Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 02.djvu/26

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16
Southern Historical Society Papers.

"It will be difficult to get the world to understand the odds against which we fought;" and he has since in person assured me that the estimate which I had made of his force, in a published letter written from Havana in December, 1865, and in my published account of my own operations for the years 1864-'5 which—was 50,000—exceeded the actual efficient strength of his army.

The returns of the Army of Northern Virginia, which are in what is called the "Archive Office" at Washington, are not accessible to me; but I have a printed copy of a letter written to the New York Tribune in June, 1867, which gives statements taken from the returns of the Confederate armies on file in said "Archive Office," which letter is understood to have been written by Mr. Swinton, the author of "The Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac." I end that copy to you, in order that you may verify, by an examination of it, all my statements; and, if I appear a little prolix and tedious, I beg you to be patient, as I desire to show to you and your readers how officers of the United States army manufacture history.

In the first column of the letter to the Tribune you will find a table of monthly returns for the Department of Northern Virginia, which is in the following words and figures:

"Department of Northern Virginia. February 28, 1862—February 28, 1865.
DATE. COMMANDER. FOR DUTY. PRESENT. PRESENT AND
ABSENT.
1862— February J. E. Johnston 47,617  55,396 84,225
  May J. E. Johnston [67,000]    
  June R. E. Lee  [100,000]    
  July R. E. Lee 69,559  94,686 137,030
  August R. E. Lee [95,000]    
  September R. E. Lee 52,609  62,713 139,143
  October R. E. Lee 67,805  79,395 153,778
  November R. E. Lee 73,554  86,583 153,790
  December R. E. Lee 79,072  91,094 152,853
1863— January R. E. Lee 72,226  93,297 144,605
  February R. E. Lee 58,559  74,435 114,175
  March R. E. Lee 60,298  73,578 109,839
  May R. E. Lee 68,352  88,756 133,679
  June R. E. Lee  [100,000]    
  July R. E. Lee 41,135  53,611 117,602
  August R. E. Lee 56,327  71,964 133,264
  September R. E. Lee 44,367  55,221 95,164
  October R. E. Lee 45,614  57,251 97,211
  November R. E. Lee 48,267  56,088 96,576
  December R. E. Lee 43,558  54,715 91,253
1864— January R. E. Lee 35,849  45,139 79,602
  February R. E. Lee 33,811  39,562 68,435
  March R. E. Lee 39,407  46,151 79,202
* April R. E. Lee 52,626  61,218 97,576
  June R. E. Lee 51,863  62,571 92,685
  July R. E. Lee 57,097  68,844 135,805
  August R. E. Lee 44,247  58,984 146,838
  October R. E. Lee 62,875  82,535 177,103
  November R. E. Lee 69,290  87,860 181,826
  December R. E. Lee 66,533  79,318 155,772
1865— January R. E. Lee 53,445  69,673 441,627
  February R. E. Lee 59,094  73,349 160,411