James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927). History of the Civil War, 1861–1865. 1917.

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  spoke of the disaster was nothing short of sublime. “All this has been my fault,” he said. “It is I that have lost this fight.” 1  30   Again he said, “this has been a sad day for us, a sad day.” 2 The fate of two of Pickett’s brigadiers has been recorded; the third, Kemper, was “desperately wounded.” 3 “Seven of my colonels were killed,” wrote Pickett, “and one was mortally wounded. Nine of my lieutenant colonels were wounded and three were killed. Only one field officer of my whole command was unhurt and the loss of my company officers was in proportion.” 4 Two of the three brigades were under the command of majors when the battle was over. The casualties of the division of 5000 were nearly 2900.  31   Pickett was unhurt and no one of his staff appears in the list of killed and wounded. He set forth at the head of his troops but did not go forward to the Union line; he stopped part way. The words he wrote to his betrothed on the following day have the ring of sincerity, “Your soldier lives and mourns and but for you, he would rather, a million times rather, be back there with his dead to sleep for all time in an unknown grave.” 5 Nevertheless the question was naturally raised in the South whether he might share in the glory won by his division that day. History answering must follow the judgment of General Lee, who knew all the circumstances and was a preëminently truthful and impartial man. On July 9 Lee wrote to Pickett, “No one grieves more than I do at the loss suffered by your noble division in the recent conflict or honors it more for its bravery and gallantry.” In a later, undated letter, he
Note 1. Fremantle, 269. [back]
Note 2. Ibid., 268. [back]
Note 3. After a long while Kemper recovered. Pickett’s Men, Harrison, 103. [back]
Note 4. Pickett’s Letters, 107. [back]
Note 5. Ibid., 100. [back]