Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/159

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General Lee at Gettysburg. 155

a bereavement that was felt deeply by the whole army, by its com- manding general and throughout the command. When Jackson fell, Lee, as he himself said, lost his right arm. The void which had been made was too great to be so soon closed; the wound which the army received, too deep to be healed in four weeks. Lee him- self felt his great loss. He felt uneasy and without confidence, as many of his generals remarked. After the war, at Lexington, to Professor White, of the University, General Lee said: "If I had had Stonewall Jackson at Gettysburg, we should have won a great victory." The absence of Jackson accounted for the failure to take the Cemetery the first day, as it certainly accounted for the want of concert and confidence throughout the whole action. The com- pelling will was not there to move an army corps as an unit, with his own imparted strength, in one vigorous and persistent attack.

The absence of General Stuart and the cavalry was seriously felt by General Lee. He could neither ascertain the location and num- bers of the various forces of his enemy, nor could he cover the movements of his own separated divisions. General Stuart used the discretion given, and believed he was doing a valuable thing by cutting the communication with Washington, but that was so tem- porary that it had no great value, and the movement seriously crippled his own army. It resulted in bringing on an engagement prematurely, and under conditions that gave General Lee the offen- sive, and the offensive in as difficult a place as could be found per- haps in all eastern Pennsylvania.

Yet the most serious obstacle which Lee had to overcome was the unwillingness of General Longstreet to obey the wishes of his commanding General. He had views of his own about the cam- paign, and because General Lee did not accept them, he resisted the will of his commander from the beginning to the end. With the head of his column a few miles from the field on the evening of the first day, and knowing well the necessity and General Lee's ex- pressed wish, his troops were not brought up until well in the second day, and were not in action until 4 o' clock. On the third day he moved with the same reluctance and dilatoriness, and failed to support the attack made by Pickett's column, when he had two divisions of his own in hand. There is no great commander in history, except Robert E. Lee, who would not have found on the spot a solution for the behavior of General Longstreet. "Nothing that occurred at Gettysburg," says General Gordon, "nor anything