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Lynchburg May 2nd, 1876

Dear Colonel:

            As you have several times expressed the opinion that I have done Longstreet injustice in regard to the Battle of Gettysburg, I send you a copy of a letter from Governor Carroll of Maryland to Fitz Lee, the original of which the latter has sent to me, and is now before me.

            You will perceive that Genl Lee expressed to Gov Carroll the very same view that I had taken in regard to the loss of the battle; and you will also perceive that in expressed the same opinion of Longstreet as a soldier, that he had expressed to Ewell, Rodes, and myself, at the close of the first day at Gettysburg, only in different phraseology.

            You have been very unsparing in your condemnation of Ewell for not going in on the first as directed by General Lee through you, but remarkably lenient towards Longstreet for a much graver dereliction on the second. Ewell, in his report, candidly admits the orders given him, and states the reasons why he could not carry them out; but Longstreet does not acknowledge the orders which were unquestionably given to him, and endeavors to show that Genl Lee was responsible for the reverse at Gettysburg. 

            Of course you will observe the injunction of Governor Carroll in regard to the communication made to him.

Yours very truly,

JA Early

Col Walter H. Taylor


Source: The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, Box 8, M2009.418

Transcribed by Caitlin Connelly, 2016 July 19