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“ [450] in comparison with the number of troops as to justify me in stating that it was nothing.”

We refused no “gage of battle,” but were ready to repel the enemy's attack each day of the sixteen during which we confronted him near Yorktown; and fought him successfully at Williamsburg, and drove him out of our way at Barhamsville.

As to disparity of numbers, it was a hundred and thirty-three thousand1 to fifty thousand; far greater than existed when General Lee took command of that army on the first of June, or than that against us in Mississippi in December, 1862, or in Middle Tennessee in 1863. Yet General Lee was justly sustained by the Administration and people for postponing his attack upon McClellan four weeks, that he might make it with a force adequate to win; and Lieutenant-General Pemberton's course was approved when he refused Grant's “gage of battle,” and retired from the Tallahatchie; and General Bragg's when he refused Rosecrans's “gage of battle” in the valley of Duck River, and retreated rapidly across the Cumberland Mountains and Tennessee River.

After the battle of Williamsburg the Federal army did not approach us; although our march thence to the Baltimore cross-roads, thirty-seven miles, occupied five days and we remained there five more. We waited for the enemy in that position because it was a good one--the first we had found not liable to be turned by water, while it was accessible by railroad from Richmond. We halted there

1 Report of Adjutant-General of the United States Army to committee on conduct of the war.

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