Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/127

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Gettysburg PickeWs Charge. 123

vision commanders the previous evening, it was understood that this attack was to be made as early as practicable by Longstreet, and he was to be supported by Anderson and to receive the co-operation of Ewell. General Fitzhugh Lee in his ' 'Life of Lee," says: "When Lee went to sleep that night he was convinced that his dispositions for the battle next day were understood by the corps commanders, for he had imparted them to each in person. On the morning of July 2, Lee was up before light, breakfasted and was ready for the fray."

Can you believe it ? Can you even at this distant day altogether suppress a rising indignation that Longstreet did not get into line of battle until after 4 P. M., although he had the previous night en- camped within four miles of Gettysburg? In the meanwhile Sickles had taken position in what is known as the Peach Orchard and on the Emmittsburg road, which were the positions assigned to Long- street, and which he could have taken earlier in the day without fir- ing a gun. The forces of the enemy had come up from long dis- tances Sedgwick had marched thirty-four miles since 9 P. M., of the day before and had gotten into line of battle before Longstreet did.

The attack was made. Sickles was driven from the Peach Orch- ard and the Emmittsburg road. Little Round Top and the Federal lines were penetrated, but they were so largely reinforced that the attack failed after the most courageous effort and great expenditure of lives. It has been stated that if this attack had been made in the morning as directed, Lee would have won a great victory, and the fighting of the 3d would have been saved. The attack on the left also failed. There, too, the lines arid entrenchments of the enemy were penetrated, but they could not be held for want of simultaneous and conjoint action on the part of the commanders. Col. Taylor, speaking of this, says; "The whole affair was disjointed."

Thus ended the second day. General Lee determined to renew the attack on the morrow. He ordered Longstreet to make the attack next morning with his whole corps, and sent to aid him in the attack of Heth's division under Pettigrew, Lane's and Scales' brigades of Pender's division under General Trimble, and also Wilcox's brigade, and directed General Ewell to assail the enemy's right at the same time. "A careful examination," says Lee, " was made of the ground secured by Longstreet, and his batteries placed in position, which it was believed would enable them to silence