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Cu. XXIX.] RESULTS AT
gives his reasons, at large, for not entering instautly, and with his entire force, upon a vigorous pursuit of Lee and his army. The reader, on consulting the report, must judge of the soundness of Meade's conclusions. The cavalry was sent off directly, and on the 12th of July, Meade passed through South Mountain, intending to attack Lee the next day near Williamsport; but during the night the rebel general retreated into Virginia, and finally occupied the line of the Rapidan.* Meade's army resumed its position on the Rappahannock.
The losses in the battle of Gettysburg were painfully severe and heavy. Gens. Reynolds, Weed and Zook were killed; Gens. Barlow, Barnes, Butterfield, Doubleday, Gibbon, Graham, Hancock, Sickles and Warren were wounded; while of officers below this rank, and of men, there were 2,834 killed, 13,733 wounded, and 6,643 missing, making an aggregate of over 23,000.
Gen. Lee, for prudential reasons, probably, made no report of his losses,
with some pretentiousness, and certainly with great freedom. As in the case of McClellan at Antietam, so here, in Meade's case, he sharply censures the not pursuing immediately the rebel army and completely routing them, as he holds to have been perfectly possible, if not quite a certainty.—See " Army of the Potomac," p. 370.
* Gen. Lee, during his retreat, addressed his troops, July 11th, in which he reminded them of long and trying marches in penetrating the country of the enemy, besought them to think of the glorious past, nerve themselves for victory, etc. "You have fought," he said, " a fierce and sanguinary battle, which, if not attended with the success that has hitherto crowned your efforts, was marked by the same heroic spirit that has commanded the respect of your enemies, the gra1 titude of your country, and the admiration of mankind." It is hardly to be expected that the routed army derived much comfort from such'words as these.
simply stating that they were " severe." On his retreat he left, at various points along the road, 7,540 wounded to be cared for by our army and people. Gen. Meade took 13,621 prisoners, while the killed, wounded and missing are estimated to be over 20,000; making Lee's loss, besides a large number of general officers, to be fully one-third of the entire army with which he so confidently invaded the loyal states.
In speaking of the battle on the 3d of July, Lee uses brief and general terms: "The morning was occupied in necessary preparations, and the battle recommenced in the afternoon, and raged with great violence until sunset. Our troops succeeded in entering the advanced works of the enemy, and getting possession of some of his batteries; but our artillery having nearly expended its ammunition, the attacking columns became exposed to the heavy fire of the numerous batteries near the summit of the ridge, and, after a most determined and gallant struggle, were compelled to relinquish their advantage, and fall back to their original positions, with severe loss."
The day after the battle, July 4th, Gen Meade issued an address to the Armv of the Potomac, in which he bestowed the high praise and commendation to which it was so fully entitled, saying, in conclusion, "It is right and proper that we should, on suitable occasions, return our grateful thanks to the Almighty Disposer of events, that, in the goodness of his Providence, He has thought fit to give victory to the cause of the just."
A few days later, the news arrived