Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 32.djvu/268
256 Southern Historical Society Papers.
safety of Richmond, General Lee found little trouble in crushing Pope.
The success of the campaign was remarkable. It was more; it was wonderful. On June 28th, McClellan, with 127,000 effective men, heavily entrenched, stood in front of Richmond, opposed by General Lee with 88,000 men. The latter attacked the Federal forces, defeating them, and inflicting a loss of 25,000, according to McClellan' s own estimate. On August yth, General Lee sent Jack- son across the Rapidan, and by the 2oth had transferred the re- mainder of his troops, except McLaws' Division and two brigades under Walker, which were left to defend Richmond. He met and defeated Pope in the final grapple of August 3oth; he shattered the Federal army so completely that nothing but the coming on of night, which was so often looked for with passionate longing, saved it from destruction. The loss on both sides was very heavy. The Confederate loss was estimated at 10,000 killed and wounded. No official statement of Pope's loss was ever made, but it could not have been less than 20,000, including 9,000 prisoners.
From the vicinity of Richmond, on June 26th, the theatre of operations was transferred to the front of Washington. The success of the campaign suggested to General Lee, doubtless, the idea of crossing into Maryland.
It seems stange, indeed, that an army so large in numbers, and so perfectly equipped as the Army of the Potomac, should be re- duced to the humiliation of a defensive position by an inferior force. I ask any man who served in Virginia, matters not whether he was Federal or Confederate, if General Lee's army had numbered 150,000, with the equipment McClellan had, could any force or cir- cumstance have placed him on the defensive?
In a previous sketch we left the army encamped in the vicinity of Frederick, Md., where it remained for a few days. While there General Lee issued a proclamation inviting the Maryland people to join the Confederate army, but received no practical assistance, which was a disappointment to all. After crossing the river, the Confederates were in their jolliest mood, and, although numbers were ragged and barefooted, they sang " Maryland, My Maryland," as they marched through the country, but a majority of the people we saw were unaffected by the demonstration.
At this time General McClellan was restored to the command of the Federal army; and began the march from Washington to meet General Lee on Union soil.