War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0700 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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I also inclose a rough sketch, showing the bearings of the different roads diverging from Gettysburg.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.

Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant General.


Near Berlin,

July 18, 1863.

SIR: Having noticed in the newspapers certain statements bearing upon the battle of Gettysburg and subsequent operations, which I deem calculated to convey a wrong impression to your mind, I wish to submit a few statements. The successful issue of the battle of Gettysburg was due mainly to the energetic operations of our present commanding general prior to the engagement, and to the manner in which he handled his troops on the field. The reserves have never before during this war been thrown in at just the right moment. In many cases when points were just being carried by the enemy, a regiment or brigade appeared to stop his progress and hurl him back. Moreover, I have never seen a more hearty co-operation on the part of general officers than since General Meade took the command. As to not attacking the enemy prior to leaving his stronghold beyond the Antietam, it is by no means certain that the repulse of Gettysburg might not have been turned upon us. At any rate, the commanding general was in favor of an immediate attack, but with the evident difficulties in our way, the uncertainty of a success, and the strong conviction of our best military minds against the risk, I must say that I think the general acted wisely. As to my request to make a reconnaissance on the morning of the 14th, which the papers state was refused, the facts are, that the general had required me to reconnoiter the evening before, and give my opinion as to the practicability of making a lodgment on the enemy's left, and his answer to my subsequent request was that the movements he had already ordered would subserve the same purpose. We have, if I may be allowed to say it, a commanding general in whom all the officers with whom I have come in contact express complete confidence. I have said this much because of the censure and of the misrepresentations which have grown out of the escape of Lee's army.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,




President of the United States.


August 4, 1863.

GENERAL: In addition to my former report of general staff officers killed and wounded in the recent actions, I have to report the death of Captain J. J. Griffiths, aide-de-camp on my staff. He was wounded