Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 08.djvu/277
McClellan and Lee at Sharpsburg.
fantry and several thousand cavalry and artillery, while McClellan's army confronted him on the line of the Antietam.
On the 16th, about 3 P. M., McClellan assaulted Lee with the three corps of Hooker, Mansfield and Sumner, which were so severely punished, that McClellan tells us that "about the middle of the afternoon he went in person to the scene and found the aspect of affairs anything but promising"; in fact, they were driven from the field by Lee in utter confusion.
On the 17th, the attack was renewed by McClellan with a fresh corps. During the day Stonewall Jackson came to Lee—his force was 9,793 infantry, which brought Lee's whole army up to 27,253 infantry, and less than 8,000 cavalry and artillery—and this was all he had to fight with during all those days of Antietam, or Sharpsburg, as we call it. And with these, we learn from McClellan himself, Lee drove from the field, demoralized, 87,164 men—four-fifths of McClellan's whole army!
We will now sum up McClellan's losses during the five days, from the 14th to the 19th, inclusive:
McClellan reports his losses, from the 14th to the 17th,
15th, Jackson captured,
19th, A. P. Hill reports a rear-guard affair on the Potomac, in which the enemy lost,
Making the total Federal loss,
Or 1,000 more than all the infantry with which Lee fought Antietam!
It is injudicious at this late day to reiterate such crude statements of numbers as those I have been discussing. The Southern Historical Society, at Richmond, and the Archive Bureau, in Washington, have co-operated to secure for the use of those who write history all of the authentic documents in existence which bear upon the late conflict between the States. From these all questions of relative forces and losses can be accurately settted, and it is not wise to omit to consult them before making historical publications.There has been so much disposition during the war, and since, to overestimate the strength of the Confederate armies, that I again call attention to the official statements of the United States War Department relating thereto. They are very conclusive. When we remember that the white population of the Confederate States was only about 5,000,000, and of the United States 16,000,000, the War Department reports show the men enrolled in Federal