Gettysburg Seminar Papers

GETTYSBURG 1895-1995:
The Shaping of an American Shrine

Memories of Little Round Top
Glenn LaFantasie
Deputy Historian at the U.S. Department of State in Washington D.C. and General Editor of The Foreign Relations of the United States

The place looks very different today than it did when the smoke of battle obscured its rocks and trees and the jagged lines of blue and gray clashed desperately, decisively, up and down its slopes. On July 2, 1863, Little Round Top became for the Union and Confederate soldiers who fought there a hill of blood and death, a landmark that would be forever etched in their memories. No one who was there would ever forget that ground—a hillside of diabase boulders and oak trees that shook from the bellowing sounds of battle as if a great volcano had exploded upon its summit. For those who tried to scale its heights, and for those who defended its ledges, this was not a place to be forgotten.

Yet when the men who had survived the ordeal of Little Round Top returned there after the war had ended, after the years of fighting had begun to drift further into each man's past, the hill did not look the same to them. It was not like they had remembered. The rocks and trees seemed different, although the signs of combat were still quite visible even twenty or thirty years after the battle. But they came to Little Round Top, just as soldiers of both sides also visited other portions of the battlefield, to remember where they had stood, where they had fought, and where their friends and brothers died. For these veterans, these old soldiers who had survived America's worst battle and the nation's worst cataclysm, their memories were a vital link to the past. In recalling what had happened at Gettysburg, the survivors of the battle could remind themselves—and the nation as a whole—of the human sacrifices that were made and the honors that were won on the field. Their memories became a path toward healing, a road toward reconciliation with their former enemies, because in remembering all that had taken place in this most horrible of battles they might also be able to forgive their foes—and begin, perhaps, to forgive themselves.

When William C. Oates returned to Gettysburg long after the smoke of battle had cleared, the slopes of Little Round Top looked somewhat unfamiliar and strange to him. Oates, who as a Confederate colonel had commanded the 15th Alabama at Gettysburg, a regiment in Law's brigade of Hood's division of Longstreet's corps in Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, had led a desperate assault on the afternoon of July 2, 1863, against the extreme left flank of the Union army on Little Round Top, defended by Colonel Joshua L. Chamberlain and the stalwart 20th Maine regiment. [1] Many years later, as Oates walked the ground where his men had fought for more than an hour trying unsuccessfully to dislodge Chamberlain's regiment from its strong defensive position, he discovered tress still scarred by the gashes of bullets, but some of those trees were located in places where Oates didn't realize that any fighting had occurred. Even after visiting the battlefield four times in the years following Appomattox, he still was forced to admit that the topography of Little Round Top, with all its boulders and ledges and swales and trees, caused him to be "confused in directions" and unsure of where some of the crucial events in his historic confrontation with the 20th Maine had taken place. [2]

Oates was not alone in his confusion. On October 3, 1889, veterans from the 20th Maine regiment, and a sizeable number of interested citizens and dignitaries from the State of Maine, gathered on the hillside of Little Round Top, amid its rough boulders and uneven terrain, to dedicate a monument to the regiment and its heroic defense of the Union left. When Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, the great "Hero of Little Round Top," gave his address, he must have created quite a stir in the crowd. He pointed out rather casually, although probably causing some pounding hearts among the Maine commissioners who had planned the monument and placed it on the hill, that the granite memorial was not located where it was supposed to be, at the center of the regiment's line on July 2. He didn't mean to criticize the commissioners for their judgement, he said, but the fact was that the real center was to the right of the new monument. Nevertheless, he declared that the error could be overlooked because the ledge upon which the memorial had been erected did become a "pivot of the whirlpool that raged around" the regiment on that bloody day. [3]

The memories of the participants were imperfect, although not everyone was willing to admit that his own recollections might be hazy or his backward glances might in any way be fallible. The Civil War generation seemed to be convinced that each witness, each man who had shouldered a musket, could recall every detail of that conflict at will, and that every memory of every happening was as sharp in their minds as they had been during the moments they had first experienced them. Inevitably, however, the Civil War veterans discovered that their memories did not coincide, and that often, whether between the former enemies of North and South, or even sometimes between comrades of the same armies, they could not agree over what had taken place, where it had happened, and what the outcome of the event had been, So, like soldiers have done since the dawn of time when they have learned that their memories differed to any considerable degree, they decided to fight it out for the sake of principle and conduct fierce campaigns to prove that one memory (their own) was right and that another (their opponent's) was wrong. For many of these old soldiers, the Civil War became a war of fiery and disagreeable words. [4]

William Oates was not looking for a fight—or a controversy—when he came up with the idea almost forty years after the battle to erect a monument at Gettysburg that would honor his regiment, the 15th Alabama, and his younger brother John, who had been mortally wounded during the 15th's repeated assaults against the 20th Maine on the afternoon of July 2. For all his years of service in the Army of Northern Virginia, and for all the battles he had been through, it was Gettysburg that still haunted him and tormented his memory. Oates, who had been wounded six times during the war and who had lost his right arm in 1864, had achieved great things after the Civil War. A lawyer and a self-made man, he entered politics during the Reconstruction years in Alabama and served seven terms as a U.S. Congressman from his home state. In the mid-1890s, he was elected governor for one term and ran unsuccessfully as a candidate for the U.S. Senate. When the Spanish-American war broke out, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and gained a commission as a brigadier general, though he never was assigned to a combat command as he hoped he would be. After the war, he returned to Montgomery, where he remained active in state politics and built up a thriving law practice. [5]

But for all of his endeavors, all of his many accomplishments, he could not get Gettysburg out of his mind. The memory that plagued him the most was of his lost brother, whom Oates had left behind on Little Round Top when the 15th Alabama had been thrown back by the 20th Maine's furious counterattack. Lieutenant John A. Oates had been a playmate and a friend, a colleague and a student. In the 1850s, William ran away to Texas, thinking he had killed a man in Alabama; it was John who found him and persuaded him to return home. Back in Alabama, William straightened out his life by acquiring a formal education, reading the law with a prominent firm and passing the bar. It was William's fascination with the law that convinced his younger brother to enter the same profession. When the war came, John joined another regiment but later transferred to the 15th Alabama. William Oates assumed command of the regiment in the spring of 1863, and he was glad to have John in the ranks, but he was equally worried that something awful might happen to his brother as the regiment faced one gruelling battle after another. [6]

The worst happened at Gettysburg on the hillside of Little Round Top, where John Oates went down, struck by seven bullets. He was left between some boulders on the 15th Alabama's left flank, and although a small party of men tried to retrieve the regiment's wounded later that night, the expedition failed. John was removed to the Union Fifth Corps hospital behind the lines. He was kindly cared for by a nurse named Miss Lightner and a doctor named Reid. Twenty-three days after the battle, John Oates died. His personal effects were transported to his brother under a flag of truce. Many years after John's death, his older brother said: "We were not only brothers, near the same age, but had been reared together, and no brothers loved each other better." [7] William Oates missed his brother every day for the rest of his life.

