that, after one day of absolute quiet, the Confederates
withdrew from their front without serious molestation, and with bridges swept away, and an impassable river in rear, stood in an attitude of defiance until their line of retreat could be rendered practicable, after which they safely recrossed into Virginia
Then, again, so serious was the loss visited upon the Federals
in the engagements of the first and second days, and so near success was the effort to storm their position on the third day, that they were themselves undecided as to whether they should stand or retreat.
In discussing several councils, or conferences, held by General Meade
with his corps commanders, General Sickles
testified, before the Committee
on the Conduct of the War
, that the reason the Confederates
were not followed up was on account of differences of opinion whether or not the Federals
should themselves retreat, as “it was by no means clear, in the judgment of the corps commanders, or of the general in command, whether they had won or not.”
It appears, from the official returns on file in the War Department, that on the 31st of May, 1863, the Army of Northern Virginia numbered: infantry, fifty-nine thousand four hundred and fifty-seven; cavalry, ten thousand two hundred and ninety-two; and artillery, four thousand seven hundred and two; of all arms, seventy-four thousand four hundred and fifty-one effectives.
This was immediately before the invasion of Pennsylvania
, and may be regarded as representing the maximum of General Lee
's army in the Gettysburg campaign
On the 20th of July, 1863, after the return of General Lee
, his army numbered forty-one thousand three hundred and eighty-eight effectives, exclusive of the cavalry corps, of which no report is made in the return of the date last mentioned; allowing “eight thousand one hundred and twelve,” a fair estimate for the cavalry, the effective total of the army on the 20th of July was forty-nine thousand five hundred.
It appears, therefore, that General Lee
's loss in the Pennsylvania
campaign was nearly twenty-five thousand.
Concerning the strength of the Federal
army, General Meade
testified as follows, before the Committee
on the Conduct of the War
(second series, vol.
i., p. 337): “Including all arms of the service, my strength was a little under one hundred thousand men — about ninety-five thousand.
I think General Lee
had about ninety thousand infantry, four thousand to five thousand artillery, and about ten thousand cavalry.”
Again, he testifies: “I think the returns showed me, when I took command of the army, amounted to about one hundred and five thousand men; included in those were the eleven thousand of General French
In this latter matter the