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[italics ours], doing all that splendid valor and heroic endurance could do to dislodge the enemy, but their heroism was in vain.”

And only a very few of the many post-bellum witnesses quoted from by Capt. Ashe claim any more than the official reports show. As to the value of these post-bellum statements, as compared with the "official reports" prepared at the time, we cannot do better than to quote from what Gen. Lane said in the article in the Southern Historical Society papers before referred to. He says, speaking of his own report of the battle of Gettysburg:

"I am sure the public will consider this official paper, written about a month after the battle, a more valuable historical document than the many recent articles written from memory, which is at all times treacherous, and as every Confederate soldier knows, particularly so as regards the incidents, etc., of our heroic struggle for independence."

He then goes on to give instances of the unreliability of these writings from memory.

We have heretofore said we could find no official report of this battle from Gen. Pickett. The following letter explains why this report was not published. It will be found in Series 1, Volume XXVII., Part III., page 1075, "Reb. Rec.," and is as follows:


"General:-You and your men have crowned yourselves with glory; but we have the enemy to fight, and must carefully, at this critical moment, guard against dissensions which the reflections in your report would create. I will, therefore, suggest that you destroy both copy and original, substituting one confined to casualties merely. I hope all will yet be well.

"I am, with respect, your obedient servant,

"R. E. LEE, General."

We make no comment on this letter, and when read in the light of the official reports, it would seem to need none.

We do not intend to be misunderstood. We have not done so and do not intend to reflect in any way on any of the North Caro

lina troops. On the contrary, we think, considering the fact that they were engaged and sustained heavy losses in the first day's battle, and were thus deprived of many of their brigade, regimental, and company officers they behaved with signal gallantry. But our contention and our only point is: that the present claim set up by North Carolina that her troops were farthest to the front" at Gettysburg is not sustained by the record.

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We have recently learned that our friends from North Carolina do not now claim that their men entered the enemy's works, as some of Pickett's did. Yet they say that inasmuch as at the point where Pickett's men struck these works they were farther advanced to the front than where Pettigrew's men struck them, and as "Capt. Satterfield and other North Carolinians of the Fiftyfifth North Carolina fell within nine yards of that wall. This settles (it) that the men from this State (North Carolina) fairly earned the title "Farthest at Gettysburg." (Note by the editor, "North Carolina Regiments, '61-'65," Vol. V., p. 101.)

We remark in the first place that the Fifty-fifth North Carolina was in Davis's Brigade, the farthest brigade to the left (save one) in the "charging column," and being without any support, as explained by Gen. Lane, we thought it was conceded that this brigade and Brockenbrough's were the first troops to give way.

But surely our friends are not basing their claim on any such narrow and technical ground as is here intimated, and as surely this is not the meaning they intended to convey by this claim. We might as well claim that the picket on the flank of Meade's army or captured within his lines was "farthest to the front." Every soldier knows that the "front" of an army is wherever its line of battle is (whether that line is zigzag or straight), and the opposing troops which penetrate that line are farther to the front than those which do not.

We have shown, we think, conclusively that the Virginians under Pickett did penetrate the enemy's line on the 3rd of July, '63, in the famous charge at Gettysburg, and that the North Carolinians, under Pettigrew and Trimble, did not.

Another ground on which, we understand, North Carolina bases this claim is that her losses in this battle were greater than those of Pickett. All the statistics of losses we have seen of the battle of Gettysburg include those in the different commands in all three days combined. Since, therefore, Pettigrew's and Trimble's men were engaged in the battles of the first day, as well as those of the third, and as Pickett's were only engaged on the third day, of course the losses of the first two divisions in the two days' battles were greater than those of the last named in the one day's battle. If our friends from North Carolina would adopt the language of her gallant son Capt. Ashe, from whom we have already quoted, and say of Gettysburg:

"It was, indeed, a field of honor as well as a field of blood, and the sister States of Virginia and North Carolina have equal cause to weave chaplets of laurel and cypress there," no one in Virginia would have just cause of complaint and certainly none would ever have come from this committee on this point. But when her claim is set forth in the invidious (and, we think, unjust) form it is, we think it not only our right but our duty to appeal to the record, and to set Virginia right from that record, and this is all we have tried to do.


AS TO CHICKAMAUGA: We have already protracted this report too far to warrant us in investigating the ground on which this claim is based by North Carolina. Virginia was at Chickamauga, too, along with North Carolina. We have always understood that these Virginia troops did their duty on this field as well as those from any other State. This is all we claim, and all that was claimed for North Carolina until very recently. We can only remark as to this belated claim that we have read the full and detailed report of this great battle, written by the commanding general, a native of North Carolina, and in it he nowhere refers to any specially meritorious services rendered by the few North Carolina troops there.


AS TO APPOMATTOX: The writer had been permanently disabled by wounds before Appomattox, and, therefore, cannot speak personally of what occurred there, and there are no official reports to appeal to. From what we have heard of the surroundings there the scattered condition of the different commands, the desultory firing, and the confusion incident to that event-we should think it difficult, if not impossible, to prove with any degree of certainty what troops were really entitled to the honor claimed there by North Carolina.

We do know, however, that this honor is claimed by troops from several of the Southern States; and we have heard it asserted with great plausibility that the last fighting was done by troops from Virginia. We cannot prolong this report to discuss the merits of these several claims, a discussion which would, in our opinion, be both fruitless and unsatisfactory.


In the Army of Northern Virginia nearly every Southern State was represented. The Confederate Secretary of War says of that army in his report of November 3, 1864, that it was one "in which every virtue of an army and the genius of consummate generalship had been displayed." And this, we believe, is the world's verdict. Is not this glory enough to give us all a share? Let us then not be envious and jealous of each other where all did their part so well.


Virginia makes no boast of the part borne by her in that, the greatest crisis of her history. She only claims that she did her duty to the best of her ability. She has, therefore, no apologies to make either for what she did or may have failed to do. It is true that she was somewhat reluctant to join the Confederacy, not because she had any doubt of the right of secession or of the justice of the Confederate cause, but only because of her

devotion to the Union of our fathers which she had done so much to form and to maintain from its foundation. But when she did cast her lot with her Southern sisters, she bore her part with a courage and devotion never surpassed; and the record shows this in no uncertain way. In the address issued and signed by every member of the Confederate Congress in February, 1864, not written by a Virginian, she is thus referred to:

"In Virginia the model of all that illustrates human heroism and self-denying patriotism, although the tempest of desolation has swept over her fair domain, no sign of repentance for her separation from the North can be found. Her old homesteads dismantled; her ancestral relics destroyed; her people impoverished; her territory made the battle ground for the rude shocks of contending hosts, and then divided with hireling parasites, mockingly claiming jurisdiction and authority, the Old Dominion still stands with proud crest and defiant mien ready to trample beneath her heel every usurper and tyrant, and to illustrate afresh her Sic Semper Tyrannis, the proudest motto that ever blazed on a nation's shield or a warrior's arms."

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On such testimony as this Virginia can safely rest her title to share equally with her Southern sisters in the "wealth of glory produced by the war, and this equality is all she asks or would have. She disdains to pluck one laurel from a sister's brow.


We have but little to add, since our last report, about the books used in our schools, as there has been no change in these so far as we know. We have received from the publishers, the American Book Company, a copy of the "School History of the United States," by Philip A. Bruce, Esq. This work is well-written, accurate in its statements, as far as we are capable of judging, well gotten up by the publishers, and is a very good school history. Mr. Bruce is a Virginian, and his book is therefore written from a Southern point of view. But we think he fails to state the South's position, in reference to the late war, as strongly as it can

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