“You should not advise Gen. Pickett to make the charge”

James Longstreet (1821-1904) to Edward Porter Alexander (1835–1910), July 3, 1863, with annotation of Alexander’s reply. Edward Porter Alexander Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress

If the artillery fire does not have the effect to drive off the enemy or greatly demoralize him so as to make our efforts pretty certain I would prefer that you should not advise Gen. Pickett to make the charge. I shall rely a great deal upon your good judgment to determine the matter.

This blog complements the Library of Congress exhibition, “The Civil War in America.” This series of posts chronicles the sacrifices and accomplishments of those—from both the North and South—whose lives were lost or affected by the events of 1861–1865. To learn more about the object featured in this blog entry, visit the online exhibition.