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[183]

The relative strength of Hooker and Lee is given by the New York Tribune of March twenty-six, 1864, in an editorial on the “Richmond Campaigns,” as follows: Hooker, one hundred and twenty-three thousand fighting men present for duty; Lee, forty-nine thousand seven hundred men.

At this time I do not purpose expressing an opinion respecting the accuracy of the estimates of the Tribune, but it is due the little Army I had the honor to command, that I should state that the force opposed to us in front of Suffolk was very heavy, nearly twice my own, for many days, and in the hands of some of the ablest rebel West Pointers; viz., Longstreet, Hill, Hood, Pickett, Garnett, Anderson, French, &c.

The operations about Suffolk, ending May fourth, were suddenly eclipsed in the night of general gloom and painful anxiety which attended General Hooker's disaster at Chancellorsville. Attention was not again awakened upon that field, and the campaign will be imperfectly understood by the public while the official reports remain unpublished.

Sincerely yours,

John J. Peck, Major-General.

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