Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 06.djvu/76

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66
Southern Historical Society Papers.

command tearing the cartridge boxes off the fallen Federals as they passed over them, while others with stones were actually pelting them as they pressed forward. The artillery had to slacken its fire to keep from injuring Jackson's pursuing infantry. Jackson's men did pursue, and followed the Federals into the woods and disappeared with them.

The time occupied by this assault on Jackson is also significant, and does not sustain General Longstreet in his assumptions. General Jackson and Colonel Lee both state in their official reports that the assault occurred about 4 P. M. Colonel Lee states that the entire assault only occupied about half an hour. There was almost a complete stillness on the entire field when the terrible and well-arranged assault burst like a thunder-bolt on Jackson. After it commenced, Generals Hood and Evans sent for General Longstreet at a convenient, "high piece of ground," for him to have a good view of the battle raging against General Jackson. After his arrival there he had to order up two batteries. In his official report he says: "Two batteries were ordered for this purpose, and one placed in position immediately and opened,"—while in his Gettysburg article he says: "In an exceedingly short time Captain Wiley's six-gun battery came dashing up at a full gallop, the horses covered with foam, and the men urging them forward." Of course, it took some time for him to get where Generals Hood and Evans were, and also some time to get these batteries up and in position, and though Captain Wiley came promptly, he yet must have had to come some distance, for his horses were "covered with foam." In this half hour of the assault much time was lost necessarily before even the first battery opened, and certainly before the second; and in the meantime, General Longstreet had determined not to move to Jackson's assistance, because he saw from the nature of the assault he could not get there in time. He determined to move forward aggressively to his front and in that way relieve the pressure on General Jackson. All this took time, and that half hour of assault was far advanced and nearly completed. Nor could his two batteries have played long on the confused masses, as they would have played on the battle-flags of Jackson's infantry moving to the front and waving back to Colonel Lee's artillery to slacken and stop his fire. All this in about a half an hour.

It is again significant that a Federal brigade of three regiments moved directly against Colonel Lee's guns to divert and distract