on, and is indisputably correct, except where, in the absence of the official returns, Mr. Swinton has substituted his own estimates or conjectures for the months of June and August, 1862, and June, 1863.
You will observe that, at the close of May, 1863, the whole force for duty in the Department of Northern Virginia consisted of 68,352 men and officers.
The Department of Northern Virginia embraced all that portion of eastern Virginia and the Valley north of James river, and included all theing-hammer process, we must inevitably have succumbed, if we had remained on the defensive entirely, just as it is said the constant dropping of water will wear away the hardest stone.
Let us look at the condition of affairs at the close of May, 1863.
The Federal forces held possession of Fortress Monroe, Yorktown and Norfolk in Virginia, with the control, by means of gunboats, of the Chesapeake, York river, and James river up to the mouth of the Appomattox — of the entire coast of North C