previous next

[592] would amount to six hundred each; deduct that amount from the fifteen thousand three hundred and forty-four, and it leaves but fourteen thousand seven hundred and forty-four total loss in killed, wounded, deserters, stragglers, and prisoners, of his infantry and artillery. From this amount deduct ten thousand killed and wounded, and we have four thousand seven hundred and forty-four lost from all other causes in these arms. But it appears that the cavalry had increased twenty-two hundred and seventy-six. Deduct this from the four thousand seven hundred and forty-four, and his losses in all arms, except in killed and wounded, amount to but twenty-four hundred and sixty-eight.

We have, then, a loss by desertion and straggling, and prisoners, of only some two thousand five hundred from the “digging and retreating” policy. The demoralization of the army could not have been as great as General Hood supposes, or its losses from these causes would have been greater. The “working by night and traveling by day” would seem, too, not to be a very bad policy where the army has confidence in its leader.

General Hood asserts that a retreating army must lose more by straggling and desertion, if it does not fight, than it would in killed and wounded if it does. He attempts to show this by what he regards well-established principles, and not by figures. Napier differs from General Hood on this point. In discussing the losses of Massena from the Torres Vedras, he says: “It is unquestionable that a retreating army should fight as little as possible.

General Hood also insists that the army at Atlanta was greatly demoralized by the loss of men and officers, and by constant falling back. I do not recollect any general officer, except General Polk, who was killed while Johnston was in command; there may have been others, but certainly not many. What were his losses in general officers from Atlanta to Nashville? His march from Jonesboro to the Tennessee line was a retreat, and from Nashville to Tupelo; yet he lost by desertion but three hundred, and left the army in fine spirits. The demoralization of Johnston's


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
J. B. Hood (4)
J. E. Johnston (2)
Polk (1)
Napier (1)
Massena (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: