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[From the Richmond (Va.) Times, Feb'y 2, 1896.]


Highly Interesting Review by Colonel John S. Mosby.


Many of Longstreet's Statements in His Book Combatted by Colonel Mosby-The Want of Cavalry Had Nothing to Do

with the Result of the Battle.

General Longstreet, having acted a great part as a soldier, now appears as the historian of the war. His book will soon be buried in the dust of oblivion, but, fortunately for him, his fame does not rest upon what he has written, but what he has done. No doubt he has had to endure much, as he says, for the sake of his opinions, as every man must who goes in advance of his age, and he has had strong provocation to speak with bitterness of some of his contemporaries, if he spoke of them at all. But his better angel would have told him that much that he has written about his brothers-inarms would injure his own reputation more than theirs, and that if he had suffered injustice in defending the right, he had the consolation of knowing that

“Only those are crowned and sainted,

Who with grief have been acquainted."

He will not be able to pursuade anyone but himself that he was ever the rival of General Lee and Stonewall Jackson, or that Jackson's fame is factitious and due to his being a Virginian. It is not because he was a Virginian that his monument stands on the bank of the "father of waters," and that a great people beyond the sea gave his statue, in bronze, to the State that will cherish his fame as a possession forever.


I only propose, however, to review that portion of his book that relates to the management of the cavalry in the Gettysburg campaign. He says that on June 19th, "under the impression that the

cavalry was to operate with the first corps (Longstreet's) in the general plan, the commander (Stuart) was ordered to follow its withdrawal west of the Blue Ridge and cross the Potomac on its right at Shepherdstown and make his ride towards Baltimore. He claimed. that General Lee had given him authority to cross east of the Blue Ridge. The point at which the cavalry force should cross the river was not determined between the Confederate commander and his chief of cavalry, there being doubt whether the crossing could be made at Point of Rocks between the Union army and Blue Ridge, or between that army and Washington city. That question was left open, and I was ordered to choose between the points named at the moment that my command took up its line of march. So our plans, adopted after deep study, were suddenly given over to gratify the youthful cavalryman's wish for a romantic ride." General Longstreet does not pretend to have any written record or evidence to support his assertion; on the contrary, the record shows that at that time no such plan could have been entertained, or even discussed.

He writes history on the a priori principle of the ancient philosophers, who never went outside of their own consciousness to enquire about facts. It is an exercise of imagination, not of memory; if he runs up against a fact then, like a battery or a line of battle that got in his way-so much the worse for the fact. Not that I would insinuate that he has consciously been guilty of invention; but seeing, as he supposes, in the light of events, that certain things ought to have been done, he persuades himself that they were done. At the above date (June 19th) General Lee had not determined on sending any of his army north of the Potomac, except Ewell's Corps that was in the advance. Only Rodes' and Johnson's Divisions, with Jenkins' Cavalry, had then crossed the river. A. P. Hill's Corps, that had been left at Fredericksburg, had not then reached the Shenandoah Valley. General Lee, with Longstreet's Corps, was about Berryville; Stuart, with the cavalry, was east of the Blue Ridge, guarding the approaches to the gaps; Longstreet on the west, was supporting him. Longstreet was facing east; Hooker in his front, was, of course, facing west.


Now, on June 19th, the day that Longstreet says that all their plans of invasion were matured, and Stuart was ordered to follow his corps and cross the Potomac at Shepherdstown, General Lee



wrote to Ewell, who, with two of his divisions, was about Hagerstown, Md., Early not having then crossed the river. General Lee says: “I very much regret that you have not the benefit of your whole corps, for with that north of the Potomac you would accomplish as much unmolested as the whole army could perform with General Hooker in its front. * If your advance causes Hooker to cross the Potomac, or separate his army in any way, Longstreet can follow you." So on June 19th it was uncertain whether Longstreet would cross the river or not. On the 22d Hill arrived near Charlestown. Ewell was then ordered to enter Pennsylvania with his whole corps; Jenkins' Cavalry was with him. That day (22d) in a letter to Ewell, General Lee says: "If you are ready to move you can do so. I think your best course will be toward the Susquehanna, taking the routes by Emmettsburg, Chambersburg, and McConnelsburg. It will depend upon the quantity of supplies obtained in that country whether the rest of the army can follow. If Harrisburg comes within your means, capture it." So on the morning of June 22d it had not been settled that Longstreet and Hill should follow Ewell.

