|E. Porter Alexander was Chief-of-Artillery for James Longstreet's I Corps, Army of Northern Virginia. On 2 July, Alexander's guns joined with the artillery of Mathis Henry of John B. Hood's division and Henry Cabell of Lafayette McLaw's division in support of Longstreet's assault on Daniel Sickles' III Corps.
On 3 July, Longstreet placed Alexander in command of the entire corps artillery in preparation for the assault on Cemetery Ridge. Longstreet, feeling that the assault was doomed to fail, asked Alexander to issue the orders to attack when he (Alexander) believed the time was ripe; Alexander declined to take this responsibility. After a furious cannonade, lasting more than an hour--there were reports that it could be heard as far west as Pittsburgh--Alexander informed Longstreet that he had barely enough ammunition left to support the assault, and that if there was to be one, Longstreet should order George Pickett, James Pettigrew, and Isaac Trimble to advance their divisions immediately.
In his recollections of the war, Alexander declares the 24-pounder field howitzer to have been his favorite artillery piece.
|Back to Little Round Top|