So it seemed fitting in 1902, as Oates approached his seventieth year, that he wanted to remember his lost brother and his brave regiment with a lasting memorial on Little Round Top. He hoped to dedicate the monument on the thirty-ninth anniversary of the battle in July, but he received some discouraging news early in the year when the three battlefield commissioners, who administered the national park for the War Department, disagreed over Oates's proposal. Undeterred, Oates that spring sent to the commissioners (despite their failure to approve his plans) a design, measurements, and inscription, and instructions for the stone monument to be cut by the summer, when he planned to return from a European tour in time to supervise the placing of the marker on the slopes of Little Round Top. [8]

By the following September, after spending the spring and most of the summer in Europe, Oates had heard nothing at all from the Gettysburg commissioners about his monument. Reopening his communication with the commission, but worried that mail had somehow gone astray, he wrote directly to William M. Robbins, a major in the 4th Alabama Infantry during the war, who now served as the "Southern" member of the three-man battlefield commission. He asked Robbins to notify him about the progress that had been made on the monument. [9]

Meanwhile, Robbins was getting nervous about Oates's letter. To be sure, he and his fellow park commissioners—the other two were Colonel John P. Nicholson and Major Charles A. Richardson, both Union veterans—had faced some delicate matters in the years they had served together administering the battlefield. Since 1895, when the War Department took over the preservation of the battlefield from the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association, the three commissioners had dealt with the difficult task of laying out miles of roads and marking the location of unit positions—Union and Confederate—with historical tablets. In 1896, they won a landmark case in the U.S. Supreme Court against the Gettysburg Electric Railway Company, which had threatened to deface a portion of the field by running a trolley line for tourists through such natural landmarks as Devil's Den and the Wheatfield. The commissioners were no strangers to handling difficult situations and making sure that the battlefield was a place of patriotic pride. [10]

But Oates's letter left Robbins uneasy. Although Robbins had undertaken a personal crusade to convince his fellow Southerners to erect memorials on the battlefield to units of the Army of Northern Virginia, he was bothered by Oates's desire to establish a monument honoring only one regiment of General Evander M. Law's brigade—the same brigade that included Robbins's old regiment. Robbins felt that the 4th Alabama, which had rolled up Little Round Top with the rest of Law's brigade on July 2, deserved as much credit for that day's fight as the 15th Alabama did. So he asked Nicholson and Richardson to turn down Oates's request by claiming that the commission "should not favor giving any single regiment on either side conspicuous notice." But he also wanted his two fellow commissioners to assume the blame for rejecting Oates's proposal without dragging his name into the matter. [11]

Despite his desire to distance himself from any negative decision about Oates's monument, Robbins chose to write Oates that it was highly unlikely that the 15th Alabama memorial could be placed where Oates wanted it to go because the commissioners operated under restrictions that were first set forth by the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association, a group chartered in 1864 that had cared for the battlefield until the legislation creating the Gettysburg National Park was signed into law by President Grover Cleveland on February 11, 1895. One rule, which the memorial association had erratically enforced, required units to place their monuments where they had formed their line of battle before going into combat and essentially prohibited locating the monuments on the spot where the actual fighting had occurred. [12]

The suggestion angered Oates, who fired back a response to Robbins and declared that the rule would effectively mean that Union regiments could place their monuments where they did most of their fighting, since those places tended to be the same as where the Union regiments had formed their lines of battle, and that Confederate units would be banished to remote locations on the battlefield. Indeed, under the park rule the 15th Alabama would have to put its monument on Confederate Avenue along Warfield Ridge, a mile or so from where it fought on Little Round Top. Oates pointed out that he and other former Confederates in Congress had voted to approve the enabling legislation for the Gettysburg national park, but, he explained, "never with a view to such a rule as that." Several weeks later, after putting his anger aside, Oates submitted a formal application to the commissioners for permission to erect a monument on Little Round Top and enclosed a resolution passed by eighty-nine survivors of the 15th Alabama endorsing Oates's proposed location. [13]

When he received no reply to his petition, Oates wrote directly to Colonel Nicholson, the chairman of the battlefield commission, and asked for prompt action or else he would have to submit his request through Congress to the Secretary of War. Nicholson, who seems to have been put off by Oates's threats to call on political connections to get his application approved, answered Oates by actually inviting him to send a formal request to the Secretary of War. But Nicholson, who was a skillful bureaucrat, also claimed that the commission as a whole had simply deferred to Major Robbins in dealing with any requests made for Confederate monuments. [14] Apparently Nicholson wanted to avoid being personally blamed for rejecting the monument if Oates managed to get political backing for his proposal.

Bureaucrats must sometimes take calculated risks, and in this case the price Nicholson paid for covering himself from the effects of any political pressure from outside the War Department resulted in a different kind of unpleasantness closer to home—a divisiveness among his fellow commissioners. Robbins, for one, was furious when he read Nicholson's letter to Oates. He told Nicholson that he resented being cast as the "main authority and the umpire" in the matter over a monument for the 15th Alabama, which was precisely what he had not wanted to happen. As far as he was concerned, his service in the 4th Alabama created a conflict of interest in handling Oates's proposal—not simply because he, like Oates, had served as an officer in Law's brigade, but also because he felt the 4th Alabama deserved a monument on Little Round Top as much as the 15th did. [15]

But what Robbins did not admit was that the division among the commission members had followed a fairly predictable course. As the Southern member, he was being singled out for blame—or if not for blame, then at least he was being singled out—by Nicholson and Richardson, the two Northern members of the commission. To Oates, Robbins made the point that if his fellow Alabamian could win the support of the two Northern commissioners and of the Secretary of War, the 15th Alabama would get its monument, although Robbins added that he thought such an approval was pretty doubtful. [16]

Dutifully Oates forwarded his formal application through his Congressman, Ariosto A. Wiley, to the Secretary of War, Eilihu Root, and indicated that he had declined the offer made by the Gettysburg commissioners, through Major Robbins, to place the monument on Confederate Avenue. On February 19, 1903, Secretary Root followed routine and referred the petition to the Gettysburg commissioners. [17] The bureaucratic gears had been cranked.

