The Artillery at Second Manassas—General Longstreet's Reply to General S. D. Lee.
Gainesville, Georgia, September 6th, 1878.
Southern Historical Society, Richmond, Virginia:
In your issue of last month a paper appears from the pen of General S. D. Lee, claimed to be a reply to a part of my official report of the second battle of Manassas as published in an article on the Gettysburg campaign by myself.
No part of my official report of second Manassas was published in any of my writings upon Gettysburg. In my last I gave an account of the leading features of second Manassas, as connected with my command and myself, but distinctly announced in that paper that my sole purpose was to illustrate, as well as might be, the official as well as personal relations between General R. E. Lee and myself.
General S. D. Lee seems to have started from erroneous premises, therefore, and may mislead some of your readers.
The inclosed account of the artillery combat of second Manassas from Colonel J. B. Walton, commander of the Washington artillery of New Orleans upon that field, seems to meet the only real point of issue made by General S. D. Lee. I have to ask, therefore, that you give it a place in your Papers whenever it may be convenient.
I am, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
New Orleans, 20th August, 1878.
My Dear General—Colonel Owen has shown me your letters of 10th and 18th of this month. I have not seen General S. D. Lee's communication to the Southern Historical Society Papers, but infer that he has made a serious mistake in claiming, if he does so, that he selected the position which his batteries (the batteries of his battalion) occupied on the 30th August, 1862, at the battle second Manassas.
From notes, memoranda, reports and other data at hand, in my possession, I propose to give you the facts as to the selection of the artillery position in that battle and how it was occupied on the 29th before Colonel Lee came upon the field, and on the 30th, the day he reached the army then and the day previous engaged with Pope.