Letter from Gen J. A. Early.
Lynchburga, Va., March 12th, 1877.A copy of your letter to Mr. Jones, the Secretary of the Southern Historical Society, in which you express a desire to have my opinion upon certain propositions suggested by you in regard to the Pennsylvania campaign of 1863, and the battle of Gettysburg, has been forwarded to me, and I take pleasure in giving my views on the several mooted questions. In the first place, I must say that you are mistaken in assuming that the Army of Northern Virginia was more powerful when it undertook the invasion of Pennsylvania than it had ever been before. I believe that you receive our publications entitled Southern Historical Society Papers, and if so, by referring to the July number for 1876, you will find a paper by me in regard to the relative strength of the armies of Generals Lee and Grant, in which is embodied, on pafe 16, a table of returns of the forces in the Department of Northern Virginia at the end of each month from February, 1862, to February, 1865, inclusive, except for the months of June anmd August, 1862, April and June, 1863, and May and September, 1864. This table was made out by Mr. Swinton, author of the History of the Army of the Potomac, from the Confederate returns in the Archive Office at Washington, and is indisputably correct, except where, in the absence of the official returns, Mr. Swinton has substituted his own estimates or conjectures for the months of June and August, 1862, and June, 1863. You will observe that, at the close of May, 1863, the whole force for duty in the Department of Northern Virginia consisted of 68,352 men and officers. The Department of Northern Virginia embraced all that portion of eastern Virginia and the Valley north of James river, and included