Hill Camp of Confederate Veterans gathered in Petersburg, Va., for an evening of food, drink and nostalgia. Lee’s birthday, considered a national holiday in certain parts of the South. After the dishes were cleared away and the gentlemen sat back with their cigars and spirits, Battle was introduced as “one of the most distinguished officers in the [late] Confederate Army.” The 67-year-old general was well known as an “elegant and eloquent” public speaker whose words on more than one occasion had inspired men to heroic actions.The subject of his address was the Army of Northern Virginia’s greatest victory, the Battle of Chancellorsville.Links for our ticketing website are available in the Showtimes section. – 5 questions with the labs new post doc, Agathe in La Trobe Uni News.At the inquiry, Longstreet was not called to testify, according to Battle, probably because he was at that critical juncture preparing his corps, minus Pickett’s Division, to go west and join Braxton Bragg in Tennessee. He was summoned before the court and “examined” about his absence during the first two days of the battle. Stuart complained that the cavalry was being unfairly blamed for the debacle and that the defeat at Gettysburg should be laid at Longstreet’s feet for willfully failing to follow Lee’s wishes on July 2 and 3.The court specifically wanted to know why Stuart had failed to keep Lee informed “on the position of the enemy,” leaving the commander virtually blind on his march into Pennsylvania. The investigation was “long and careful,” Battle said, and “many officers were examined,” including Jones.
Mostly his address was a routine recitation of Confederate valor in the face of overwhelming odds, producing a glorious victory for Southern arms.
For eight days during the Gettysburg Campaign, Stuart—with the three best brigades of his cavalry division—had been completely out of touch with Lee’s headquarters while “passing around” the Army of the Potomac.
Stuart had not violated orders; those had come directly from Lee through his adjutant Charles Marshall, received by Stuart on June 22 or 23.
It focused on the conduct of James Ewell Brown “Jeb” Stuart and James Longstreet.
No surprises there; most Confederate veterans who had gone on record in recent years placed the blame for Gettysburg squarely on the shoulders of one or both senior officers.