Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 06.djvu/114

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

nect with my right flank." It is seen that these three reports entirely concur—the extreme left of the enemy was to be attacked. General Lee ordered that it be enveloped partially and be "driven in." Hill says the extreme left was to be assailed and we were to sweep down his line, in other words drive it in; and Anderson says extreme left to be attacked and driven towards Gettysburg, which, would be sweeping down it, or driving it in.

Now, these reports leave no doubt as to what were General Lee's orders to General Longstreet. The latter says': "McLaws' division got into position opposite the enemy's left about 4 P. M. Hood's division was moved further to our right and got into position partially enveloping the enemy's left." An examination of the map. will show that McLaws was not opposite the enemy's left, but that he was opposite the right of Sickles' corps, the extreme right of which rested on the Emmettsburg road, and that Hood was opposite the left of this corps, which was the left of Meade's line and rested near the base of Little Round Top; but Hood did not partially envelop it. As Longstreet's line advanced it of course met the enemy face to face his left brigade striking the left of Humphreys' division, the right of Sickles' corps. Had he obeyed orders, and struck the extreme left and driven it in or up the road towards Gettysburg, Anderson's right brigades would have joined in the fight as ordered and as was contemplated, instead of moving off by the left flank at a rapid pace seven or eight hundred yards and then two or three hundred by the right flank. General Longstreet, attacking as he did, had two flanks to be looked after; but had he attacked as ordered, it would have been only his right flank that would have been exposed, and he would have had no occasion to try to make me the scapegoat to cover his own delinquencies.

I have stated that General Hood did not partially envelop the enemy's left; had this been done, it would have probably been driven in as had been ordered by General Lee. I will explain this, before I have finished. I have answered General Longstreet as to what he has twice charged me, and will now, as briefly as possible, refer to other portions of his two articles.

If General Longstreet is to be credited, it was with sincere regrets and great reluctance he gave publicity to his views and opinions of the battle of Gettysburg, and he could not have been induced to write at all but for the fact of his having been "so repeatedly and rancorously assailed by others," and so greatly wronged; and besides, "there was a sly under-current of misrepre-