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[145]

General Sumner's corps was united at Fair Oaks Saturday evening. If he had driven Smith's division from the field in flight, it is not to be imagined that with at least twenty thousand men on the flank of the remaining Confederate troops, Longstreet's and Hill's, he would have failed to attack and destroy them on Sunday; for, being ranking officer, he could have united Heintzelman's and Keyes's corps to his own, and attacked the Confederates both in front and flank.

The claims of the same officers to decided successes on Sunday are disproved by what immediately precedes, and the reports of Generals Hill and Pickett. The chances of success on that day were all in favor of the Confederates. The numbers of the opposing forces were nearly equal. But three of the six Federal divisions had, successively, been thoroughly beaten the day before by five Confederate brigades.

The authors of Alfriend's “Life of Jefferson Davis,” and some other biographers, represent, to my disparagement, that the army with which General Lee fought in “the seven days” was only that which I had commanded. It is very far from the truth. General Lee did not attack the enemy until the 26th of June, because he was employed, from the 1st until then, in forming a great army, by bringing, to that which I had commanded, fifteen thousand1 men from North Carolina, under Major-General Holmes,2

1 General Holmes told me in General Lee's presence, just before the fight began on the 31st, that he had that force ready to join me when the President should give the order. I have also the written testimony of Colonel Archer Anderson, then of General Holmes's staff, that he brought that number into General Lee's army.

2 General Ripley gave me this number. He brought the first brigade--five thousand men. General Lawton told me that his was six thousand, General Drayton that his was seven thousand; there was another brigade, of which I do not know the strength.

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