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Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/240

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232 Southern Historical Society Papers.

then be seen. I delivered the message as sent by General Pickett. General Long-street said: " Where are the troops that were placed on your flank?" and I answered: "Look over your shoulder and you will see them." He looked and saw the broken fragments. Just then an officer rode at half speed, drawing- up his horse in front of the General, and saying: " General Longstreet, General Lee sent me here, and said you would place me in a position to see this mag- nificent charge. I would not have missed it for the world." Gen- eral Longstreet answered: "I would, Colonel Freemantle; the charge is over. Captain Bright, ride to General Pickett, and tell him what you have heard me say to Colonel Freemantle." At this moment our men were near to but had not crossed the Emmettsburg road. I started and when my horse had made two leaps, General Longstreet called: "Captain Bright!" I checked my horse, and turned half around in my saddle to hear, and this was what he said: "Tell General Pickett that Wilcox's Brigade is in that peach or- chard (pointing), and he can order him to his assistance."


Some have claimed that Wilcox was put in the charge at its com- mencement General Gordon says this; but this is a mistake. When I reached General Pickett he was at least one hundred yards behind the division, having been detained in a position from which he could watch and care for his left flank. He at once sent Captain Baird to General Wilcox with the order for him to come in; then he sent Captain Symington with the same order, in a very few moments, and last he said: "Captain Bright, you go," and I was about the same distance behind Symington that he was behind Baird. The fire was so dreadful at this time that I believe that General Pickett thought not more than one out of the three sent would reach General Wil- cox.

When I rode up to Wilcox he was standing with both hands raised waving and saying to me, " I know, I know." I said, " But, Gen- eral, I must deliver my message." After doing this I rode out of the peach orchard, going forward where General Pickett was watch- ing his left. Looking that way myself, I saw moving out of the en- emy's line of battle, in head of column, a large force; having nothing in their front, they came around our flank as described above. Had our left not deserted us these men would have hesi- tated to move in head of column, confronted by a line of battle.