Equally distinguished were Lieut.-Col. Phil. Cook, Capts. W. H. Willis and F. H. DeGraffenreid, and Lieuts. E. A. Hawkins, R. M. Bisel, W. W. Hulbert, J. T. Gay (wounded), J. G. Stephens, C. R. Ezell, F. T. Snead, L. M. Cobb (killed), and J. C. Macon (severely wounded).Sharpsburg was the last of the terrible battles of the summer of 1862. In quick succession had followed Mechanicsville, Gaines' Mill, Malvern Hill and the others of the bloody Seven Days, Slaughter's Mountain, Second Manassas, South Mountain and Sharpsburg, all within ninety days. The army of Northern Virginia was terribly reduced in numbers. But this shattered army, by the tenacity with which it held its ground and the success with which it recovered positions temporarily lost, had so impressed McClellan that he dared not risk another attack upon Lee, who remained defiant in his front throughout the 18th and then retreated unmolested. Though Longstreet has expressed the opinion that ‘at the close of the day 10,000 fresh troops could have come in and taken Lee's army and everything it had,’ Gen. Jacob D. Cox, of the Union army, has declared that McClellan was so impressed by the complete defeat of his own right wing that he held Porter's corps of fresh troops in reserve. Says Cox: ‘McClellan's refusal to use them was the result of his continued conviction through all the day after Sedgwick's defeat that Lee was overwhelmingly superior in force, and was preparing to return a crushing blow upon our right flank. He was keeping something on hand to cover a retreat if that wing should be driven back. . . . McClellan estimated Lee's troops at nearly double their actual number.’ Indeed, he estimated them at much more than double their actual number, and it was this that kept him from attacking on the 18th, although he received that day 15,000 additional troops. Lee, having returned with his army to Virginia, there began a period of recruiting. At home thousands of
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