was effected without difficulty and without pursuit. The trains and artillery were saved, and the two wings of Lee's army were united at Sharpsburg. There had been much straggling of Longstreet's men on that hot and dusty march from Hagerstown. Garnett estimates that in marching and countermarching, his brigade passed over twenty-two or twenty-three miles. The reports are very meagre as to the numbers that were brought into action at South Mountain. We must judge of the whole from the few authentic estimates that are given. The Seventeenth South Carolina reports 141 men in the fight; the First South Carolina 106 men; the Seventeenth Virginia 55 officers and men; the Nineteenth Virginia 150 men; the Eighteenth Virginia 120 men; the Fiftieth Virginia 80 men; the Eighth Virginia 34 men. Longstreet admits now that his reinforcements did not exceed four thousand men. I think that estimate very high. But admitting this number, and that it was equally divided on the two sides of the pike, then Fighting Joe Hooker was contending with fifteen thousand men against 3,200 men, more than half of them in a broken down condition. However, his powerful field glass gave Fighting Joe a good view of the battle, and he felt proud, as well he might, of the steady and gallant advance of his three divisions. He says in his report: ‘When the advantages of the enemy's position are considered and his preponderating numbers, the forcing of the passage of South Mountain will be classed among the most brilliant and satisfactory achievements of this army, and its principal glory will be awarded to the First Corps.’ The reader will please remember that the First Corps was ‘Fighting Joe's’ corps. However, I am thankful to Fighting Joe for saying preponderating numbers, and not overwhelming numbers. The advantages of the position were with the attack, and not the defence, as any practical soldier will say, who will carefully examine the ground. General McClellan said officially: ‘The force opposed to me was D. H. Hill's division (15,000 men), and a part, if not the whole of Longstreet's, and, perhaps, a portion of Jackson's. Probably thirty thousand in all.’ It is always safe to give a divisor of three to any estimate made by General McClellan of the forces of his enemy. The General puts his attacking force in the two corps at thirty thousand. On the 14th September, 1862, I would have given that number a multiplier of two. An attacking column is apt to take on the appearance of overwhelming numbers.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
General Ewell at First Manassas .
Colonel Campbell Brown 's reply to General Beauregard .
The Merrimac and the Monitor —Report of the Committee on Naval Affairs.
Report: [to accompany bill H. R. 244 .]
Official reports of the battle of Gettysburg .
Report of Colonel Bryan Grimes , of Fourth North Carolina .
Operations of detachment from Cashtown to Williams -Port—report of Major Charles Richardson .
From the Rapidan to Spotsylvania Courthouse .
Report of General R. S. Ewell .
Report of General A. L. Long , from 4th to 31st of May , 1864 .
Evacuation of Richmond .
Reunion of the Virginia division Army of Northern Virginia Association.
Orations at the unveiling of the statue of Stonewall Jackson , Richmond, Va. , October 26th , 1875 .
Governor Kemper 's address.
The battle of Honey Hill .
Battle of Chickamauga .
Report of Brigadier-General B. R. Johnson .
Letter from General Hagood on recapture of a flag.
The cavalry affair at Waynesboro .
General Sherman 's method of making war.
Letter from Colonel Stone .
Gleanings from General Sherman 's despatches.
The Wee Nee Volunteers of Williamsburg District, South Carolina , in the First ( Gregg 's) Regiment—Siege and capture of Fort Sumter .
The Kilpatrick - Dahlgren raid against Richmond .
Statement of Lieutenant Bartley , of the United States signal corps .
The Confederate account.
Authenticity of the Dahlgren papers.
The opening of the lower Mississippi in April , 1862 -a reply to Admiral Porter .
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