Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 06.djvu/111

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101
General C. M. Wilcox on the Battle of Gettysburg.

ing language: "General Wilcox, the volunteer witness on Gettysburg, attempts to controvert my criticism on his wild leadership during the battle of the 2d. I charged that as the commander of the directing brigade of support of my left, he went astray early in the fight, lost my flank and of course threw the brigades that were looking to him for direction out of line. In reply, he refers me to certain maps published by the War Department for correct position of his brigade on the 2d. I much prefer the evidence I used in my first article, and I think it will be generally accepted as much better authority than the maps."

It will be seen that I am distinguished by General Longstreet as the "volunteer witness on Gettysburg," when every one knows, himself included, that what I wrote on the battle of Gettysburg, and which appeared in the September number of the Southern Historical Society Papers, was in reply to a letter from the Secretary of that Society, and that his letter, requesting myself and other ex-Confederates to give our views on certain points connected with the battle, was addressed to us at the suggestion of the Comte de Paris. General Longstreet, though well aware of this fact, has twice repeated the declaration that I am a volunteer witness in all concerning the battle from Gettysburg.

With reference to the maps of the battle field, in my reply[1] to his first article it was stated: "General Longstreet refers several times to the map of the battle field. If he will examine the one published by authority of the War Department in 1876, he will see where my brigade was and its line of march; and if he will take the trouble to measure distances, he will learn that no brigade of his advanced further." In his article to which I replied in part, he referred several times to the maps of the battle field. They were good enough authority for him, but he could not accept them in my behalf, but preferred other authority—official reports,—to which I, too, will refer. In his own case he refers to "any of the maps of the battle field," whilst I referred to the one prepared with great care by the War Department, which, as every one who was present and took part in the battle of Gettysburg will admit, is remarkable for its accuracy. Probably no similar map was ever prepared with more care. The survey of the field was made under the direction of the Engineer Department of the United States army, and by officers of that corps. It was begun in 1868 and issued in 1876. The positions of the troops during each of the


  1. Weekly Times, November 24, 1877.