Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 06.djvu/77

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
67
Second Battle of Manassas—Reply to General Longstreet.

their fire from the assaulting columns; as also that the Federal dead lay within two hundred yards of his guns.

Having now examined Longstreet's Gettysburg article and the extract from his official report, as also Colonel S. D. Lee's official report—in which he treats of distances, so necessary for an intelligent handling of artillery—we will now see what General R. E. Lee says in his official report:

"About 3 P. M. the enemy having massed his troops in front of General Jackson, advanced against his position in strong force. His front line pushed forward until engaged at close quarters by Jackson's troops, when its progress was checked, and a fierce and bloody struggle ensued. A second and third line of great strength moved up to support the first, but in doing so came in easy range of a position a little in advance of Longstreet's left. He immediately ordered up two batteries, and two others being thrown forward about the same time by Colonel S. D. Lee, under their well-directed fire the supporting lines were broken, and fell back in confusion. These repeated efforts to rally were unavailing, and Jackson's troops, being thus relieved from the pressure of overwhelming numbers, began to press steadily forward, driving the enemy before them. He retreated in confusion, suffering severely from our artillery, which advanced as he retired. General Longstreet, anticipating the order for a general advance, now threw his whole command against the Federal center and left; Hood's two brigades, followed by Evans, led the attack. R. H. Anderson's division came gallantly to the support of Hood, while the three brigades of Wilcox moved forward on his left, and those of Kemper on his right. D. R. Jones advanced on the extreme right, and the whole line swept steadily on, driving the enemy with great carnage from each successive position until 10 P. M., when darkness put an end to the battle and pursuit."

From this extract we see that General Lee says "a second and third line of great strength moved up to the support of the first, but in doing so came in easy range of a position a little in advance of Longstreet's left." This was the position occupied by Colonel S. D. Lee's four batteries of eighteen guns on the ridge to the left of Longstreet, and as General R. E. Lee says "in advance of Longstreet's left;" and these eighteen guns were so far to the left and in advance of Longstreet's six-gun battery, that he never saw them, never even heard them; and according to Colonel Lee's report of distances and the known line of battle, Longstreet's guns must have been nearer 3,000 yards from the Federals than 2,500, as already stated. General Lee, however, says "he immediately ordered up two batteries, and two others being thrown forward about the same time by Colonel S. D. Lee, under their well-directed