Hoping he might have a chance this time to get favorable results, Oates notified Nicholson that he would rewrite the memorial's inscription later and would get more precise about the location after the monument had been approved. For the time being, though, Oates wanted Nicholson to know roughly where he intended to put the monument—somewhere along where his left, he said, had pushed back Chamberlain's right—and around the slope some distance from where the 4th Alabama, Major Robbin's regiment, had become separated from Oates's command during the fighting. Thinking that the commissioners might give up their notion of putting the monument on Confederate Avenue if only they could better understand what the 15th Alabama had gone through on the second of July, Oates wrote a long account of the Little Round Top assault for Robbins and asked that his request for a monument be considered in light of his regiment's sacrifices and its dead that were left on the hill's bloody slopes. "I mean no disrespect to any other regiment in the brigade," Oates said pleadingly, "but when I am dead and gone I want to leave a little stone on the spot where my brother and others were killed." [18]

His detailed references to the fight for Little Round Top had some unanticipated consequences. Although the commissioners had previously maintained that their opposition to Oates's proposed monument was based on the battle line rule, the issue of conflicting historical memories suddenly seemed to dominate the controversy. In response to Oates's description of the battle, Robbins wrote to Nicholson that Oates was mistaken about the relative positions of the Confederate regiments that had attacked Little Round Top. "I's sure," said Robbins, "I was within about 100 yards of where Gen. O. must have been." Confused by Oates's account, Robbins could not reconcile the fact that Oates somehow believed "he was far off to himself in the fight there." A few days later Robbins wrote Nicholson again, this time giving the commission chairman an even more detailed description of the location of the regiments in Law's brigade during the attack on Little Round Top. "All these regiments on both sides [of the hill] were in close touch with each other," Robbins remembered, "and it is a mistake to say that either regiment on either side fought a separate fight off to itself." [19]

In early February, Major Richardson had drafted for the commission a formal reply to Oates's petition but the letter, for reasons that are unclear, was not sent. During the first week of March, however, the commissioners decided that the time was right to let Oates know where they stood and they forwarded the Richardson draft to the Secretary of War as their official answer. The letter granted the commission's approval for Oates to erect a monument to the 15th Alabama, but only if "such monument is placed on its Brigade line now marked by a Brigade Tablet with an inscription stating what and where its movements and engagements were during the battle." In other words, the commission ruled that Oates's monument could only be placed on Confederate Avenue. There was no mention in the official response to any disagreements over Oates's account of the battle. [20] The commissioners assumed that the War Department would obtain the clearance of the Secretary of War and then the letter would be forwarded to Congressman Wiley, so that all the proper channels would be followed. [21]

More than two months passed, however, and Oates received no word from the commissioners, the War Department, or Congressman Wiley about his application. Apparently the War Department was as efficient in those days as the Pentagon is today, and somehow the reply to Oates's petition had been lost or forgotten in the office of the Secretary of War. When the matter was brought to Secretary Root's attention, he chose not to send the commission's response to Oates and instead had a shorter letter drafted that invited Oates to visit the battlefield and work out his differences with the three commissioners. [22]

Oates took this opportunity to deal directly with Root and wrote the secretary a long letter that repeated a description of his regiment's attack on Little Round Top, its position on the hill and the fact that it turned the right flank of the 20th Maine during the assault, and his desire to erect a modest memorial to his dead brother and the other heroes of the 15th Alabama. He also observed, with considerable annoyance, that Robbins seemed to be the commissioner who objected the most to his proposal and who insisted on locating the monument on Confederate Avenue. He hoped the Secretary would grant permission for a Confederate marker to be placed where the fighting had actually occurred. If not, said Oates, "it shows that the bitterness engendered by the Civil War has not completely subsided." Root, without replying himself, forwarded Oates's letter to the source of the problem—the Gettysburg commissioners. [23]

The situation seemed to be right back where it had started, except that conflicting memories of the battle continued to impede Oates's application, making the case even more complicated than it had been when Oates had first made his request to the commissioners. As anyone might have expected, Robbins was terribly offended by Oates's most recent letter to Secretary Root. Trying to clarify that he had written nothing to Oates that was not approved by his fellow commissioners, and that he was not the only voice on the commission that was opposed to putting the monument on the hillside of Little Round Top, Robbins told Oates that he believed the commissioners' rules for the placement of memorials were good ones and should be obeyed. "I have thought it was no more than just & fair to myself to say this much to you as an old comrade," Robbins wrote. [24]

But what he did not say was that he seriously doubted the accuracy of Oates's account of the battle. Hoping to catch Oates in as many errors as possible, Robbins dashed off a note to Evander M. Law, the brigade commander who had ordered the 15th and 4th Alabama regiments into battle at Gettysburg, to question Oates's claim that Law had put seven companies of the 47th Alabama under Oates's command prior to the attack on Little Round Top. Robbins said that he had "recently heard rumors" to this effect and now wanted to know if the delegation of command had been so ordered by General Lee. There is no record that Law ever replied to Robbins, although Oates later maintained that he had received his own confirmation of the controversial order in a letter from Law. [25]

As Oates's irritation at Robbins and the rest of the commissioners grew more intense as each week passed in the summer of 1903, the battlefield commissioners found themselves increasingly annoyed by Oates's various threats to take his case to Congress or to write up the controversy in a book on the Civil War he was about to publish. Not willing to be intimidated and wanting somehow to buttress the commission's case, Nicholson sent Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, the former commander of the 20th Maine who in a month would be seventy-five years old, a copy of Oates's most recent letter to secretary Root and asked him to comment on whether Oates's statements were, as the commission suspected, "at variance with the records." [26] No doubt Nicholson expected Chamberlain's memory of the fight for Little Round Top to be more trustworthy than Oates's recollections.

Nicholson was, in a sense, calling on the most expert witness anyone could find. Chamberlain was a highly respected hero of the Army of the Potomac whose fame derived not only from his brave deeds on Little Round Top, but also from a number of other courageous acts throughout the war. Popular with his men and his superior officers, Chamberlain had been promoted to brigade command after Gettysburg and in 1864 after being seriously wounded in a futile assault against Confederate defense at Petersburg, had received a field promotion to brigadier general by Ulysses S. Grant. Wounded a total of six times in battle, Chamberlain was given the honor at Appomattox of receiving the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia on April 12, 1865. After the war, he served four terms as governor of Maine and twelve years as president of Bowdoin College. In 1893, the War Department awarded him a Medal of Honor for his intrepid defense of Little Round Top. In lectures and newspaper interviews, Chamberlain often told the story of the 20th Maine and the saving of the Union left flank on the second of July, and his description of the battle, which did not vary much in the different tellings over the years, became accepted as the standard account of what had happened that day. [27]

Chamberlain probably surprised the commissioners when he told them he would have no objection to a monument honoring the 15th Alabama on Little Round Top. But, more to their liking, Chamberlain also said that such a memorial would have to be placed "on ground where it [i.e., the 15th Alabama regiment] actually stood at some time during the that it might not only represent the valor of a regiment but the truth of history." And that was the rub. Chamberlain acknowledged that Colonel Oates's statements about the battle differed widely "from the well established record of facts." After giving a full account of how he recalled the fight, Chamberlain declared that Oates never could have driven the 20th Maine's right wing back upon its left—the most glaring of several discrepancies he could cite in Oates's letter to the Secretary of War. [28] Without saying so, Chamberlain made a very forceful point. Oates's memory was wrong about the battle, so it was likely that the place where he wanted to locate his monument would be historically inaccurate as well.

Chamberlain's comments were just what Nicholson had hoped for. Without hesitation or qualification, he declared Chamberlain was right and Oates was wrong about the battle, and he asked Chamberlain if he had any objection to letting Secretary Root see his letter. Chamberlain was more than happy to be of assistance, so Nicholson sent a copy of the letter to the Secretary along with an acknowledgment that Oates would have to visit the battlefield to clear up his statements that seemed so far off the historical mark. [29]

Meanwhile, Oates himself was not idle. Making good his threats for political action, Oates succeeded in getting the Alabama legislature to pass a joint resolution in early October 1903 that called upon the state's congressional delegation to look into the monument controversy by asking the Secretary of War why he had withheld permission for the erection of the memorial on Little Round Top. Around the same time, a fellow Alabamian, William R. Houghton, who had served in a Georgia regiment during the war (but whose brother, Mitchell, had served in the 15th Alabama), wrote a series of newspaper articles complaining about the management of the Gettysburg battlefield and the commission's handling of Southern memorials. "If the government does not allow confederate monuments where the commands fought," said Houghton, "the field will always be one sided history." Houghton also wrote directly to Robbins, enclosing the resolution of the Alabama legislature and asking Robbins to convince his fellow commissioners to reconsider their stand on the 15th Alabama monument and Southern monuments in general. To Nicholson and Secretary Root, Houghton sent copies of his newspaper articles and asked them to abandon the battle line rule. [30]

Southern protests to the monument policies of the Gettysburg commission were not limited to Oates and his friends alone. Despite Robbins's vigorous efforts as the Southern member of the commission to convince former Confederate states to erect memorials at Gettysburg, no Southern state (except for Maryland) had agreed to do so. Southern expectations had been raised by the park's enabling legislation of 1895 that instructed the Secretary of War to preserve and mark the battle lines of both Union and Confederate forces, and while the battlefield commissioners had gone about that task with alacrity, the strict enforcement of the battle line rule upset many former Confederates and convinced them that Gettysburg was unlike other national battlefield parks at Chickamauga and Shiloh, where no such restrictions had been placed on the location of memorials. A growing spirit of reconciliation throughout the country seemed to argue against the battle line prohibition, but the Gettysburg commissioners and the War Department refused to yield to Southern pressures, even though the park authorities at the same time wished to demark Confederate positions on the battlefield in a more authoritative manner. [31]

In reply to Houghton's public attacks, Robbins wrote several pieces for the Southern press in which he decried Houghton's erroneous descriptions of the battlefield at Gettysburg and defended the battle line rule. The tablets with inscriptions located along Confederate Avenue, argued Robbins, "are placed where everybody who visits Gettysburg battlefield sees and reads them without inconvenience; whereas if they were placed among the rugged rocks and steeps of Devil's Den and vicinity not one visitor in a hundred would ever know of their existence." [32] Nicholson sent copies of Robbins's replies along to Secretary Root, having learned of Houghton's direct communication with the War Department. The controversy over Oates's monument was mushrooming rather than shrinking, and now the Alabama legislature, the Alabama congressional delegation, and the press were all involved. [33]

Oates's intensified campaign proved to be very effective, for it caused something of a crisis among the Gettysburg commissioners. Nicholson knew the commission must answer in some fashion the resolution of the Alabama legislation, but his fellow commissioners were not quite sure what should be said in reply. By the beginning of the new year, Nicholson came up with a rough draft of a reply and circulated it to his colleagues. By mid-January, the commissioners settled on a final text and sent it in the form of a letter to Secretary Root. In this communique, the commissioners claimed that Oates had never submitted a request that designated the location of the monument or a design with a proposed inscription for the memorial. [34]

The postulation was not only disingenuous, it was blatantly false. Oates had on several occasions indicated the general location of the monument and he also, in the spring of 1902, had sent Robbins a sketch of the monument and a suggested inscription. Later the commission's own engineer, Captain Emmor B. Cope, had prepared more finished drawings for Oates. Even though Oates had later retracted the early design and inscription, and had reserved the right to postpone pinpointing the precise location of the monument until after the commission approved on principle the erection of a Confederate memorial on Little Round Top, Robbins knew that Oates had complied with commission rules in the regard and he warned Nicholson to delete the passages dealing particularly with Oates's alleged failure to submit a design and inscription. Apparently Nicholson chose to ignore Robbins's recommendations. [35]

By the end of January, Secretary Root approved the reply from the commissioners to Oates, and copies were sent to Oates and the members of the Alabama congressional delegation. [36] Root's action prompted Oates to redouble his efforts, and he turned again for assistance to Alabama Congressman Wiley, who personally applied to Nicholson for application papers pertaining to the erection of monuments on the battlefield. [37] Oates opened another front in his campaign by asking the Army's Adjutant General for information about erecting monuments at Gettysburg. And, in a very formal letter, Oates asked Nicholson directly for applications and instructions about how to gain permission to erect a memorial on the field. Of course, all of Oates's inquiries, and Wiley's, and the referrals from the Adjutant General's office in the War Department all landed on Nicholson's desk. [38] The Oates problem was running into a bureaucrat's worst nightmare.

