EWELL AND HOWARD COLLIDE
Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell, commander of the Second Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia, was testy. After a brilliant campaign into Pennsylvania, he seemed to have Harrisburg within his grasp. But, as he prepared to seize it, General Lee called him off and ordered him to assemble his corps in the Gettysburg-Cashtown area. Ewell sent off couriers to Early with orders recalling his division from York, and he started Johnson's division and the corps trains back down the Cumberland Valley toward Chambersburg. Then, in accordance with a later dispatch from General Lee, he rode south with Rodes's division, crossed South Mountain at Mount Holly Springs, and marched south to Heidlersburg, about ten miles north of Gettysburg on the Harrisburg Road. There he met Early's division coming west from York, and the two divisions bivouacked for the night, Rodes's at Heidlersburg and Early's three miles to the east. 1
Some of Ewell's testiness could have stemmed from his disappointment at being denied an attempt to capture Harrisburg, but he was a good soldier and probably would have reconciled himself to that. It must have resulted primarily from his uncertainty of the whereabouts of the Army of the Potomac. Also, he might have experienced some irritation over the nettling presence of Maj. Gen. Isaac R. Trimble, who had recently appeared to accompany him as a volunteer aide.
Trimble, a Baltimorean, was born in 1802 and was one of the oldest men in Lee's army. He graduated from West Point but had left the army in 1832 for a successful career in railroading in the mid-Atlantic region. When war came, he cast his lot with the Confederacy, and he had been an excellent