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Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/237

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P'wkeWs Charge. 229

looking over the ground in our front, and found General Pickett talking to a strange officer, to whom he introduced me saying: " This is Colonel Gordon, once opposed to me in the San Juan affair, but now on our side."

In explanation of this I will state here that the San Juan affair oc- curred on the Pacific coast when General Pickett was captain in the United States army, and when he held the island against three Eng- lish ships of war and 1,000 English regulars, he having one company of United States infantry and part of another company. General Winfield Scott was sent out by this government to settle the trouble.

After the introduction, Colonel Gordon, who was an Englishman, continued speaking to General Pickett, and said:

" Pickett, my men are not going up to-day."

The General said

11 But, Gordon, they must go up; you must make them go up."

Colonel Gordon answered:

14 You know, Pickett, I will go as far with you as any other man, if only for old acquaintance sake, but my men have until lately been down at the seashore, only under the fire of heavy guns from ships, but fur the last day or two they have lost heavily under infantry fire and are very sore, and they will not go up to-day."

This officer was on foot, there was no horse in sight, and he must have come from Pettigrew's Brigade on our left, only some 200 yards distant.

I have written and asked about the command to which this officer belonged, but have met with no success.

Three times General Pickett sent to Colonel Alexander, asking: "Is it time to charge?" The last messenger brought back this answer: "Tell General Pickett I think we have silenced eight of the enemy's guns, and now is the time to charge." (Some Federal officers after the war informed me that they had only run these guns back to cool.)


General Pickett ordered his staff-officers, four in number (Major Charles Pickett, Captain Baird, Captain Symington and myself), to Generals Armistead, Garnett and Kemper, and to Dearing's Artil- lery Battalion, which earlier in the day had been ordered to follow up the charge and keep its caissons full. Orders to the other staff officers I did not hear. But I was sent to General Kemper with this order-