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‘ [126] Now that the enemy have taken to attacking, I regret the necessity of withdrawing, but see the cogency of your reasoning. If ammunition could have been taken up on pack animals, it might have enabled us after all to have gained the end we started for. The enemy attacking rather indicates that he has been touched in a weak point. Do not change, however, the directions that have been given.’ To Stanton, he telegraphed on the 28th: ‘The attack on General Hancock, now that a report is received, proves to be a decided success. He repulsed the enemy and remained in position, holding possession of the field until midnight, when he commenced withdrawing. Orders had been given for the withdrawal of the Second corps before the attack was made.1 We lost no prisoners except the usual stragglers who are always picked up.’2 The national loss in this operation was one hundred and forty-three killed, six hundred and fifty-three wounded, four hundred and eighty-eight missing-: total, twelve hundred and eighty-four.3 The enemy

1Lieutenant-General Grant and General Meade left the field, giving me verbal orders to hold my position until the following morning, when I was to fall back by the same road I had come.’— Hancock's Official Report.

2 Lee reported the capture of four hundred prisoners. Hancock, however, distinctly declared that he lost no prisoners in battle; but in withdrawing, he was obliged from lack of ambulances to place some of his wounded in the neighboring houses, leaving them under the care of his own surgeons. These—wounded, surgeons, and all—were doubtless included in Lee's report.

3 All my statements of national losses are from returns in the Adjutant-General's office at Washington. The estimates made by commanders the day after a battle were sometimes larger; but these included the very slightly wounded and the stragglers. All of whom shortly returned to the ranks. I have desired to give the absolute loss; and have applied the same rule to both armies. None other is possible with the rebels, as their records have been to so great an extent destroyed; indeed, when the disclosure would have been inconvenient, no return at all was made. No cause in history ever had more ingenious or more unscrupulous adherents in camp or civil life, than the Slaveholders' great rebellion.

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