Gen. Longstreet Keeps His Sense of Humor
At the critical moment in the Battle of Gettysburg, Gen. Longstreet was not in favor of the assault now known as Pickett’s Charge. He was so unwilling, he could not even bring himself to give Gen. Pickett the verbal order to begin the attack, barely able to nod his assent. Then he had to watch as the enemy’s guns confirmed his worst fears, cutting down the brave men making the doomed charge. It is somehow comforting to know that even after that fateful day, Gen. Longstreet managed to keep his sense of humor.
Lawley, the Austrian, and I walked up to the front about eight o’clock, and on our way we met General Longstreet, who was in a high state of amusement and good humour. A flag of truce had just come over from the enemy, and its bearer announced among other things that “General Longstreet was wounded and a prisoner, but would be taken care of.” General Longstreet sent back word that he was extremely grateful, but that, being neither wounded nor a prisoner, he was quite able to take care of himself.
—Daily Richmond Examiner, Oct. 8, 1863, printing an account by a British observer
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