Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 06.djvu/121

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

main attack well on the enemy's left, indulging the hope that Longstreet's corps would be up in time to begin the movement at an early hour on the 2d."[1] General A. L. Long, Chief of Artillery, says: "The order was that General Longstreet, on the right, should begin the attack as early as possible on the 2d, and Ewell and Hill to afford him vigorous co-operation."

General Kershaw, commanding a brigade in McLaws' division of Longstreet's corps, after describing the march of the division on July 1st, says: "We marched to a point on the Gettysburg road, some two miles from that place, going into camp at 12 P. M. The command was ordered to move at 4 A. M. on the morning of the 2d, but did not leave camp until about sunup."

General Early, in his official report made soon after the battle, having given an account of the operations on the 1st July, says: "Having been informed that the greater portion of the rest of our army would move up during the night, and that the enemy's position would be attacked on the right and left flank very early next morning, I gave orders," &c.  *   *   *  And again, after General Lee had learned the full advantages gained the first day, he determined to press it so soon as the remainder of his army arrived. And "in a conference with General Ewell, General Rodes and myself, when he reached us after the enemy had been routed, he expressed his determination to assault the enemy's position at daylight the next morning, and wished to know if he could make the attack from our flank, the left, at the designated time." After a discussion, and the difficulties of the ground on the left had been explained, and for other reasons, "he then determined to make the attack from our right, and left us for the purpose of ordering up Longstreet's corps in time to begin the attack at dawn the next morning." Now let us see what General Longstreet says: "At 5 o'clock P. M. (on the 1st) I overtook General Lee, and he said, to my surprise, he thought of attacking the enemy upon the heights the next day." And again, "when I left General Lee on the night of the 1st, I believed he had made up his mind to attack." The conference between Generals Lee, Ewell, Early and Rodes was no doubt subsequent to that with Longstreet, and the former broke up, according to General Early, with the understanding that General Lee would order up Longstreet so as to attack the enemy's left at dawn the next day, and was not the order to which Generel Kershaw refers communicated from the corps through division headquarters after it had been sent from General Lee.

  1. Longstreet was within three miles of Gettysburg by 12 P. M