The truth with regard to the loss of the Yankees
begins to come out, in spite of all McClellan
's attempts to suppress it. At first it was stated, roughly, at 3,000 men killed, wounded and missing.
We knew that was an under estimate, for intelligence received from within their lines made it, by their own confession, amount to at least 4,000 in wounded.
Next came the statement of the New York Herald
, which gave 800 killed and 4,000 wounded, besides a number of missing.--Knowing the Yankee
propensity to lie, we then expressed our conviction that they had lost at least ten thousand men. In the meantime out came McClellan
's report, in which, after claiming a great victory, he acknowledged a loss of 5,724.
Week before last, a lady arrived in this city from beyond the enemy's lines, who had heard their officers say, in the cars, that they were badly beaten, and that their loss was at least 10,000.
Now, the correspondent of the New York Tribune
lets out the whole secret, and there can be no farther doubt.
The loss was at least
The correspondent is apprehensive that when the truth is all told, it will have been found to be greatly more.
Was this a victory for McClellan
Beaten out of his entrenchments, driven for a mile before our troops, losing sixteen guns and 800 prisoners, with an additional loss of 10,000, while our own loss amounted to only about twenty-three hundred, all told, and while we kept possession of the ground until the water compelled us to withdraw to a higher, where was there an incident to give him a claim to a triumph?
He lost at least one-fifth of the force he employed, a loss greater proportionally than any sustained by the French
in any of their conflicts with Wellington
, and Waterloo
, alone excepted.
Astounded at the tremendous damage which we inflicted upon the enemy, the New York Tribune
estimates the number of our troops engaged in the battle at about sixty thousand, The truth is we had but between 20,000 and 25,000 all told.
Had 60,000 been brought to bear on them early in the day — as was the intention of the General
in command — the whole force of the enemy, numbering three corps, or between 50,000 and 60,000 men, would have been entirely annihilated.
There would not have been left a man to tell the tale.
By some unfortunate accident or misunderstanding, this was not the case.
We fought them, as it was, in the proportion of one to two and a half, and we completely defeated them, although they were entrenched up to their chins, and were defended by swamps deemed impassable, and almost impenetrable thickets.
A more gallant achievement than that of our men on this occasion, is not mentioned in history.
It ought to animate them to the highest degree.
They know, now, and feel, that the enemy is no match for them.
They see that no odds, however tremendous, can avail anything against the daring impetuosity of Southern soldiers.
Their country is grateful to them, and they deserve her gratitude.
It was their country that animated them to the exertion which won the field and made heroes of them all. But for the consciousness that they were fighting for all they hold dear, it may be doubted whether their exertions could have been so strenuous, so long continued, so successful.
Brave in any cause, in that of their country they have proved themselves to be invincible.
All honor to the officers and soldiers who fought on that glorious day!