North Carolina and Virginia. 357
"When the enemy's line had nearly reached the stone wall, led by General Armistead" &c. (Italics ours.) General Webb, who commanded the brigade immediately in front of Pickett, says:
"The enemy advanced steadily to the fence, driving out a portion of the yist Pennsylvania Volunteers. General Armistead passed over the fence with probably over a hundred of his command, and with several battle flags," &c. (Italics ours.)
General Henry J. Hunt, who commanded the Federal Artillery, says:
"The enemy advanced magnificently, unshaken by the shot and shell which tore through his ranks from the front and from our left.
- * When our canister fire and musketry were
opened upon them, it occasioned disorder, but still they advanced gallantly until they reached the stone wall behind which our troops lay. Here ensued a desperate conflict, the enemy succeeding in passing the wall and entering our /tries, causing great destruction of life, especially among the batteries."
The other reports show what " enemy" is here meant.
It will thus be seen that every one of the official reports, both Fed- eral and Confederate (with the exception of that of Colonel Shep- hard, of Archer's Brigade, not composed of Carolinians), which refer to the troops who entered the enemy's works, point unmistaka- bly to those of Picket f s Virginians. This is the positive testimony on this point, and the negative is almost as strong; which is, that none of the official reports from the officers commanding the North Carolina troops make any such claim for their troops a claim that would certainly have been made if the facts had warranted it. Not only is this true, but General Lane, in his letter published long after the war in the Southern Historical Society Papers, whilst complaining (and perhaps justly) of the little credit given the North Carolina troops for their conduct in this charge, makes no such claim for them. Indeed, Captain S. A. Ashe, of North Carolina, late Adjutant-Gen- eral Pender's Division, who was in the charge, in his address published in Vol. V, North Carolina Regiments, '61-65, whilst claiming at the close that North Carolina troops ' ' advanced the farthest and remained the longest," says at page 152:
"Some of Pettigrew's North Carolinians advanced to the wall itself (italics ours), doing all that splendid valor and heroic endurance could do, to dislodge the enemy, but their heroism was in vain. ' '