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[225] This book has been commended through the Confederate

Veteran as ‘the most important record for the student of correct history of the battle of Cedar Creek.’ Stated concisely, the argument of this ‘record’ is that Early lost this battle, and by not following Gordon's advice. I would be untrue to convictions derived from witnessing that calamitous field, confirmed by reading all that the record contains of it, if I did not challenge the statement that General Gordon's Reminiscenses is ‘correct history’ of Cedar Creek. I can but wish that the task had been taken up by some one better qualified by station and ability to give weight to the truth of which I testify; concerning a battle that General Gordon states ‘no other save Gettysburg has provoked such conflicting and varied comment.’

Any account of Cedar Creek calls for a statement of numbers of the two forces. Here there is no little conflict. Figures have probably been handled in partizan spirit by both sides. But the record affords all the data requisite for approximate accuracy, which is my aim. The statement of the Union strength has been carefully, and presumably faithfully, compiled in Livermore's Civil War Numbers and Losses, and it is here quoted:

Sixth and 19th Corps ‘effectives,’20,400
Eighth Corps,4,589
Kitching's Division,1,200
——
Total infantry and artillery,26,189
Deduct regulars detached,3,080
Deduct losses October 13th,209
——3,289
——
Actual infantry and artillery22,900
Effective cavalry,7,929
——
Total all,30,829

For palpable error Livermore's Confederate table is rejected, and the following is taken from the record:

Early's effective infantry and artillery, September 30th return, 6,291. From this Gordon's Division is omitted. Its September 10th return was 2,961. Deduct Winchester and Fisher's Hill

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