Actually, there were no formal application papers for putting up monuments, and Nicholson informed Oates of this fact in mid-April 1904, but only after pointing out to Oates that his first request had not been "turned down" by the commission; instead, Oates had failed to abide by the regulations of the park. But what Oates had really accomplished was a small and remarkable miracle—his request for a monument, though resolutely hindered and undermined by the commission, had not died, and the commissioners (or the Secretary of War) still owed Oates an official answer to his petition. Suddenly, and with the loyal help of Congressman Wiley, Oates acceded to the commission's desires in the summer of 1904 and visited Gettysburg for the purpose of locating the exact piece of ground where he wanted his monument to go on Little Round Top. He was about to show the Gettysburg commissioners the spot that had aroused so much suspicion, so much controversy over the past two years. [39]

Things did not work out exactly as he had hoped they would. Oates traveled first to Washington City, where he joined forces with Congressman Wiley and Judge and Mrs. R. B. Kyle of Alabama, and the foursome went on to Gettysburg by train. There Oates met Robbins and Richardson (Nicholson excused himself for the afternoon), and the party rode up to Little Round Top by omnibus. Richardson refused to get out of the vehicle, but Oates and Robbins walked the ground together and examined the place where Oates wanted the monument to be located—on a boulder behind the lines of the 20th Maine. [40]

Later that evening, at the hotel in town, Nicholson met the group and convened an informal meeting of the battlefield commission, which heard Oates's case presented in person. But just when everything seemed to be going so well, Nicholson pulled out a piece of paper from his jacket and announced that it was a letter from Joshua L. Chamberlain. Nicholson said that Chamberlain had raised serious questions about Oates's account of the battle and had denied that the 15th Alabama ever advanced as far up the hillside as Oates had claimed. Understandably, Oates was outraged by Nicholson's maneuver, but he knew at once what it meant. While it is not certain how the meeting in the Gettysburg hotel ended, whether in a loud altercation or a quiet hush, Oates later maintained that his application for a memorial was "turned down" by the commissioners at this time on the basis of Chamberlain's unfavorable testimony. [41] The battle of memories was once more dashing Oates's hopes for a monument.

Oates, however, did not give up the fight. As soon as he returned to Montgomery, "a little fatigued" from the long trip, he wrote to Robbins and noted that Chamberlain was "not accurate in his statements, [and] his memory is at fault in some respects." In Oates's opinion, Chamberlain suffered from an overt case of inflated ego. "He is like many others on both sides at this late date who are disposed to make themselves the whole push," wrote Oates. Regardless, Oates felt that his application—no matter what Nicholson had stated at the Gettysburg meeting—was still under consideration, and he asked Robbins to send back the old monument sketches he had submitted two years ago and a map so that Oates could mark the intended location on paper. In a few weeks, Oates was dealing directly, and fruitfully, with Captain Cope, the Gettysburg park engineer, on monument designs and blueprints. As if by magic, Oates's plans were moving forward, and the Gettysburg commissioners—for the first time— seemed willing to cooperate with him and help his dream along. Even Nicholson, who seems to have experienced a momentary change of heart, wrote encouragingly to Oates about calling in a Gettysburg "granite man" to offer some estimates on the monument's proper size. [42]

Nevertheless, the question of Chamberlain's doubts persisted, and Oates found himself arguing more vigorously as the summer wore on that Chamberlain's assertions simply "will not do." Particularly vexing, Oates told Robbins, was Chamberlain's fierce denial that his right wing had ever been pushed back during the Little Round Top fight. Oates may have had some lapses of memory in the past, and even some confusion over where every event had taken place on Little Round Top. But there was one thing of which he was absolutely sure. "Just as sure as your name is Robbins and Oates," he wrote, "my regiment not only overlapped his [i.e., Chamberlain's] left flank but drove the 20th Maine from that position back to showed you[,] but not too for." In response, Robbins pleaded that he could not solve this difference of opinion. To Nicholson, Oates said plainly that he was right and Chamberlain was wrong. [43]

But Nicholson was worried, as any good bureaucrat would be, by Chamberlain's conflicting memory of what had happened on Little Round Top. Although he was now encouraging Oates to work with a Boston stone cutter on the monument, he wrote to Oates in January 1905 and asked if he would be willing to submit a statement that Chamberlain could review for historical accuracy, because the commission, Nicholson said with unintentional irony, wished "to avoid any controversy in these matters." Oates, who had instructed the Boston firm to cut the monument for six hundred dollars, emphatically declined Nicholson's invitation and observed "that I have no hope of an agreement with General Chamberlain." Reiterating that he drove Chamberlain's regiment back up the hillside until he reached a boulder behind the point where the 20th Maine's flank markers on Little Round Top indicated its line, Oates identified the spot on a rough map to show Nicholson the place he had pointed out to Robbins the summer before. He closed his letter by saying: "I am not vain or boastful enough, if I ever was in my old age[,] to perpetrate a falsehood forty-two years after the occurrence by erecting a monument to the memory of my dead comrades on ground they never reached in their assault." [44]

Nicholson, however, remained in doubt. To ease his concern, he called on Chamberlain again by sending him a copy of the letter in which Oates expressed his pessimism over ever reaching an agreement with Chamberlain about the events that had occurred on Little Round Top. Naturally, as Nicholson must have anticipated, Chamberlain was greatly offended. Oates, he said, "seems to have satisfied himself that I am incorrigible on the point he wishes to establish." Whatever Nicholson's purpose in sending him Oates's letter, and from every angle it would appear that Nicholson was hoping to stir up trouble, Chamberlain wanted to state for the record that he was not going to modify his interpretation of the battle. He repeated his belief that his right wing never wavered or moved away from the anchor it had established with the 83rd Pennsylvania next to it in line. "I cannot change the facts," Chamberlain said. "The matter of monuments," he told Nicholson, "is in your charge, not mine." All he wanted was for the 15th Alabama monument to be located "in accordance with historic truth." [45]

Delighted with Chamberlain's reply, Nicholson hurried a copy of it to Oates. Predictably, Oates reaction was explosive. No longer willing to restrain himself, he scratched off a passionate response directly to Chamberlain, his old enemy, his current nemesis. "General," Oates wrote in am admonishing tone, "neither of us are as young as we were when we confronted each other on Littie Round Top." In the intervening forty-two years, their memories had become less clear and less certain. Oates said he had no desire to dispute Chamberlain's word, "for you are an honorable gentleman." Nevertheless, Oates insisted that the 15th Alabama had driven back the right wing of the 20th Maine and had reached a point behind the 20th's marked lines on the hillside. If Chamberlain was unaware of this fact, perhaps it was because the fog of war, had obscured his perspective. "No one man," said Oates, "can see all that occurs in a fight even between two regiments." In any event, Oates reversed himself and affirmed that if he and Chamberlain could meet on Little Round Top, they would probably agree on most of the particulars and argue only over the smaller incidentals. [46]

