Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 02.djvu/28

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
Southern Historical Society Papers.

of August, 1863, the first month after the return from the Gettysburg campaign, the entire force for duty in the Department of Northern Virginia was 56,327, while at the end of September it was 44,367. This decrease of 11,960 was caused by the departure of Longstreet's corps from the army during that month, two divisions of it going to Chickamauga, and the other (Pickett's) to the south-side of James river. The strength of that entire corps was then a little less than 12,000 for duty. The returns for March, 1864, show in the Department of Northern Virginia 39,407 for duty, while those for April show 52,626 for duty—this increase resulting from the return of the two divisions of Longstreet's corps (Field's and McLaw's afterwards Kershaw's) which had been at the battle of Chickamauga and afterwards on a winter campaign in East Tennessee, also of some detachments which had been on special service, and of furloughed men. These returns were made at the end of and for the whole month of April, and not on the 20th of the month as stated by General Badeau. Longstreet's two divisions had then returned and were embraced in said monthly returns, his third division being at that time in North Carolina and not afterwards rejoining the army until the 22d of May near Hanover Junction. These returns for April, 1864, which showed the condition of the troops in fact on the 1st day of May, embraced the force in the Valley which was confronting Sigel, and other outlying troops on special service north of James river. So that in reality General Lee's entire force with which he had to confront Grant's army, including Longstreet's two divisions, was under the aggregate of 50,000 present for duty. But General Badeau says that Longstreet's corps was not embraced in the returns of General Lee's army for April, 1864, and he says: "His (Longstreet's) field return of date nearest to the battle shows 18,387 present for duty. Now let us see how he arrives at this conclusion. Run your finger down the second column of the letter to the Tribune, until you get to the table of returns under the head "Armies in the West," and continue on down that table until you reach the "Army of East Tennessee," under which heading you will find the following, which is all that is necessary for my purposes:

   date.  commander. for duty.
1863. October  Sam. Jones 7,975 
  November  Sam. Jones  10,546 
  December  J. Longstreet  15,342 
1864. January  J. Longstreet  18,667