Page:A Memoir of the Last Year of the War for Independence in the Confederate States of America.djvu/87

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83
POSITIONS AND STRENGTH OF THE TWO ARMIES.

of Washington was called forward to the front," we may assume that 40,000 men were used for that purpose, which would leave 41,503, minus the losses in battle before Sheridan relieved Hunter, in the Middle Military division, exclusive of the 6th and 19th Corps, and the cavalry from Grant's army. The infantry of the Army of the Potomac was composed of the 2nd, 5th, and 6th Corps, on the 1st of May, 1864, and Stanton says the "available force present for duty" in that army on that day, was 120,886 men. Allowing 30,000 for the artillery and cavalry of that army, which would be a very liberal allowance, and there would still be left 90,385 infantry; and it is fair to assume that the 6th Corps numbered one-third of the infantry, that is, 30,000 men on the 1st of May, 1864. If the losses of the Army of the Potomac had been such as to reduce the 6th Corps to less than 10,000 men, notwithstanding the reinforcements and recruits received, the carnage in Grant's army must have been frightful indeed. The 19th Corps was just from the Department of the Gulf and had not gone through a bloody campaign. A communication which was among the papers captured at Cedar Creek, in noticing some statement of a newspaper correspondent in regard to the conduct of that corps at Winchester, designated it as "a vile slander on 12,000 of the best soldiers in the Union army." In view of the foregoing data, without counting the troops in the Middle Department and the Departments of Washington and the Susquehanna, and making liberal allowances for losses in battle, and for troops detained on post and garrison duty in the Department of West Virginia, I think that I may assume that Sheridan had at least 35,000 infantry against me. The troops of the 6th Corps and of the Department of West Virginia, alone, without counting the 19th Corps, numbered on the 1st of May, 1864, 60,782. If with the 19th Corps, Sheridan did not have 35,000 infantry remaining from this force, what had become of the balance? Sheridan's artillery very greatly outnumbered mine, both in men and guns.

Having been informed that a force was at work on the railroad at Martinsburg, I moved on the afternoon of the 17th of September, with Rodes' and Gordon's division, and Braxton's