the detachments from the other corps enumerated by General Meade
As he is not minute in his statements, I have no accurate data by which I can tell precisely what these “detachments” were.
As General Meade
states, however, that he left but a single brigade to guard his extreme right, and as he had no use for troops elsewhere, it is reasonable to suppose that the other corps may have sent as many as twenty thousand men, other than those enumerated above.
Indeed, this estimate is quite low, in all probability; because General Meade
believed, and his counselors all believed, as is shown by their concurrent testimony, that the assault made by my handful of heroes was really the onset of the whole of Lee
It is fair to presume, then, that, under this belief, he massed everything that he could get his hands on in front of the direct attack.
He says as much as this when he says he left “only a single brigade” on his right.
My former estimate, therefore, “that my thirteen thousand men met sixty-five thousand men during the three hours fighting that afternoon,” will not be abandoned until the report of General Meade
, and the figures of the Congressional Report
, shall have been overthrown; conceding, of course, to the technical demand of historical statement that the “detachments” of other corps sent forward may not have been exactly twenty thousand men.
It has never been claimed that we met this immense force of sixty-five thousand men at one time; nor has it been claimed that each and every one of them burnt powder in our faces.
But they were drawn off from other parts of the field to meet us, and were hurried to our front and massed there, meaning to do all the mischief they could.
If some of them did not shoot us, or stick us with their bayonets, it was simply because they could not shoot through the solid blocks of their own troops, or reach us with their bayonets over the heads of their comrades.
But they were in position and eager for battle-ready to rush down upon us the moment the line next in front of them was broken.
of their presence in reinforcing the position and threatening our flanks as we pressed on, was about as effective as their actual bloody work could have been.
As to the accounts of the Cincinnati Gazette
and the New York World
; they were not given as documents of historical record, but simply as confirmatory of General Meade
's statements, which are, of course, historical.
It was not too much to assume that the representatives of these papers would know what Federal corps were actively engaged in the battle of the 2d.
They both confirmed the account given by General Meade
in the belief that the whole of the Confederate army was engaged in the assault, and in the statement that very