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Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/360

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352 Southern Historical Society Papers.

Surely, comment here is unnecessary, and no one who has read Longstreet's book will accuse him of partiality to Virginians.

We next quote from the report of that gallant soldier and splendid gentleman, General James H. Lane, who was at first in command of Fender's Division, but having been relieved of that by General Trimble, then commanded his own North Carolina brigade. He says:

" General Longstreet ordered me to form in the rear of the right of Heth's Division, commanded by General Pettigrew. Soon after I had executed this order, putting Lowrence (commanding Scale's Brigade) on the right, I was relieved of the command of the division by General Trimble, who acted under the same orders that I received. Heth's Division was much larger than Lowrance's Brigade and my own, which was its only support, and there was, consequently, no second line in rear of its left. Now in command of my own brig- ade, I moved forward to the support of Pettigrew' s right, through the woods in which our batteries were planted, and through an open field about a mile, in full view of the enemy's fortified position, and under a murderous artillery and infantry fire. As soon as Petti- grew' s command gave back (italics ours), Lowrence's Brigade and my own, without ever having halted, took position on the left of the troops, which were still contesting the ground with the enemy (italics ours). My command never moved forward more handsomely. The men reserved their fire, in accordance with orders, until within good range of the enemy, and then opened with telling effect, repeatedly driving the cannoneers from their pieces, completely silencing the guns in our immediate front, and breaking the line of infantry which was formed on the crest of the hill. We advanced to within a few yards of the stone wall (italics ours), exposed all the while to a rak- ing artillery fire from the right. My left was here very much ex- posed, and a column of the enemy's infantry was thrown forward from that direction, which enfiladed my whole line. This forced me to withdraw my brigade, the troops on my right having already done so."

The troops directly on Lane's right were those of Lowrence. But if he refers to Pickett's too, then he does not pretend that his own men entered the enemy's works as Pickett's did, which, as we shall see, is the real point at issue.

Scarcely a more striking illustration of the frailty of human mem- ory, and the unsatisfactory nature of the post bellum statements,