War on Two Fronts: Shiloh to Gettysburg

By John Cannan | Go to book overview

SIR ARTHUR FREMANTLE


"All this has been my fault..."

With the Confederate commanders during the great attack, Sir Arthur Fremantle played witness to the reactions of Lee and Longstreet as the final drama of Pickett's Charge was played out. Despite suffering a disappointing and destructive defeat, the leaders and men of the Army of Northern Virginia remained calm even though the tide of battle as well as the entire war had turned against them.

At 6 A.M. I rode to the field with Colonel Manning, and went over that portion of the ground which, after a fierce contest, had been won from the enemy yesterday evening. The dead were being buried, but great numbers were still lying about; also many mortally wounded, for whom nothing could be done. Amongst the latter were a number of Yankees dressed in bad imitations of the Zouave costume. They opened their glazed eyes as I rode past in a painfully imploring manner.

We joined Generals Lee and Longstreet's Staff: they were reconnoitring and making preparations for renewing the attack. As we formed a pretty large party, we often drew upon ourselves the attention of the hostile sharpshooters, and were two or three times favoured with a shell. One of these shells set a brick building on fire which was situated between the lines. This building was filled with wounded, principally Yankees, who, I am afraid, must have perished miserably in the flames. Colonel Sorrel had been slightly wounded yesterday, but still did duty. Major Walton's horse was killed, but there were no other casualties amongst my particular friends.

The plan of yesterday's attack seems to have been very simple—first a heavy cannonade all along the line, followed by an advance of Long‐ street's two divisions and part of Hill's corps. In consequence of the enemy's having been driven back some distance, Longstreet's corps (part of it) was in a much more forward situation than yesterday. But the range

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