Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 04.djvu/59
Causes of Lee's Defeat at Gettysburg.
and included all the troops within it. Of course, the movable army was less than the whole force in the department, as some troops had to be left guarding depots, &c. There were no accessions to the army after the returns showing 68,352 for duty, prior to the movement towards Pennsylvania, which begun on the 4th of June. Even some of the movable troops had to be left behind, and among them were two brigades of cavalry, Robertson's and Jones', as you will see from Gen. Lee's report in the same number of the Society Papers, pages 44-5. Those brigades arrived at Gettysburg on the 3d of July, too late to be of any service, except in guarding the trains on the retreat. The force with which Gen. Lee invaded Pennsylvania was really under 60,000 effectives, as I have stated in the address embodied in Mr. Jones' "Personal Reminiscences," a separate copy of which I now send you. Gen. Lee's force against McClellan, in June, 1862, was between 75,000 and 80,000 a fact I think I have demonstrated in a communication which you will find in the June number of the Society Papers for 1876, page 413. The table before referred to shows the force for duty in the Department of Northern Virginia, at the close of July, 1862, just before the commencement of hostilities against Pope, was 69,559, and the force for duty at the close of November, 1862, just before the battle of Fredericksburg, was 73,554. There is no return at the close of April, 1863, just before Chancellorsville, for the enemy had then begun his movement by crossing the river in our front, and the steps necessary to oppose him rendered it impracticable to make returns. The force present, however, was not as large as it was at the close of May following, for two divisions of Longstreet's corps were absent south of James river, though the army in the aggregate was larger than it was at the beginning of the movement into Pennsylvania, by reason of the loss at Chancellorsville and at Fredericksburg at the same time. No reliance whatever is to be placed in the conjectural estimate of our strength for June of that year made by Mr. Swinton, nor in the statements of any of the writers on the Federal side as to our strength at Gettysburg.