Oates was wrong. Their memories divided them deeply, fundamentally, irreparably. Chamberlain answered Oates with a long letter that essentially delivered a coup de grace. He insisted, one more time, that he had never objected to Oates's proposal for a monument, but he did express the firm belief that it should placed accurately on ground the 15th Alabama had occupied. Chamberlain said his statements were made independently to the Gettysburg commissioners, and Colonel Nicholson had not based any decision on Chamberlain's "testimony or influence." As for the historical record, Chamberlain asserted once again that the 15th Alabama had never pushed back the right of the 20th Maine. Oates's statements to the contrary were faulty. "It is really my desire to have your monument set up," Chamberlain said in closing, "only let us make sure of our ground for the sake of historical fact." Chamberlain sent a copy of his letter to Nicholson, who was overjoyed when he read it. "It is very clear," Nicholson wrote back to Chamberlain with enthusiasm, "that General Oates has not the slightest idea of admitting the views of any one in the controversy except himself." As far as the commission was concerned, the matter was now in the hands of the Secretary of War to decide. [47]

And that's where the matter remained. The Secretary of War took no further action on the monument proposal. Elihu Root never sent Oates a formal reply rejecting the monument, and the Gettysburg commissioners gave Oates only their barest attention through the remaining months of 1905.

The controversy slowly slipped from view. William Robbins died in September 1905, and his place on the commission was filled by a Virginian, Major General Lunsford L. Lomax, who had served in Jeb Stuart's cavalry at Gettysburg. Oates tried to carry on his crusade with Lomax, before a location of any monument to the 15th Alabama could be finally determined. In the spring of 1906, Oates leaned on the Alabama delegation and other friends in Congress to get behind the monument cause again, but Lomax thwarted the political pressure by raising the Chamberlain specter one more time. "It will be difficult to satisfy this claim," Lomax told Congressman J.F.C. Talbot of Maryland. He did say, however, that Chamberlain was willing to meet Oates on the battlefield and see if an agreement could be reached between the two old warriors. [48]

Oates was at the end of his road. He never met Chamberlain on Little Round Top to sort out their differences; in fact, he never returned to Gettysburg before his death in September 1910. Earlier that year, in January 1910, Nicholson succeeded in getting the Secretary of War and the President to confirm the battle line rule once and for all, but with one slight modification: henceforth, markers and tablets could be erected on the field in honor of individuals who, in the opinion of the Secretary of War, had demonstrated "conspicuous and exceptional" acts of heroism during the battle. President William Howard Taft signed the regulations on January 18. That same day Senator Eugene Hale of Maine sent the Secretary of War a blueprint, approved by the Gettysburg battlefield commission, that marked the location on Little Round Top for a proposed statue of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. [49]

Gone forever are the memories of Oates and Chamberlain, like voices on the wind. We can never really recapture what they saw, what they think they saw, and all that they could — and could not — remember about Little Round Top. Chamberlain died in 1914. Today there is no statue of him on Little Round Top. Nor is there a monument to the 15th Alabama on that hillside, although William Oates certainly tried his level best to put one there. For Chamberlain and Oates, the tide of reconciliation between North and South that was sweeping across the nation during the first decade of the twentieth century could not overcome the sharp animosities of former foes, one the victor and the other the vanquished. Unlike their comrades, Union and Confederate, who would shake hands at the High Water Mark when the great Gettysburg reunion commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of the battle in July 1913, these two old men could not see eye to eye, could not stop fighting their old war. Some wounds never heal. In the end, it seems that Chamberlain—with considerable help from the Gettysburg commissioners and from the foggy confusion caused by fallible memories—won as clear a victory in the second battle of Little Round Top as he had won in the first.


1. The fight between the 15th Alabama and the 20th Maine on Little Round Top is described in several standard accounts, including William C. Oates, "Gettysburg—The Battle on the Right," Southern Historical Society Papers, 6 (1878), 172-182; Joshua L. Chamberlain, "Through Blood and Fire at Gettysburg," Hearst's Magazine, 23 (1913), 894-909; John J. Pullen, The Twentieth Maine: A Volunteer Regiment in the Civil War (Philadelphia, 1957), 82-142; Edwin B. Coddington, The Gettysburg Campaign: A Study in Command (New York, 1968), 398-394; Harry W. Pfanz, Gettysburg: The Second Day (Chapel Hill and London, 1987), 232-236; Alice Rains Trulock, In the Hands of Providence: Joshua L. Chamberlain and the American Civil War (Chapel Hill and London, 1992), 117-158; Glenn LaFantasie, "The Other Man [William C. Oates]," MHO: The Quarterly Journal of Military History, 5 (Summer 1993), 69-75.

2. Emmor B. Cope, "Account of William C. Oates's Visit to Gettysburg Battlefield," July 2, 1896, Record of the Positions of Troops on the Battlefield, Volume I, Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (hereafter GNMP); Oates to Cope, August 6, 1904, Oates Correspondence, GNMP: Oates, The War Between the Union and the Confederacy and Its Lost Opportunities (New York and Washington, D.C., 1905), 221.

3. Joshua L. Chamberlain, "General Chamberlain's Address," in Dedication of the Twentieth Maine Monuments at Gettysburg, Oct. 3, 1889 (Waldoboro, Me., 1891), 27.

4. For some of the discordant memories that led to disagreements among veterans of the Gettysburg battle see Richard A. Sauers, "Gettysburg Controversies," Gettysburg Magazine, 4 (January 1991), 113-125. Several recent studies examine historical memory in the postwar years, but nearly all tend to focus on the role memory played in facilitating reconciliation between North and South rather than on any controversies that might have been sparked by conflicting memories. See, for example, Gaines Foster, Ghosts of the Confederacy: Defeat, the Lost Cause, and the Emergence of the New South (New York, 1987); Gerald F. Linderman, Embattled Courage: The Experience of Combat in the American Civil War (New York, 1987), esp. 266-297; Michael Kammen, Mystic Chords of Memory: The Transformation of Tradition in American Culture (New York, 1991), 101-131; Stuart McConnell, Glorious Contentment: The Grand Army of the Republic, 1865-1900 (Chapel Hill, 1992); Nina Silber, The Romance of Reunion: Northerners and the South, 1865-1900 (Chapel Hill, 1993); McConnell, "The Civil War and Historical Memory: A Historiographical Survey," QAW Magazine of History, 8 (Fall 1993), 3-6; Teresa A. Thomas, "For Union, Not for Glory: Memory and the Civil War Volunteers of Lancaster, Massachusetts," Civil War History, 40 (March 1994), 25-47. On the unreliability of memory see David Thelen, "Memory and American History," Journal of American History, 75 (March 1989), 1117-1129; Richard M. Ketchum, "Memory as History," American Heritage, 42 (November 1991), 142-148.

