James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
Corps, was arriving after a march of thirty-two miles in seventeen hours. He told accurately the result of the tremendous fighting and heavy loss that afternoon on both wings of each army. We attempted to dislodge the enemy, and, though we gained some ground, we were unable to get possession of his position.1 The Confederate assaults had been disjointed: to that mistake is ascribed their small success.
Meade claimed the victory. The enemy attacked me about 4 P.M. this day, he telegraphed to Halleck on July 2, and after one of the severest contests of the war was repulsed at all points.2 That Meade in this despatch was not consciously resorting to the time-honored device in war by stretching the claim beyond the fact is to be inferred from the note to his wife written at 8:45 on the following morning, We had a great fight yesterday, the enemy attacking and we completely repulsing them: both armies shattered.3
From the reports of the several corps commanders at the council of war which Meade called on the night of July 2, it was evident that the Union Army, having incurred a loss of 20,000 men, was indeed seriously weakened, but the generals had not lost spirit and all voted to stay and fight it out. As the council broke up, Meade said to Gibbon, who was in temporary command of the Second Corps, If Lee attacks to-morrow it will be in your front. Why, asked Gibbon. Because he has made attacks on both our flanks and failed, and, if he concludes to try it again it will be on our centre. I hope he will, replied Gibbon. If he does we shall defeat him.4