Another controversial aspect of the Battle of Gettysburg was General James Longstreet's handling of his forces during the massive conflict. Because he was against the idea of engaging the Army of the Potomac at Gettysburg, Longstreet disagreed with his commander over the viability of making an assault against the overpowering numbers of entrenched Federals. Lee's lieutenant, who was charged to assail the unsteady Federal left, has often been harshly criticized for his delays in getting his troops into position and for launching a tardy attack on the enemy. Longstreet's view of the second day of the battle is taken from his epic memoirs of the war, From Manassas to Appomattox.
The stars were shining brightly on the morning of the 2d when I reported at General Lee's head-quarters and asked for orders. After a time Generals McLaws and Hood, with their staffs, rode up, and at sunrise their commands filed off the road to the right and rested. The Washington Artillery was with them, and about nine o'clock, after an all-night march, Alexander's batteries were up as far as Willoughby's Run, where he parked and fed, and rode to head-quarters to report.
As indicated by these movements, General Lee was not ready with his plans. He had not heard from his cavalry, nor of the movements of the enemy further than the information from a despatch captured during the night, that the Fifth Corps was in camp about five miles from Gettysburg, and the Twelfth Corps was reported near Culp's Hill. As soon as it was light enough to see, however, the enemy was found in position on his formidable heights awaiting us.
The result of efforts during the night and early morning to secure Culp's Hill had not been reported, and General Lee sent Colonel Venable of his staff to confer with the commander of the Second Corps as to opportunity to make the battle by his left. He was still in doubt whether