Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 04.djvu/156

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

General Lee was seemingly anxious you should attack that morning. He remarked to me: "The enemy is here, and if we do not whip him, he will whip us." You thought it better to await the arrival of Pickett's division—at that time still in the rear—in order to make the attack; and you said to me, subsequently, whilst we were seated together near the trunk of a tree: "The General is a little nervous this morning; he wishes me to attack; I do not wish to do so without Pickett. I never like to go into battle with one boot off."

Thus passed the forenoon of that eventful day, when, in the afternoon—about three o'clock—it was decided to no longer await Pickett's division, but to proceed to our extreme right, and attack up the Emmettsburg road. McLaws moved off, and I followed with my division. In a short time I was ordered to quicken the march of my troops, and pass to the front of McLaws.

This movement was accomplished by throwing out an advanced force to tear down fences and clear the way. The instructions I received were to place my division across the Emmettsburg road, form line of battle, and attack. Before reaching this road, however, I had sent forward some of my picked Texas scouts to ascertain the position of the enemy's extreme left flank. They soon reported to me that it rested upon Round Top mountain; that the country was open and that I could march through an open woodland pasture around Round Top and assault the enemy in flank and rear; that their wagon trains were parked in rear of their line, and were badly exposed to our attack in that direction. As soon as I arrived upon the Emmettsburg road I placed one or two batteries in position and opened fire. A reply from the enemy's guns soon developed his lines. His left rested on or near Round Top, with line bending back and again forward, forming, as it were, a concave line as approached by the Emmettsburg road. A considerable body of troops was posted in front of their main line, between the Emmettsburg road and Round Top mountain. This force was in line of battle upon an eminence near a peach orchard.

I found that in making the attack according to orders, viz: up the Emmettsburg road, I should have first to encounter and drive off this advanced line of battle; secondly, at the base and along the slope of the mountain, to confront immense boulders of stone, so massed together as to form narrow openings, which would