5. Robert K. Krick, "Introduction," in William C. Oates, The War Between the Union and the Confederacy and Its Lost Opportunities (1905), reprint ed. (Dayton, Oh., 1985), unpaginated front matter; Glenn LaFantasie, "Introduction," in Gettysburg: Lieutenant Frank A. Haskell and Colonel William C. Oates (New York, 1992), 1-47; LaFantasie, "The Other Man," 69-75.

6. Oates, Unpublished Autobiography, ca. 1902, Oates Family Papers, in the possession of Marion Oates Leiter Charles, Washington, D.C.; Oates, War Between the Union and the Confederacy, 674.

7. Oates, War Between the Union and the Confederacy, 225-227, 674-675.

8. Oates to William M. Robbins, April 1, 1902, Oates Correspondence, GNMP.

9. Oates to Robbins, September 24, 1902, Oates Correspondence, GNMP. On Oates's European tour with his wife and son during the summer of 1902 see the privately printed volume, Letters Written by Gen. Wm. C. Oates While Traveling in Europe (n.p., 1902).

10. Ronald F. Lee, "The Origin and Evolution of the National Military Park Idea," U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service (1973), 14-15, 22-28; George Boge and Margie Holder Boge, Paving Over the Past: A History and Guide to Civil War Battlefield Preservation (Washington, D.C., 1993), 17-20; Edward Tabor Linenthal, Sacred Ground: Americans and Their Battlefields, 2nd ed. (Urbana and Chicago, 1993), 103-105, 113-114.

11. Robbins to John P. Nicholson, September 27, 1902, Oates Correspondence, GNMP. On Robbins's efforts to convince Southern states to erect monuments on the battlefield see William C. Davis, Gettysburg: The Story Behind the Scenery (Las Vegas, Nev., 1983), 20-21; Linenthal, Sacred Ground, 106.

12. Robbins to Oates, October 1902, Oates Correspondence, GNMP. For the "battle line" regulation see Battle-field Memorial Association Monument Rules, May 5, 1887, Cemeterial Files, Gettysburg National Military Park Battlefield Commission, Letters and Reports to the Secretary of War, 1907-1914, Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, RG92, National Archives, Washington, D.C. (hereafter GNMP Battlefield Commission Records, NA); Nicholson to Elihu Root, November 16, 1901, Oates Correspondence, GNMP.

13. Oates to Robbins, October 2, 1902, Oates Correspondence, GNMP; Oates to Gettysburg Commissioners, December 9, 1902, ibid.; Oates to Robbins, December 10, 1902, ibid.; Robbins to Oates, December 16, 1902, ibid.

14. Oates to Nicholson, January 21, 1903, Oates Correspondence, GNMP; Nicholson to Oates, February 9, 1903, ibid. Nicholson later made the same point to the War Department. See Nicholson to John C. Schofield, February 27, 1903, ibid.

15. Robbins to Nicholson, February 11, 1903, Oates Correspondence, GNMP. On Robbins's fear that he would be held solely responsible for reflecting Oates's proposal see Robbins to Nicholson, February 26, 1903, ibid.

16. Robbins to Oates, February 11, 1903, Oates Correspondence, GNMP.

17. Oates to Elihu Root, ca. early February 1903, Oates Correspondence, GNMP. The original petition, signed by Oates, is in GNMP Battlefield Commission Records, NA.

18. Oates to Nicholson, February 11, 1903, Oates Correspondence, GNMP; Oates to Robbins, February 14, 1903, ibid.

19. Robbins to Nicholson, February 19, 1903, Oates Correspondence, GNMP; Robbins to Nicholson, February 26, 1903, ibid.

20. Charles A. Richardson to Nicholson, February 3, 1903, Oates Correspondence, GNMP; Gettysburg commissioners to Oates (draft), February 3, 1903, ibid.; Gettysburg Commissioners to Oates, March 5, 1903, ibid. Only minor changes were made to Richardson's initial draft, which had been composed even before Oates had submitted his formal application to the Secretary of War.

21. Schofield to Ariosto A. Wiley, March 9, 1903, GNMP Battlefield Commission Records, NA; Nicholson to Oates, May 26, 1903, Oates Correspondence, GNMP.

22. Oates to Nicholson, May 14, 1903, Oates Correspondence, GNMP; Root to Oates, May 23, 1903, Oates Family Papers; Nicholson to Oates, May 26, 1903, Oates Correspondence, GNMP.

23. Oates to Root, June 2, 1903, Oates Correspondence, GNMP; Schofield to Nicholson, June 18, 1903, ibid. Copies of Oates's letter to Root may also be found in GNMP Battlefield Commission Records, NA; Oates Family Papers; Joshua L. Chamberlain Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

24. Robbins to Oates, June 20, 1903, Oates Correspondence, GNMP.

25. Robbins to Evander M. Law (draft), June 20, 1903, Oates Correspondence, GNMP; Oates to Nicholson, November 13, 1903, ibid.

26. Nicholson to Schofield, February 26, 1903, Oates Correspondence, GNMP; Oates to Robbins, July 4, 1903, ibid.; Nicholson to Joshua L. Chamberlain, August 6, 1903, ibid. Oates's book, War Between the Union and the Confederacy, was published in 1905; its chapters on Gettysburg expanded the treatment he had given the subject in an earlier article (see footnote 1, above) published in 1878. The book makes no mention of the monument controversy.

27. The most thoroughly researched biography of Chamberlain is Trulock, In the Hands of Providence, but see also Willard M. Wallace, Soul of the Lion: A Biography of Joshua L. Chamberlain (New York, 1960), and Michael Golay, To Gettysburg and Beyond: The Parallel Lives of Joshua L. Chamberlain and Edward Alexander Porter (New York, 1994). On Chamberlain's historical reputation see Glenn LaFantasie, "Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and the American Dream,"in Gabor Boritt, ed., The Gettysburg Nobody Knows (forthcoming).

