Thursday, June 27, 2013

June 28, 1863 (Sunday): "..move in the direction of Gettysburg."

General Richard S. Ewell


           Chambersburg, June 28, 1863, 7.30 a.m.

Lieut. Gen. R. S. EWELL,
            Commanding Corps:

   GENERAL:  I wrote you last night, stating that General Hooker was reported to have crossed the Potomac, and is advancing by way of Middletown, the head of his column being at that point in Frederick County.  I directed you in that letter to move your forces to this point.  If  you have not already progressed on the road, and if you have no good reason against it, I desire you to move in the direction of Gettysburg, via Heidlersburg, where you will have turnpike most of the way, and you can thus join your other divisions to Early's, which is east of the mountains.  When you come to Heidlersburg, you can either move directly on Gettysburg or turn down to Cashtown.  Your trains and heavy artillery you can send, if you think proper, on the road to Chambersburg.  But if the roads which your troops take are good, they had better follow you.*

     R. E. LEE,

* Noted in letter-book as copied from memory.

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 27, Part 3, Page 944.

Ewell was farthest in advance and, on reports of Hooker crossing the Potomac, had to be called back closer to the main body of Lee's army.  Notice here how many of Lee's instructions are either conditional or permit discretion.

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