Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 02.djvu/29

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19
Relative Strength of the Armies of Generals Lee and Grant.
1864. February  J. Longstreet  19,010
1864. March  J. Longstreet  18,387
1864. July  S. B. Buckner  14,907

Now is it not apparent that this return for March, 1864, of the "Army of East Tennessee," showing 18,387 present for duty, being the identical number claimed as the strength of Longstreet's corps, is the very same return "of date nearest to the battle" which General Badeau attempts to palm off on the British public as the return of that corps? If he ever saw the actual returns, and was not using a mere extract from them, he must have learned that the two divisions of Longstreet's corps, which were with him in East Tennessee, constituted less than half of the "Army of East Tennessee," the residue being composed in part of a division of infantry which afterwards, under Breckinridge, met and defeated Sigel on the 15th of May in the Valley, and of a body of cavalry, a portion of which subsequently, under Wm. E. Jones, fought Hunter at New Hope or Piedmont in the Valley; and none of which troops accompanied Longstreet on his return to the Army of Northern Virginia.

After the discovery of this palpable attempt at imposition, is it necessary to notice any farther the statements of General Badeau? I will, however, state that the first reinforcements received by General Lee, after the beginning of the campaign in the Wilderness, were received at or near Hanover Junction on the 22d of May, when he was joined by one of the brigades of my division just returned from North Carolina, numbering less than 1,000 men, a force under Breckinridge from the Valley numbering less than 3,000 muskets, and Pickett's division of Longstreet's corps, recently returned from North Carolina, and which with my brigade had been engaged, under Beauregard, against Butler on the south side of James river. These troops did not make up the losses at the Wilderness and at Spotsylvania Courthouse, and in the meantime Grant had received considerably more than 40,000 reinforcements from Washington and Baltimore for his army.

In regard to the strength of General Lee's army at the time of the evacuation of the works covering Richmond and Petersburg, and of the surrender at Appomattox, it is only necessary to say that the returns for February, 1865, for the Department of Northern Virginia, afford no just criterion of the real strength of that army, as those returns included the forces in the Valley, and other outlying commands, not available for duty on the lines. Detachments