“Army of west Virginia
,” and one division of the 8th corps.
The report of Secretary Stanton
shows that there was in the department of which the Middle Military division was composed the following “available force present for duty May 1st, 1864,” to wit:
|Department of Washington||42,124|
|Department of West Virginia||30,782|
|Department of the Susquehanna||2,970|
|Middle Department|| 5,627|
making an aggregate of 81,503; but, as the Federal Secretary of War
in the same report says, “In order to repair the losses of the Army of the Potomac, the chief part of the force designed to guard the Middle Department and the Department of Washington was called forward to the front,” we may assume that 40,000 men were used for that purpose, which would leave 41,503, minus the losses in battle before Sheridan
in the Middle Military division, exclusive of the 6th and 19th corps, and the cavalry from Grant
The infantry of the Army of the Potomac was composed of the 2nd, 5th, and 6th corps, on the 1st of May, 1864, and Stanton
says the “available force present for duty” in that army, on that day, was 120,386 men. Allowing 30,000 for the artillery and cavalry of that army, which would be a very liberal allowance, and there would be still left 90,385 infantry; and it is fair to assume that the 6th corps numbered one-third of the infantry, that is 30,000 men on the 1st of May, 1864.
If the losses of the Army of the Potomac had been such as to reduce the 6th corps to less than 10,000 men, notwithstanding the reinforcements and recruits received, the carnage in Grant
's army must have been frightful indeed.
The 19th corps was just from the Department of the Gulf and had not gone through a bloody campaign.
A. communication which was among the papers captured at Cedar Creek
, in noticing some statement of a newspaper correspondent in regard to the conduct of that