Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 06.djvu/32

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

munications to the rear, and threatening ours, and Couch's force, a part of which was marching to Meade's assistance, and between a portion of which and Stuart's cavalry there was a conflict at Carlisle, on the 1st of July, should be counted as parts of Meade's force.

The loss in the aggregate present in my division, exclusive of losses in action and the regiments left behind, was fifteen per cent, from the 31st of May to the 20th of June, and after that near eight per cent. Deduct the same per cent, from 88,754, the aggregate present in the whole army on the 31st of May, and there would be less than 70,000 as the aggregate present at Gettysburg, without making any deduction for Robertson's and Jones' brigades.

It is, however, when the Comte de Paris comes to estimate Meade's force that he commits the greatest errors. It is a fact to be noted that he does not once refer to any official returns of that army, when it was a very easy thing for him to obtain them, and the return for the 30th of June, the day before the battle began, ought to furnish the very best evidence of Meade's force at the battle, but he resorts to the vague declarations of Federal officers, though he refuses to take the estimates of Confederate officers as to our strength in the absence of any return later than the 31st of May. This does not speak very well for his impartiality. When he ascertains what the Federal officers state as their present for duty, he insists that they mean thereby the aggregate present, including all men on extra duty, sick and in arrest, and then cuts down that number at a most extravagant rate. He says: "Whenever Federal officers gave what they called their effective strength, the figures represented always all the men present and not only those present for duty." This was not only not the case generally, but it was not the case when he was connected with the Army of the Potomac. McClellan, in his report, page 11, gives the strength of that army at various periods—that for the 20th June, 1862, six days before the Seven Days' battles began, being given as follows:

  PRESENT.
For Duty. Sick. In Arrest or Confinement. Aggregate.
Officers. Men. Officers. Men. Officers. Men.
1862—June 20... 4,665 101,160 496 10,541 44 320 117,226