Later in the day (3:30 P. M.) he again writes Ewell: "I also directed General Stuart, should the enemy have so far retired from his front as to permit of the departure of a portion of the cavalry, to march with three brigades across the Potomac, and place himself on your right, and in communication with you, &c. I also directed Imboden, if opportunity offered, to cross the Potomac, and perform the same offices on your left." Ewell marched with two divisions down the Cumberland Valley to Chambersburg: thence to Carlisle, where he halted. Early was detached and sent east through the Cashtown pass in the South mountain, to York.


These letters of General Lee's show that Stuart could not have been ordered to march on Longstreet's flank, because (1) Ewell was then in Pennsylvania and Longstreet in Virginia, and (2) Longstreet and Hill had received no orders to march. The next day General Lee wrote to Mr. Davis: "Reports of movements of the enemy east of the Blue Ridge cause me to believe that he is preparing to cross the Potomac. A pontoon bridge is said to be laid at Harper's Ferry; his army corps, that he has advanced to Leesburg and the foot of the mountains, appear to be withdrawing. Their attempt to penetrate the mountains has been successfully repelled by General






Stuart with the cavalry. General Ewell's corps is in motion toward
the Susquehanna. General A. P. Hill is moving toward the Poto-
mac; his leading division will reach Shepherdstown to-day. I have
withdrawn Longstreet west of the Shenandoah, and if nothing pre-
vents he will follow to-morrow." General Lee was then satisfied of
Hooker's purpose to cross the Potomac. During the time that Stu-
art was defending the gaps on account of the presence of Long-
street's corps,
Stuart was, to some extent, brought under his
authority; for convenience, and to preserve concert of action, all of
his correspondence with General Lee passed through Longstreet.
In this way Lee and Longstreet were both kept informed of the
movements of the enemy. On the day that Ewell left Hagerstown
(22d), General Lee sent unsealed through Longstreet the following
letter of instructions:

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Major-General J. E. B. Stuart,

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Commanding Cavalry, &c.:


GENERAL,-I have just received your note of 7:45 this morning to General Longstreet. I judge the efforts of the enemy yesterday were to arrest our progress and ascertain our whereabouts. fear he will steal a march on us, and get across the Potomac before we are aware. If you find that he is moving northward, and that two brigades can guard the Blue Ridge and take care of your rear, you can move the other three into Maryland, and take position on Ewell's right, place yourself in communication with him, guard his flank, and keep him informed of the enemy's movements, and collect all the supplies you can for the use of the army. One column of General Ewell's army will probably move towards the Susquehanna by the Emmittsburg route, another by Chambersburg.'

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Stuart is here given discretion as to the route he should go; but the orders to leave Longstreet and go to Ewell are peremptory. Stuart's headquarters were then at Rector's Cross Roads, about twelve miles east of the Ridge. These letters demonstrate how erroneous are the statements of Generals Longstreet and Heth, and of Long, in the romance he published and called the Memoirs of General Lee, that Stuart was ordered to march on the flank of the column with which General Lee was present. He couldn't be on Ewell's flank on the Susquehanna and Longstreet's flank on the Potomac at the same time. Neither would Longstreet have ordered

Stuart to remain with him, knowing that General Lee had ordered him to Ewell. All of Stuart's critics have ignored the fact that General Lee ordered Stuart to leave him and go to Ewell. General Longstreet wrote as follows to General Lee :

“June 22, 1863—7:30 P. M.

"General R. E. Lee, Commanding, &c.:

"GENERAL,-Yours of 4 o'clock this afternoon is received. have forwarded your letter to General Stuart, with the suggestion that he pass by the enemy's rear if he thinks he may get through. We have nothing of the enemy to-day.

"Most respectfully,

"JAMES LONGSTREET, "Lieutenant-General, Commanding."


In the correspondence during this period between Lee, Longstreet, and Stuart this is the first intimation about taking the route in the rear of the enemy, and it seems that General Longstreet suggested it. This is his letter to Stuart:

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MILLWOOD, June 22, 1863—7 P. M.

“Major-General J. E. B. Stuart, Commanding Cavalry:

"GENERAL,—General Lee has inclosed to me this letter for you, to be forwarded to you, provided you can be spared from my front, and provided I think that you can move across the Potomac without disclosing our plans. He speaks of your leaving via Hopewell Gap, and passing by the rear of the enemy. If you can get through by that route, I think that you will be less likely to indicate what our plans are than if you should cross by passing to our rear. I forward the letter of instructions with these suggestions. Please advise me of the condition of affairs before you leave and order General Hampton, whom I suppose you will leave here in command, to report to me at Millwood, either by letter or in person, as may be the most agreeable to him.

"Most respectfully,


"N. B.-I think that your passage of the Potomac by our rear (Shepherdstown), at the present moment, will in a measure disclose

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