Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/125

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Gettysburg Picketi's Charge. 121

gret to say, was the failure of General Stuart to follow the order* of Lee, which directed him to move into Maryland, crossing the Potomac east or west of the Blue Ridge, as, in his judgment, should be best, and take position on the right of our column as it advanced. Instead of taking position on the right of our column as it advanced, Stuart followed the right of the Federal column, thus placing it between himself and Lee. The consequence was that Lee from the time he crossed the Potomac had no communication with Stuart until after the battle on the ist of July, when he heard that Stuart was at Carlisle, and Stuart did not reach Gettysburg unitl the afternoon of July 2d. Lee, referring to Stuart, says: "By the route he pursued the Federal army was interposed between his command and our main body, preventing any communication with him until he arrived at Carlisle. The march toward Gettys- burg was conducted more slowly than it would have been had the movements of the Federal army been known, "f These are sol- emn, mild words, but they cover the defeat at Gettysburg. Had Lee known the movements of the Federal army he could easily have had his whole army concentrated in Gettysburg on the ist of July, and could easily have enveloped and crushed the enemy's advanced corps, and then defeated Meade in detail. But as it was, the encounter of the advance of the Federal army was a surprise to Lee.

Hill had on the 3oth of June encamped with two of his divisions, Heth's and Fender's at Cashtown, about eight miles from Gettys- burg. Next morning he moved with Heth's division, followed by Fender's toward Gettysburg. They encountered the enemy about three miles of the town. The enemy offered very determined resis- tance, but Heth's division, with great gallantry, drove him before it until it reached Seminary Heights, which overlooked Gettysburg. At this time, 2 p. m., Rodes' and Early's divisions of Ewell's corps the first from Carlisle and the other from York, made their opportune appearance on the left of Heth and at right angles to it; then Fender's division was thrown forward, and all advancing together drove the enemy from position to position, and through the town, capturing 5,000 prisoners, and putting the enemy to flight in great disorder. Referring to this juncture of affairs, Col. Walter

  • Lee's Report July 31, 1863, War Records, Series I, Vol. 27, Part 2, p. 306

fid. p. 307.