not move till he had the best organized army of the world to sustain him. There must be no mistake about capturing the Rebel
On the 26th of June the battle opened on the right wing of McClellan
by an attack by A. P. Hill
on the breastworks of Fitz John Porter
Soon the roar of artillery is heard round the flank of Porter
and in his rear.
It was the wizard of the Valley of Virginia
, who but a few days ago had defeated in quick succession McDowell
It was the guns of Stonewall Jackson
made a brave fight, but no troops could stand long with A. P. Hill
assailing them in the front and Stonewall Jackson
in the rear.
They fell back on their next supports, and when these supports were driven away they continued to fall back for seven long, bloody days, leaving baggage, artillery and equipments to the victors, till Malvern Hill
is reached, and there they check the Confederates
, inflicting on them great loss, till their trains and artillery had so far passed that they could fall back to Harrison's Landing
on the James river
, some thirty miles further from Richmond
than they were on the first morning of battle.
The losses in these battles were enormous on both sides.
The Confederates were, in the main, poorly armed, and as they assailed the enemy behind breastworks their loss was much larger than the Federals
Comte-de-Paris, in his ‘Civil War in America
II, p. 76, gives us General McClellan
's army report for June 20, 1862, six days before the battle opened, and his total ‘present’ was 156,838, while his ‘present for duty’ was 115,102.
This seems a great disproportion between ‘present’ and ‘present for duty,’ but we accept this as the number that were engaged in battle under General McClellan
From the most accurate statistics obtainable from the Confederates
, General Lee
's army ranged between 82,000 and 85,000, no estimate from regimental returns making it over 85,000.
, in his letter to the Secretary of War
July 3, 1862, says, ‘it is impossible to estimate our losses, but I doubt whether there are to-day more than 50,000 men with their colors.’
If the report of General McClellan
of June 20, 1862, is correct, then here are 115,102 Federal soldiers who, after fighting seven days against 82,000 to 85,000 Confederates, find themselves thirty miles further from Richmond
than when the battle commenced.
Verily, this was not one of the battles when the Federals
fought against superior numbers.