, commanded by Major-General Meade
, had its headquarters on the north side of the Rapidan
The Ninth Corps, under Major-General Burnside
, was, at the opening of the campaign, a distinct organization, but on the 24th day of May, 1864, it was incorporated into the Army of the Potomac.
The Army of the James was commanded by Major-Gen. Butler
, whose headquarters were at Fortress Monroe
The headquarters of the Army of the Shenandoah, commanded by Major-Gen. Sigel
, were at Winchester
The available strength of the enemy's force on the line of the Rapidan
, including the Ninth Corps, was 141,166 men. Besides there were in what was known as the Department of Washington and the Middle Department 47,751 men, available as reinforcements to the Army of the Potomac; making therefore a total of about 180,000 men, as the force which Gen. Lee
had to meet with less than forty thousand muskets
The Confederate army on the Rapidan
, at the beginning of the campaign, consisted of two divisions of Longstreet
's corps, Ewell
's corps, A. P. Hill
's corps, three divisions of cavalry, and the artillery.
's corps did not exceed fourteen thousand muskets at the beginning of the campaign.
On the 8th of May, the effective strength of Hill
's corps was less than thirteen thousand muskets, and it could not have exceeded eighteen thousand in the beginning of the month.
's corps was the weakest of the three when all the divisions were present, and the two with him had just returned from an arduous and exhausting winter campaign in East Tennessee
His effective strength could not have exceeded eight thousand muskets.
's whole effective infantry, therefore, did not exceed forty thousand muskets, if it reached that number.
The cavalry divisions were weak, neither of them exceeding the strength of a good brigade.
The artillery was in proportion to the other arms, and was far exceeded by Grant
's, not only in the number of men and guns, but in weight of metal, and especially in the quality of the ammunition.
's whole effective strength at the opening of the campaign was not over fifty thousand men of all arms.
There were no means of recruiting the ranks of his army, and no reinforcements were received until the 23d of May.
The Confederate public was but little aware of this terrible disparity of force; but Gen. Lee
was greatly affected by it as he contemplated the thin line which stood between the insolent host of the enemy and the Capital
of the Confederacy
In April he issued a general order
directing to be observed “a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer.”
All military duties, unless absolutely necessary, were to be suspended, and the chaplains were desired to hold divine service in their regiments and brigades.
Officers and men were “requested” to attend.
This passed, the final preparations were made for the deadly struggle that, it was evident, would soon commence.
“For your stricken country's sake, and ours,” said the