Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 24.djvu/151
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the lortitications abmit Washington. He then invaded Maryland, but was attacked at Smith Mountain on the i-jth of September, and attain at Antietam on the- i7th, where, acting on the defensive, he was enabled to inflict heavy losses on McClellan, but was also badly shattered himself and forced to retire across the Potomac. Shortly alter he fell back behind the Rappahannock, through sheer exhaus- tion, to recuperate and rest his army, which had been incessantly toiling and fighting with splendid valor since the 26th of June. In these various battles Lee's losses were as follows:
Killed. Wounded. Total.
Seven days battk-s 3,478 16,261 19,739-
Cedar Mountain 347 929 1,276.
Second Bull Run 1,740 7.372 9,"2.
Antietam 1,863 9.339 11,202.
Total 7,428 33,901 41,329-
The Confederate returns of losses in these operations are incom- plete and unsatisfactory. F'or several of the lesser battles, in which perhays, 3,000 or 4,000 men were lost, no reports of losses whatever appear. The Confederates did not report their slightly wounded by a special order of Lee himself. It is demonstrated that the total losses of Lee in these campaigns were not less than 45,000 men killed and wounded, and the reports contain internal evidences that they probably exceeded the total of 50,000. The aggregates shown above are approximately correct, so far as they go, and for the Seven Days' battles are undisputed.
Around Richmond, Lee, like Grant, forced the fighting against a partially fortified enemy, and held his men up to the necessary work with the same tenacity of purpose that characterized Grant's ope- rations from the Wilderness to the James. His losses fully equaled and probably exceeded Grant's. Lee's bloody assaults at Beaver Dam Creek and at Malvern Hill were even more unjustifiable by any apparent military necessity than Grant's assaults at Cold Harbor, and they were just as costly in human blood. Every man he lost at Antietam was a waste of life, because he had no need to fight that battle.
Yet no man has risen up to stigmatize the brilliant Confederate leader as a "butcher." It is true that Lee had temporarily re- lieved Richmond, beaten Pope, captured Harper's Ferry, and made a good fight at Antietam all brilliant episodes doubtless, as they added greatly to his military reputation. But summing all up after