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 militia were furnished by New York, and 32,104 by Pennsylvania in June, 1863, upon a call “by the President for troops to meet the emergency created by the rebel invasion, which culminated in the battle of Gettysburg.” These militia men, who were admirably armed, equipped and clothed, were certainly as good as any conscripts that the Confederate government could have sent forward to recruit our army after it started. I will here state that it appears (page 149) that of the 1,120,621 men furnished by the Bureau of Enrolment, only 168,649 men were actually drafted into the army, leaving 951,972 who were raised by voluntary enlistment by that Bureau; and of course they were put into old organizations. It is not unreasonable to suppose that some of them were put into the service before the battle of Gettysburg, as that Bureau began its operations for raising volunteers in May, 1863. The Comte has therefore jumped to his conclusion that “the Federal regiments were certainly not stronger than the Confederate ones.” His statement, that “the figures given by Meade and Butterfield do not show, as has been alleged by Dr. Bates, all the men borne upon the rolls; nor, I think, as Confederate writers have asserted, only the men present for duty on the battle-field, but all the men who at the morning call were not reported absent, whatever may be their occupation at that time; the men known as having fallen off the ranks not being generally reported absent at once, to give them a chance to join without losing their pay, the usual stragglers were in fact embraced in that figure,” --is calculated to excite a smile from any military man, and would no doubt elicit an indignant protest from General Meade if he were alive. Of all men about an army, the most worthless was a straggler, for he was always up to get his share of the rations, but never present to do his share of the fighting. The deserter was infinitely better, for by absenting himself he ceased to be a burthen on the commissariat of the army, and rendered fully as much service as the straggler. No military man of one grain of sense would be likely to count him as a part of his “effective strength in battle.” In using the terms “effective strength,” and “present for duty,” Generals Meade and Butterfield knew the full import of the terms they used, as is conclusively shown by the report of the 30th June, 1863, supervised by the one and signed by the other. The following are abstracts from the returns of June 20th and 30th and July 10th, 1863:
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