corps, posted on the right flank, did absolutely nothing; and, after a supremely gallant ■effort, the 15,000 men who were hurled against the front of the Federal army, and some of whom actually penetrated the posi- tion, were repulsed with fearful slaughter.