Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 06.djvu/33

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
Relative Numbers at Gettysburg.

Now, will the Comte pretend to say that McClellan intended by this that his effective strength was 117,226 on the 20th of June? In his testimony before the Committee on the Conduct of the War, McClellan said: "The largest number of men I had for duty at any time on the Peninsula was 107,000 men;" and in reply to the question: "How many available men did you estimate that you had at Harrison's Bar?" he said: "I think I had about 85,000 or 90,000 men at Harrison's Bar." The same statement in his report that has been referred to, shows that on the 10th of July, 1862, when he was at Harrison's Bar, he had, present for duty, 3,834 officers and 85,715 men, total 89,549 for duty, and an aggregate present of 106,466. The Comte, therefore, is slightly mistaken in this respect, and the fact will abundantly appear from the various returns of McClellan contained in the same volume with his testimony, which are certified by the Adjutant-General. Upon this unwarranted assumption, the Comte takes the figures stated by Butterfield and Meade as the present for duty as the aggregate present, and then cuts them down by deducting thirteen per cent, for the men on extra duty, sick and in arrest. This is directly in the teeth of the return for the 30th of June, 1863, which I have been able to procure through the kindness of a friend in Congress, and to which return I will refer again when I come to estimate Meade's force.

The Comte is again grievously at fault when he says: "The Federal regiments were certainly not stronger than the Confederate ones. The reason is, that by the operation of the draft, however limited, the old regiments in the Southern army were at certain times refilled by recruits, while on the Union side, whenever a new call of volunteers was made it was by the creation of new regiments. It is a well known fact that as soon as a regiment left for the army it ceased to recruit itself."

He seems to think there was very great efficiency in the conscript act in keeping our regiments filled. Now, there were something over 500 regiments and 100 battalions of infantry, and smartly over 100 regiments of cavalry in the Confederate service, besides a great many battalions and batteries of artillery, as will be seen by reference to Colonel Jones' roster, which is imperfect in not giving all the regiments we had. Say we had 700 regiments in all to keep up, and 81,993 conscripts divided among them would give about 117 to a regiment, which would not refill it often. Add the 72,292 volunteers, and it would give only 154,285 men that were available