This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 that in the last return of Lee's army 5,155 were artillery and 5,700 were cavalry. Owing to the fact that nearly one-half of the cavalry were dismounted, and remembering their losses in the actions in which they were engaged up to the 9th, it is safe to estimate Lee's effective cavalry at between two thousand and twenty-two hundred. This exceeds the number paroled, but Fitz Lee's cavalry cut through on the morning of the 9th, and a portion left for their homes, after learning of the surrender, without waiting to be paroled when the cavalry surrendered shortly afterwards. Two thousand five hundred and eighty-six artillerymen were paroled. The cavalry and artillery on the morning of the 9th, therefore, numbered about forty-seven hundred men. As the number of troops with which Lee started on the retreat was 36,000, of all arms, and the losses were 12,000, it would leave Lee, 24,000 of his line of battle strength of all arms on the day of the surrender. Deduct from this number forty-seven hundred for artillery and cavalry, and it would give Lee 19,300, or if we include Walker's command, 20,700 infantry on the morning of the surrender. Is it any wonder that more than half of this number had not the strength to bear their muskets? It must be remembered, also, that the greater portion of Lee's troops had been fighting and marching, during most miserable weather, since the 25th day of March, and that the whole of his force had been marching and fighting every day since the 1st day of April, and that during this trying period the troops had been without sufficient food most of the time, and for the last five days without food of any kind, sustaining themselves on leaves and twigs of the budding vegetation and a few ears of Indian corn left in the fields when the crops were gathered. This continuous exposure, fatigue, loss of sleep, and hunger, and the mental strain which the troops underwent, told fearfully upon them, and thousands of the infantry, whose courage was unquenched, were too weak to bear their muskets, and had either to place them in the wagons or abandon them on the wayside. So it was that over half of them were too weak to bear arms on the morning of the 9th, and Lee could then muster not quite eight thousand organized infantry with arms in their hands, for the operations on the front, flanks and rear of his army, while Gordon and Fitz Lee attempted to cut out. General Lee, in his report to President Davis of the surrender, says: ‘On the morning of the 9th, according to the reports of the ordinance officers, there were 7,892 organized infantry ’
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.