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Letter from Major-General Henry Heth, of A. P. Hill's corps, A. N. V.

[The following letter from General Heth was originally addressed to the Secretary of our Society, and was duly forwarded to our distinguished foreign correspondent, whose letter of enquiry to us called it forth.

It has been recently published in the Philadelphia Times, but will be none the less acceptable to our readers as one of our Gettysburg series.]

Richmond, Va., June, 1877.
Rev. J. Wm. Jones, D. D., Secretary Southern Historical Society:
My dear Sir:---- , referring to the invasion of Pennsylvania in 1863, says: “The Army of Northern Virginia, when it invaded the Northern States, was more powerful than it had ever been before.” If---- , in using the term “more powerful,” means that the numerical strength of the Army of Northern Virginia, on this occasion, was greater than ever before, he is wrong, as the subjoined statement of the strength of that army, taken from the official returns now on file in Washington, will show:

Seven days fight, 186280,000115,000
Fredericksburg, 186278,000110,000
Chancellorsville, 186357,000132,000
Gettysburg, 186362,0001112,0002
Wilderness, 186463,981141,160

It has been said that the morale of an army is to numbers as three to one. If this be correct the Army of Northern Virginia was never stronger than on entering Pennsylvania, and I am perfectly satisfied in my own mind, that this fact entered very largelyin determining General Lee to make the attack on the 3d of July, at Gettysburg; for there was not an officer or soldier in the Army of Northern Virginia, from General Lee to the drummer boy, who did not believe, when we invaded Pennsylvania in 1863, that it

1 Field return, Army of Northern Virginia, May 31, 1863: Infantry, 54,356; artillery, 4,460; cavalry, 9,563. Total, 68,352. From this total must be deducted Ewell's loss at Winchester, the details left on the south side of the Potomac to guard persons and property captured at Winchester, and also the loss in the cavalry. It must be borne in mind that the cavalry did not join General Lee at Gettysburg until late in the evening of July 2.

2 Hooker telegraphs to Staunton, June 27, 1863: Strength of rank and file, 105,000; adding commissioned officers not included in above, 7,000. Total, 112,000.

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