May 1, 2012
The Spy Monday, June 29, 1863
Taneytown, Pennsylvania, a town near Gettysburg. Harrison, a Confederate spy, discovers a large mass of Union troops moving north. The Union troops are moving dangerously close to the Confederate army. Harrison returns in the middle of the night to the Confederate camp and reports his discovery to General James Longstreet. Longstreet is skeptical at first, but Harrison convinces him that he has actually seen the Union troops. Longstreet quickly wakes up General Robert E. Lee, commander of the Confederate army. Lee is also skeptical, since he has sent General J. E. B. Stuart out with his cavalry to keep an eye on the movements of the Union army. But Longstreet believes that Stuart is out joyriding. Longstreet presses Lee to get the army moving west. Lee agrees, deciding to move toward a town called Gettysburg.
Chamberlain Monday, June 29, 1863
several miles south of Gettysburg. Union Colonel Joshua L. Chamberlain is awakened by Buster Kilrain, a former sergeant who was demoted to private after assaulting another officer. Kilrain informs him that their regiment, the Twentieth Maine, has just received 120 men from the Second Maine, which has been disbanded. The new men are mutineers, having expected to be sent home after the disbanding of their regiment. The men are now being kept under guard, and Chamberlain has orders to shoot any man who does not agree to march. Chamberlain is joined by his younger brother, Tom, also a member of the Twentieth Maine. Chamberlain obtains food for the mutineers, then meets with their leader. The leader tells him that the mutineers are tired of the war and the inept Union generals who have been running it, and they want to go home. Chamberlain knows he cannot let them go, but he also cannot bring himself to shoot them. He tells them his predicament, then gives a stirring speech in which he asks them to join the Twentieth Maine. All but six men agree.
Buford Monday, June 29, 1863
General John Buford, commander of the Union cavalry, enters Gettysburg with his two brigades: 2,500 men, all mounted on horses. Buford is scouting the land ahead of the Union army. He spots a brigade of Confederate infantry in the town, and he is surprised to see them apparently without cavalry. He decides to remain in Gettysburg and sends a message back to the infantry commander, General John Reynolds, telling him that he has occupied Gettysburg and expects an even larger Confederate force to arrive the next morning. Buford surveys the area around the town and notices its “high ground.” Buford rides through the middle of the town with his men. The townspeople are relieved to see Union troops. Buford decides to occupy the hills with his men. They dismount and get ready to fight on foot. He hopes to prevent the Confederates from taking the high ground the next day until Reynolds arrives with his troops.
Longstreet Monday, June 29, 1863
Confederate officers try to teach Lieutenant Arthur Fremantle, a British military observer, how to play poker. Longstreet muses on the upcoming battle. One of his aides, Sorrel, informs Longstreet that a soldier spotted Union cavalry in Gettysburg. The reporting officer’s commander, General Hill, thinks he must have seen a state militia, but Longstreet is not sure. Longstreet continues to brood, chatting briefly with Fremantle. General George Pickett, a good soldier and a perfumed dandy, arrives, much to everyone’s pleasure. Other officers under Pickett’s command also arrive: Lew “Lo” Armistead, Jim Kemper, and Dick Garnett. Pickett’s division has not had much action. Now, the division has been placed at the rear of the army. Pickett approaches Longstreet and asks that his division be moved up, but Longstreet refuses, adding that if the army has to turn and run, Pickett’s division will then be leading the fight to escape. Pickett leaves and Longstreet then talks to Armistead. Armistead’s old friend, General Winfield Hancock, is in the Union army, and Longstreet speculates that he may soon meet his friend—in battle. Longstreet tells Armistead that he would prefer to use defensive warfare tactics, such as trenches. Armistead replies that his ideas are sound, but that the Confederate army is not the army to try them out on. Besides, Armistead says, General Lee would never agree to defensive warfare, because he thinks it is somewhat dishonorable.
Lee Wednesday, July 1, 1863: The First Day
General Robert E. Lee rises. He is having some slight heart troubles and is taking things easy. He discusses the military situation with his aide, Taylor, noting that General Stuart has not reported back with the position of the Union army, thus leaving Lee blind. Several of Lee’s officers want Stuart to be court-martialed for his failure to report on the Union army, but Lee is fond of Stuart, who has been an excellent soldier until now. Lee tells General Longstreet that he is Lee’s most valuable officer and must not risk himself near the front in battle. Longstreet reports that the new commander of the Union army is George Meade. Longstreet adds that he believes Union cavalry have occupied Gettysburg. He suggests that the Confederate army swing around to the southeast of Gettysburg and put itself between the Union army and Washington, D.C., cutting the Union soldiers off from the capital and forcing them to attack. Lee is annoyed by Longstreet’s stubborn advocacy of defensive tactics and refuses to use them. As the two ride out to start the day’s march, they hear the sound of artillery fire in the distance.