Mr. Lee's reply to his critics.
Messrs. Editors,—Several months ago you published some Civil war statistics prepared by me. These have been widely republished and much criticised. Will you kindly publish my authorities for these figures? The statement most objected to is the totol number of enlistments in the Confederate army; that is, 600,000 men. The New York Tribune never, to my knowledge, said anything kind or generous about the South, and, therefore, what it says in support of that section may be received as authentic. Its Washington correspondent in the issue of June 26, 1867, page I, says: ‘Among the documents which fell into our hands at the downfall of the Confederacy are the returns, very nearly complete, of the Confederate armies from their organization in the summer of 1861 down to the spring of 1865. These returns have been carefully analyzed, and I am enabled to furnish the returns in every department and for almost every month from these official sources. We judge in all 600,000 different men were in the Confederate ranks during the war. Of those we do not believe one-half are alive this day. Of the 300,000 of the Confederate soldiers yet alive no man can say what proportion are wholly or in part disabled by wounds or disease.’ General J. A. Early, in Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume II, page 20, says ‘This estimate is very nearly correct,’ and there was no better authority in the South than General Early. The American Cyclopedia (D. Appleton & Co., 1875), of which Charles A. Dana, late Assistant Secretary of War, was editor, in Volume V, page 232, says: ‘The Adjutant-General of the Confederate army, General S. Cooper, in a statement made since the close of hostilities, estimates the entire available Confederate forces capable of active service in the field at 600,000. Of this number not more than 400,000 were enrolled at any one time, and the Confederate States never had in the field at once more than 200,000 men.’ The letter of General Cooper relating to this subject is published in Volume VII, page 287, of the Southern Historical Society Papers. Lieutenant-Colonel Fox of the United States army, in Losses in Civil War, says: