|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||American Civil War American history|
The Account of the Battle of Gettysburg is a narrative provided by Robert E. Lee while serving as an army general of the southern army. The submission directed to the headquarters of the Northern Virginia army gives a detailed account of the recent operations in pursuit of enemy troops advancing from the Fredericksburg. The account is captured in a letter addressed to the leadership of Confederate troops at the approximate time of the Gettysburg battle. It documents how the factors that led to the decision and why the Southern suffered heavy loss.
The source is written by the Confederate general from a clear perspective of the suffering his troops experienced fighting off the assault launched by the well-equipped Northerners. It captures a journalized event from the Confederate perspective and capturing considerations made to send his troops. The letter is apologetic to the relatives of men who lost lives, suffered injuries and missing. Besides, Lee's letter shows admiration of the officers and countrymen for enduring hardships and showing courage to fight for their independence. The source provides a journalized outline of the army operations supported by the dates and verifiable facts conveyed by General Ewell upon his active involvement in the battle. The chronological order of events captured in the letter shows narrates the development relative to the time. The letter is free from systematic bias as illustrated by the inclusion of successes and admittance of failures in the Gettysburg battle. The analytical approach adopted in the letter attains its primary purpose of informing his seniors and apologizing for the loss incurred in the inevitable battle.
The author of the letter is a Confederate army general who led his troops to fight the insurgence of the Northerners. His account reveals a man in authority and responsibility for the decisions executed by fellow countrymen. His active involvement in the battle enables the Lee to enumerate the battle triumphs, losses, and explanation for reasons. Being an army general gave the author access to the firsthand experience of the battle, a position that gives him reliable knowledge of the Gettysburg battle. His participation in the daily decisions that shaped the actions undertaken by the Southern troops makes him have reliable knowledge of the battle as it unfolded. Journalizing the battle in the letter addressed to the seniors permits an accurate reporting for one actively involved in the battle. His position as the general makes him accountable for the entire army assembled to defend the South. The loss suffered by the troops in the battle places him in a position where his account should commensurate with the factual evidence. Also, the number of wounded, killed and missing in the battlefield are verifiable facts that prevent him from giving a falsified account.
In conclusion, the document is a reliable primary source given that it gives a descriptive account of the Gettysburg battle from a man tasked with heading the southern contingent. Lee's active involvement in the battle in setting policies and decisions for the army makes him an informed party to journalize the proceedings as captured in the letter. I would want to examine the Map of the Gettysburg Battle to have a visual picture of finer details Lee had in the plan. The information captured in the letter can be collaborated in accompanying reports including the letter by Major General George Meade's submitting the account of the Gettysburg battle to the Potomac Army headquarters on October 1, 1863. The letter written from the Union perspective reveals the defeat of South troops at Gettysburg and acknowledging the severe loss suffered by the North through injuries, death and missing people as enumerated by Lee's account.
Lee, Robert E. "Robert E. Lee's Account of the Battle of Gettysburg (July 31, 1863)." The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, vol. 27, no. 1, 1863, pp. 114-119, www.wwnorton.com/college/history/eamerica/media/ch17/resources/documents/lee.htm>.16 October 2018.
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