28. Chamberlain to Nicholson, August 14, 1903, Oates Correspondence, GNMP.

29. Nicholson to Chamberlain, August 21, 1903, Oates Correspondence, GNMP; Nicholson to Chamberlain, August 24, 1903, ibid.; Nicholson to Root, August 26, 1903, ibid.; Chamberlain to Nicholson, September 2, 1903, ibid.

30. Copy of Senate Joint Resolution, Alabama Legislature, October 9, 1903, GNMP Battlefield Commission Records, NA; William R. Houghton, "Gettysburg in 1903 (Second Paper)," newspaper clipping, ca. October 1903, Oates Correspondence, GNMP; Houghton to Robbins, November 2, 1903, ibid.; Houghton to Nicholson, November 14, 1903, ibid.; Houghton to Root, November 14, 1903, ibid.; Houghton, "Gettysburg in 1903," Birmingham Age-Herald, December 13, 1903; Houghton to Robbins, ca. March 1904, Oates Correspondence, GNMP; Houghton to Daniel E. Sickles, October 17, 1904, ibid. For Houghton's memoirs see W. R. Houghton and M. B. Houghton, Two Boys in the Civil War and After (Montgomery, Ala., 1912).

31. An Act to Establish a National Military Park at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, chap. 80, 28 Stat. 651 (1895); Robbins, "Letters from the People-Monuments at Gettysburg," Atlanta Constitution, October 24, 1898; Robbins, "National Park at Gettysburg," Confederate Veteran, 7 (1899), 23; U.S. War Department, Annual Reports of the Gettysburg National Military Park Commission to the Secretary of War, 1893-1904 (Washington, D.C., 1905), 23, 30, 39, 45-46, 52-53, 60-61, 70-71, 78-80, 86; Houghton to Robbins, November 2, 1903, Oates Correspondence, GNMP; Houghton, "Gettysburg in 1903"; Robbins to J. F. Means, March 8, 1904, Oates Correspondence, GNMP; Linenthal, Sacred Ground, 106-108. On the Maryland monument see Southern Historical Society Papers, 14 (1886), 429-446.

32. Robbins, "Gettysburg in 1903" (typescript), November 18, 1903, Oates Correspondence, GNMP; Robbins to Nicholson, November 18, 1903, ibid.; Robbins, "Gettysburg 1903," Selma Journal, November 23, 1903; Robbins, "Gettysburg National Park" (printed broadside), January 1904, Oates Correspondence, GNMP.

33. Nicholson to Root, November 25, 1903, GNMP Battlefield Commission Records, NA; Nicholson to Root, December 1, 1903, Oates Correspondence, GNMP; Schofield to Nicholson, November 23, 1903, ibid.; Henry D. Clayton to Root, December 12, 1903, GNMP Battlefield Commission Records, NA.

34. Richardson to Nicholson, December 28, 1903, Oates Correspondence, GNMP; Richardson to Nicholson, January 2, 1904, ibid.; Robbins to Nicholson, January 6, 1904, ibid.; Robbins to Nicholson, January 13, 1904 [misdated 1903], ibid.; Gettysburg Commissioners to Root, January 18, 1904, ibid.

35. For Oates's submission of a monument design and inscription and his general description of its proposed location see Oates to Robbins, April 1,1902, Oates Correspondence, GNMP; Oates to Nicholson, February 11, 1903, ibid.; Oates to Root, June 2, 1903, ibid.; Oates to Robbins, July 4, 1903, ibid.; Oates to Robbins, July 18, 1904, ibid. Oates demanded that the commission approve the idea of a monument before he would indicate its precise location. See Oates to Nicholson, November 13, 1903, ibid. Robbins warned Nicholson about the existence of Oates's design and inscription in Robbins to Nicholson, January 6, 1904, ibid.

36. Root to Gettysburg Commission, January 22, 1904, Oates Correspondence, GNMP; Root to Oates, January 22, 1904, ibid.; Root to Henry D. Clayton, January 22, 1904, GNMP Battlefield Commission Records, NA; Root to Charles W. Thompson, January 22, 1904, ibid.

37. Wiley to Nicholson, March 28, 1904, Oates Correspondence, GNMP; Nicholson to Wiley, March 31, 1904, ibid.; Wiley to Nicholson, April 5, 1904, ibid.

38. Oates to H. C. Corbin, March 18, 1904, Oates Correspondence, GNMP; Schofield to Nicholson, April 1, 1904, ibid.; Oates to Nicholson, April 2, 1904, ibid.; Nicholson to Oates, April 6, 1904, ibid.

39. Nicholson to Oates, April 6, 1904, Oates Correspondence, GNMP; Nicholson to Oates, April 13, 1904, ibid.; Wiley to Nicholson et al. (telegram), July 5, 1904, ibid.; Wiley to Nicholson (telegram), July 9, 1904, ibid.

40. Oates to Robbins, July 18, 1904, Oates Correspondence, GNMP; Oates to Chamberlain, April 14, 1905, ibid.

41. Oates to Chamberlain, April 12, 1905, Oates Correspondence, GNMP. Presumably the letter Nicholson referred to was Chamberlain's missive of August 14, 1903, addressed to Nicholson, ibid.

42. Oates to Robbins, July 18, 1904, Oates Correspondence, GNMP; Oates to Cope, August 6, 1904, ibid.; Nicholson to Oates, August 12, 1904, ibid.; Oates to Nicholson, September 30, 1904, ibid.

43. Oates to Robbins, September 4, 1904, Oates Correspondence, GNMP; Robbins to Oates, September 9, 1904, ibid.; Oates to Nicholson, December 29, 1904, ibid.

44. Nicholson to Oates, January 3, 1905, Oates Correspondence, GNMP.

45. Chamberlain to Nicholson, March 16, 1905, Oates Correspondence, GNMP.

46. Oates to Chamberlain, April 14, 1905, Oates Correspondence, GNMP.

47. Chamberlain to Oates, May 14, 1905, Oates Correspondence, GNMP; Nicholson to Chamberlain, May 22, 1905, Ibid.

48. Nicholson to Oates, October 25, 1905, Oates Correspondence, GNMP; Oates to Lunsford L. Lomax, October 30, 1905, ibid.; Lomax to Oates, November 3, 1905, ibid.; Lomax to J. F. C. Talbott, April 4, 1906, ibid.

49. Nicholson to Schofield, January 15, 1910, GNMP Battlefield Commission Records, NA; Monuments, Markers, and Tablets, Gettysburg National Park Commission, January 18, 1910, ibid.; Eugene Hale to Jacob M. Dickinson, January 18, 1910; Henry S. Burrage to Chamberlain, March 10, 1910, Chamberlain Papers, LC.

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