Dear Col Gantt,
I wrote you today. Closed a ??? ??? at 4. p.m. and have just ??? you with "Third Day", by the return of Mail Carrier.
I acknowledge the justice of the criticism, it is an "omission" and as you show me, a greater sin than I thought it. But here are the facts. I was cramped for room. I had to omit much, very much. There was only a given amount of space, which I exceeded any how.
When they decided on three parts, three numbers ["three numbers" is inserted in text with carat], they should have given me more room. They gave me "all they could spare". I certainly have not attached to my paper half the importance or "interest" to any body, which you seem to attach to it. I was hard-pressed in ?????ing that charge has been more "hackneyed" then any thing else in the war. And it is "the same old story", and so I treated it. I was looked to for the "artillery account". I can touch your ["matter" is crossed out] points. There was no column. The troops came out of the woods (and after the smoke had disappeared) [Hunts parenthesis] in lines, in line ["in line" is inserted] as I state in my report and marched across straight under the artillery fire they seemed to me to drift, that fire came from our flank. They say they "changed
direction". A full account would have brought out my quarrel with Hancock and necessitated, in self defense a sharp criticism. I preferred to omit that, if I had to omit anything. "Picketts" charge can hardly be said to have been repulsed. The division on his left may have been repulsed, at least it withdrew. Picketts men marched up to the stone wall and there halted altho our men had shrunk from it (the wall). [the parenthesis is Hunts and "(the wall)" is inserted with a carat] Some Confederates ["Confederates" inserted] jumped over with Armistead. Webb was now holding up his men to their work, trying to urge them forward. I was perhaps 150 yards or 200 from him with ["with" is substituted for an illegible crossout] Rob Fitzhugh, and seeing Webbs trouble, ["trouble" is substituted for an illegible crossout] gallopped up to
aid him, his line still gave way ???? all really panic my horse and brought me between the lines so I got mixed up in the melee. My horse killed, and ["and" is underlined and the underlining is crossed out] when Stannards infantry came down on their flank the rebs threw down their arms, and passed into our lines. Lord bless you! it has been described ad nauseam. I could not take the necessary space besides I was "part of it" myself. And didnt care to describe it. I see it was to have been better. I have not the least idea that they can or will give the space now to cure it. ["now to cure it" is inserted] I may send yr letter to Mr. Johnson, the editor. I know him, but I doubt if others will care as much as you do, for it. They may give me more space. They
will do so I feel sure in the "Second Edition", to wit, when they republish all the articles in book form, not before. To repeat, I had to omit something. I omitted the parts most harped on by others. ["by others" is inserted] I wanted to notice specially Webb and Gibbon and Hancock the three commanders there, but I did not care to dwell on that part at which I was myself. ["And in" is crossed out] with which ??? Hancock writes very correctly and so clearly. Had I ????? so I certainly would have animadverted in
the causes that brought Pickett up to our line which he never ought to have reached.
I am very ["very" is inserted] inclined to think the omission is worse that I ever suspected, but what could I cut out to make the necessary room. Had they but given me the space occupied by Pleasantons and Custers horses. I might have had the room to do it. I did not intend to make any official claim for the artillery here.
Well this is a bad "apology" written late at night for the mail at daylight that may [illegible crossout] bring you this before you leave.