It may be well to mention, in regard to the number of Federal troops engaged the first day, that Dr. Bates gives a widely different strength to Buford's cavalry division from that assigned to it by Gen, Pleasanton, who, as Commander-in-Chief of the Federal cavalry, should, next to Buford himself, have known the truth. Dr. Bates says that the cavalry engaged the first day (Buford's) amounted to 2,200 men. Pleasanton puts Buford's strength at 4,000. (See Pleasanton's report to Hon. Ben. Wade, Oct. 15, 1865.) In regard to the Confederate strength, Dr. Bates' conclusions are scarcely worthy of criticism. Were we at this late day seriously to attempt to determine Meade's force by giving the estimates made of it at the time of the battle, by Lee, or Longstreet, or Ewell, or by citizens, we would expose ourselves to the ridicule of., and of every other intelligent man. Yet this is what Dr. Bates has done in regard to Lee's force. The only scrap of respectable evidence he offers in support of his estimate as to the Confederate strength is a statement, reported as coming from Gen. Longstreet, that Lee had at Gettysburg “67,000 bayonets, or above 70,000 of all arms.” These numbers, Mr. Swinton says (see his Army of the Potomac), were given him by Longstreet, in an interview soon after the war. Now, Mr. Swinton may have misunderstood Gen. Longstreet, and probably did, for this officer, in a letter on the batte of Gettysburg to the New Orleans Republican, dated February 16th, 1876, says that the strength of the two divisions, of Hood's and McLaws, was but 13,000 “in all.” These divisions each contained four brigades. The remaining division of Longstreet's corps (Pickett's) contained only three brigades, and these were less in strength than the average. The highest Confederate estimate of Pickett's division I have found puts it at 4,000. This would make Longstreet's corps 17,000. And averaging the other corps at the same, would give 51,000 for the entire infantry strength of Gen. Lee, or under 61,000 for every thing. Note in connection with this:
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Battle of Kelleysville , March 17th , 1863 -Reports of Generals J. E. B. Stuart and Fitz. Lee .
Causes of the defeat of Gen. Lee 's Army at the battle of Gettysburg -opinions of leading Confederate soldiers.
Letter from Gen J. A. Early .
Causes of the Confederate defeat at Gettysburg .
Letter from General E. P. Alexander , late Chief of artillery First corps , A. N. V .
Leading Confederates on the battle of Gettysburg .
Letter from General John B. Hood .
Official Reports of the battle of Gettysburg .
Report of General Patton Anderson of operations of his division from 30th of July to 31st of August , 1864 , including the battle of Jonesboro , Georgia .
The peace Commission .-letter from Ex-President Davis .
Letter from Hon. J. P. Benjamin .
Farewell address of Brigadier-General R. L. Gibson to the Louisiana brigade after the terms of surrender had been agreed upon between Lieut.-Gen. Richard Taylor , C. S. A. , and Major-Gen. E. R. S. Canby , U. S. A.
Reminiscences of torpedo service in Charleston Harbor by W. T. Glassel , Commander Confederate States Navy.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.