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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 4. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Causes of the defeat of Gen. Lee's Army at the battle of Gettysburg-opinions of leading Confederate soldiers. (search)
Rapidan rivers, across the Upper Valley of the Shenandoah, and through Western Virginia, Middle Tennessee, and Northern Alabama and Mississippi, but also the entire coasts of Chesapeake bay and the Atlantic, on the east, from the mouth of the Rappahannock, south, and of the Gulf of Mexico on the south, with the enemy firmly in possession of a number of ports and harbors on said coasts, as well as a line in the west, parallel to and east of the Mississippi, with the enemy in possession of or bes. If we, had awaited a renewal of the attacks of the Army of the Potomac, we might have repulsed it again and again; but from the nature of the ground occupied by the two armies respectively, with a wide, low plain or the south bank of the Rappahannock between the heights occupied by us and the river, while the commanding heights on the north bank were close upon the river, and crowned with an immense armament of heavy guns, it was always practicable for the Army of the Potomac to recross t
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 4. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Leading Confederates on the battle of Gettysburg. (search)
ope was driven across the Potomac. Then followed the battle of Sharpsburg (Antietam), when possibly the fighting capacity of the Army of Northern Virginia never shone brighter. Its numbers reduced by fighting, fatigue, and hard marching to less than forty thousand strong, it gained a drawn battle against its adversary, who numbered nearly, if not quite one hundred thousand men. Then came Fredericksburg, where, with its ranks recuperated to seventy-eight thousand, it hurled across the Rappahannock river an adversary who had crossed with one hundred and ten thousand men. Then follows that most daring and wonderful battle, Chancellorsville, where it again triumphed, fifty thousand strong, against its adversary, numbering one hundred and thirty-two thousand, compelling him again to seek shelter behind the Rappahannock. After such a series of successes, with such disparity of numbers, is it wonderful that the Army of Northern Virginia and its great leader should have believed it capable
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 4. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Leading Confederates on the battle of Gettysburg. (search)
e was fought with something under 50,000 infantry and about 4,000 artillerymen on our side, the cavalry merely serving to protect our flanks and guard our trains, as from the nature of the ground they could not be employed in the battle. I will now give some consideration to the evidence in regard to the Federal strenght at the battle, as that bears a very important relation to a just estimate of the battle itself. It must he borne in mind that when Hooker moved from the banks of the Rappahannock, his route led him all the time towards the sources from which his army was to be recruited; that while the route of our army was the arc of a circle, he moved on the cord of it; and that, therefore, our movements had to be rapid while his were slow. When our army had crossed the Potomac he was enabled to recruit his strength, not only from the convalescents from the hospitals at Washington, Baltimore, and further North, time enough having elapsed to enable the wounded from the fields