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[270] which he so described was competent to recover “the territory from which it had been driven.” He had visited it some two months before, and seen that it could make no forward movement for the purpose then, when the opposing Federal army had not been increased by the corps of twenty thousand veterans, led from Mississippi by Sherman; nor ours weakened by the withdrawal from it of Longstreet's corps,1 and its losses at Missionary Ridge. Those losses must have been severe, for such troops are not easily driven from strong and intrenched positions; still less, easily routed. As I had much better means of information on the subjects of this paper than its author, it could not have been written for my instruction.

The two high executive officers expressed in their letters very different opinions of the effect of its recent defeat, upon the army. The Secretary of War expressed plainly his consciousness of the great losses it had suffered in men, morale, and material. The President, on the contrary, regarded “the effective condition” of the army as “a matter of much congratulation.” And, to give a distinct idea of its strength, he asserted that “the morning report exhibited an effective total that, added to the two brigades last sent from Mississippi,2 and the cavalry sent back by Longstreet,3 would furnish a force exceeding in number that actually engaged in any battle, on the Confederate side, during the present war.”

To disprove this assertion, it is not necessary to

1 About fourteen thousand of the best of the Confederate troops.

2 Quarles's and Baldwin's brigades, sent back to Mississippi by the President two weeks after.

3 No cavalry had been sent back by Longstreet; Martin's division, referred to, rejoined us in April following.

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