reached me, General A. P. Hill had already been warmly engaged, and had been repulsed, and Carter's artillery battalion of Rodes' division had opened on the flank of the enemy with fine effect. The enemy were rapidly preparing to attack me while fresh masses were moving into position on my front. It was too late to avoid an engagement without abandoning the position taken up. I determined to push the attack vigorously."
General Early was on the road from Heidlesburg to Gettysburg when ordered to the latter place. In his report he says:
"Having ascertained that the road from my camp to Hunterstown was a very rough and circuitous one, I determined next morning (July 1st) to march to Heidlesburg, and thence on the Gettysburg road to the Mummasburg road. After passing Heidlesburg a short distance, I received a note from yourself (Major A. S. Pendleton, A. A. G.), written by order of General Ewell, informing me that General A. P. Hill was moving towards Gettysburg against the enemy, and that Rodes' division had turned off at Middletown and was moving towards the same place, and directing me to move directly for Gettysburg. I therefore continued on the road I was then on, and on arriving in sight of the town I discovered that Rodes' division was engaged with the enemy to my right on both sides of the Mummasburg road."
On June 30th, when General Hill decided to advance the next morning and find out what force was before him at Gettysburg and on the flank of General Ewell, a part of whose corps was to pass within four miles of that place the next day, General Lee was not ready for a general engagement, for in the absence of his cavalry, he was not informed as to the disposition of Meade's Army, and his own troops were not up; but there is no evidence that at that or any subsequent time he disapproved of General Hill's proposed advance on Gettysburg. On the contrary, as soon as he was informed of General Hill's intention, he instructed General Ewell, who was then at Heidlesburg, ten miles northeast of Gettysburg, "to proceed to Cashtown or Gettysburg as circumstances might dictate."