Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/158

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154 Southern Historical Society Papers.

attended with the success that hitherto crowned your efforts, was marked with the same heroic spirit that has commanded the respect of your enemies, the gratitude of your country, and the admiration of mankind."

It was not until the night of July i3th that General Lee and his army recrossed the Potomac, and were once more at home in Vir- ginia.


Was it in any sense a drawn battle? One day and two nights General Meade made no counter attack. In the retirement of the Confederate army there was no rear guard action. It was ten days after the close of the battle before Lee crossed the Potomac river, and he was not attacked by Meade. He carried nearly 5,000 pris- oners away, and there was no attempt to recover them. He carried his artillery back and his long wagon trains almost without inter- ruption and without serious loss. On Virginia soil his troops were an organized army, with splendid morale, and ready for battle at any moment. Whatever of defeat the army of Northern Virginia met at Gettysburg, it was neither destroyed nor yet overthrown, nor was it broken in spirit.

The battle was fought by the Confederate army for the first time in the enemy's country, with communications cut, with limited sup- plies, and, as soon as the action was joined, compelled to keep closely inside the narrow lines.

As to numbers, Colonel Livermore (p. 102) estimates the Union army, as total engaged, 88,289, and the Confederate army, as effectives, 75,000, a disparity of over 13,000 in favor of the army of General Meade. But on June 27th, General Hooker, urging a re- quest for reinforcements, writes to General Halleck that his whole force of enlisted men present for duty would not exceet 105,000. General Meade testified that, on taking command, the returns called for 105,000, and that he had "upon that battlefield" a little under 105,000 men. General Humphreys confirmed these figures by his estimate of 99,475, to which were to be added troops that arrived and actually went into battle, making, say 103,000. Colonel Wal- ter Taylor, Lee's Adjutant- General, has estimated Lee's effective force on the field at 67,000, making a disparity of 36,000. In round numbers, Meade' s army was one-fourth more than Lee's.

The loss of Stonewall Jackson, a month before Gettysburg, was