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[243]

The returns of both armies were alike in this, viz.: in each there was a column for the officers “present for duty,” and one for the enlisted men “present for duty.” Entirely distinct from this, but under the general heading “present,” were separate columns for “extra or special duty,” “sick,” and “in arrest.” The extra or special-duty men were, as a rule, on service with the trains, and were never counted by regimental commanders with us gn their reports of “men present for duty.” Without discussing the point made by the Count, that the “Federal officers gave as what they called their effective strength the figures representing all the men present, and not only those present for duty,” I would call attention to the fact that, in his official correspondence with the General-in-Chief, General Hooker, on the 27th day of June, 1863-four days previous to the battle-stated that his “whole force of enlisted men present for duty would not exceed 105,000.” He does not use the term “effective strength,” but “enlisted men present for duty.” Evidently these figures were taken from the column headed “enlisted men present for duty.” Now, why will all the writers on the other side persist in ignoring this evidence of the General of the Army of the Potomac? This dispatch from General Hooker to General Halleck was sent under peculiar circumstances. The former desired to impress upon the latter the necessity for reinforcing him, and that there “might be no misunderstanding,” he informs his superior that his whole force of enlisted men present for duty will not exceed 105,000. This evidence, written down at the time by the General of the Army, with the reports of his subordinates before him, is worth ten times that sustained only by the hind-sights of the officers whose evidence, given from memory some time afterwards, is made the basis of calculation by the Count. General Meade himself testified that when he took command the returns shown him called for 105,000 men-evidently the same from which General Hooker derived his figures-although he erroneously claims that those figures embraced the garrison at Harper's Ferry. General Meade also testified from memory, before the Congressional Committee, that he had “upon that battle-field,” of all arms of the service, a little under 100,000 men: whereas the Count gives him but 85,000. Surely, General Meade did not include in this statement the men on duty with the trains.


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Gederal Meade (3)
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