month. I, however, obtained an abstract of the returns for the 10th of November, which is as follows:
These statements are given to show the immense odds against which I had to contend, not only when I was in front of Washington, but in the subsequent campaign in the Valley. General Sheridan in his report says that his loss in that campaign was in killed, 1,938; wounded, 11,893; missing, 3,121; total, 16,952.
This, added to the return for November 10, would show a force of more than 65,000; but perhaps some 5,000 of the wounded may have returned to duty, leaving about 60,000 as his available force in the beginning of the campaign or during its progress.
In reference to the absence of all returns of his force for September and October I will state that several years since I saw a statement in some newspaper that General Badeau had taken about a cartload of papers from the Adjutant-General's office when he undertook to write the biography of General Grant which had never been returned.
If that was the fact it may be that the missing returns of Sheridan's forces were among them; and as Grant's biography has now been completed it is not improbable that all the missing documents may be returned.
However that may be, there is still in existence, and accessible, documentary evidence enough, to enable candid searchers for the truth to ascertain the relative strength of the opposing forces at all important periods.
And when intelligent men of the North shall so far discard the passions and prejudices of the past as to be able to give a careful and dispassionate consideration to the facts it is not improbable that the scales will fall from the eyes of many of them, and they will discover that they have magnified into heroes of the highest order some whose statues will dwindle into very insignificant proportions before the light of truth.
To such a test I am willing to submit the conduct of my advance upon and operations around Washington and my subsequent campaign in the Valley with full confidence in the result.
It may be, however, that an appeal “to foreign nations and to the next ages” will be necessary before the truth of history is fully vindicated in regard to the operations of the war; and, be that as it may, I have no apprehension as to the final Verdict.
|General Crook, present for duty||18,036|
|General Wright, present for duty||12,336|
|General Emory, present for duty||9,701|
|General Torbert, present for duty||8,307|