This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
2 During the entire period of Sheridan's command in the Valley his losses were 1,938 killed, 11,893 wounded, 3,121 missing; total, 16,952. Supposing Early's killed and wounded, for the same time, equal to those of his conqueror, the rebels lost under that commander, after August 7th, 13,800 men, besides prisoners and stragglers. Of the wounded on both sides, probably half returned to the ranks.
3 Sheridan captured more men in the Valley than Early says were in his army. To account for this singular circumstance, Early is obliged to declare: ‘A number of prisoners fell into the enemy's hands, who did not belong to my command, [to whom did they belong?] such as cavalry men on details to get fresh horses, soldiers on leave of absence, conscripts on special details, citizens not in the service [that is to say, guerillas ], men employed in getting supplies for the Department, and stragglers and deserters from other commands.’ Every one of these men was put into the ranks, if near a rebel army on the day of a battle, and every one captured was a loss to Early's fighting force. No such deductions were ever made by him in calculating the national numbers. This seems a proper place to point out one of the many devices resorted to by the rebels to minimize the statement of their own numbers. Early, and, among others, Colonel Taylor, of Lee's staff, in his ‘Four Years with General Lee,’ habitually speak of the numbers of ‘muskets’ available, when summing up the rebel strength at any particular time. They thus avoid computing the officers (one at least for every twenty men), as well as the cavalry and the artillery; but when the national force is stated, it is never reduced to muskets; officers, cavalry, artillerymen, details, reserves, and all are counted, and the aggregate is compared with the number of ‘muskets’said to be engaged on the rebel side.I have striven to avoid a similar unfairness, and in this history the same rule is always applied to both armies. The statement of numbers is that of the effective force, taken from the official returns on record in the War Department. If no such returns exist, or if there seems cause to modify them, the authority or reason for a different statement is given.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.