Battle of Gettysburg Strength of the Armies

Thomas' Legion
INTRODUCTION
American Civil War HOMEPAGE
American Civil War
Causes of the Civil War : What Caused the Civil War
Organization of Union and Confederate Armies: Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery
Civil War Navy: Union Navy and Confederate Navy
American Civil War: The Soldier's Life
Civil War Turning Points
American Civil War: Casualties, Battles and Battlefields
Civil War Casualties, Fatalities & Statistics
Civil War Generals
American Civil War Desertion and Deserters: Union and Confederate
Civil War Prisoner of War: Union and Confederate Prison History
Civil War Reconstruction Era and Aftermath
American Civil War Genealogy and Research
Civil War
American Civil War Pictures - Photographs
African Americans and American Civil War History
American Civil War Store
American Civil War Polls
NORTH CAROLINA HISTORY
North Carolina Civil War History
North Carolina American Civil War Statistics, Battles, History
North Carolina Civil War History and Battles
North Carolina Civil War Regiments and Battles
North Carolina Coast: American Civil War
HISTORY OF WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA
Western North Carolina and the American Civil War
Western North Carolina: Civil War Troops, Regiments, Units
North Carolina: American Civil War Photos
Cherokee Chief William Holland Thomas
HISTORY OF THE CHEROKEE INDIANS
Cherokee Indian Heritage, History, Culture, Customs, Ceremonies, and Religion
Cherokee Indians: American Civil War
History of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian Nation
Cherokee War Rituals, Culture, Festivals, Government, and Beliefs
Researching your Cherokee Heritage
Civil War Diary, Memoirs, Letters, and Newspapers
American Civil War Store: Books, DVDs, etc.

Union Army

Army of the Potomac

The consolidated morning reports of the Union Army for June 30th, 1863, reflect the numbers 'actually available for line of battle' (the effective force), including officers and men as follows:

Command Cavalry Artillery Infantry Total
First Army Corps 67 619 9403 10089
Second Army Corps 82 551 12363 12996
Third Army Corps --- 677 11247 11924
Fifth Army Corps --- 555 11954 12509
Sixth Army Corps 124 1039 14516 15679
Eleventh Army Corps 52 644 9197 9893
Twelfth Army Corps --- 396 8193 8589
Cavalry Corps 12653 491 --- 13144
Artillery Reserve ---- 2211 335 2546
Aggregate 12978 7183 77208 97369

Between June 30th and July 3d, the reinforcements that joined the army may be estimated as follows:

Stannard's brigade to First Corps ................2,500
Lockwood's brigade to Twelfth Corps ...........1,700
Duvall's company Maryland cavalry to
Gregg's cavalry division ............................... 60
Rank's Pennsylvania artillery to Gregg's
cavalry division ........................................... 50
====================================
Total reinforcements ................................ 4,310

This number, added to the strength as per returns of June 30th, makes a maximum of 101,679 effectives of all arms.

Following the roll-call of June 30th, the severe marches caused sickness and straggling and it considerably reduced the strength of the commands. A satisfactory computation of the shrinkage from these causes does not seem possible. It may have ranged from five to ten per cent.

The field returns of the infantry and artillery of the army corps for July 4th, give the following effective figures:

First Corps (except one regiment
detailed as wagon guard)................ 5,430
Second Corps................................ 6,923
Third Corps.................................... 6,130
Fifth Corps......................................9,553
Sixth Corps.................................. 12,832
Eleventh Corps............................... 5,513
Twelfth Corps (except one
battery on reconnaissance).............. 9,757
===============================
Total .............................................56,138

Adding the loss of 21,905 sustained by the commands mentioned, gives an approximate calculation of the strength of the seven army corps, viz., 78,043.

There are no field returns for the Cavalry Corps or the Artillery Reserve for July 4th. But estimating in round numbers, 78,000 is the maximum fighting strength for the seven army corps. By adding 13,000 for the Cavalry Corps, and 2500 for the Artillery Reserve (as shown by the return for June 30th), an aggregate of 93,500 is obtained.

The effective strength as reported by the seven army corps commanders at the council held on the evening of July 2d, was as follows: About 9000, 12,500, 9000, 6000, 8500, 6000, 7000,--total 58,000.

Unfortunately, the particular corps represented by these figures are not stated in the minutes of the council.

Confederate Army

Army of Northern Virginia

According to the returns of the Confederate Army for May 31st, 1863, which were the final reports preceding the battle, the 'effective total' of enlisted men was:

Infantry...................... 54,356
Stuart's Cavalry............ 9,536
Artillery....................... 4,460
Alexander's and Garnett's artillery battalions (consisting of ten batteries) are not included in the above figures. Their effective strength may, however, be stated at 800 officers and men. There were also 6116 officers borne on the return as 'present for duty,' which added to the foregoing and give an aggregate of 75,268 officers and men.

The accessions by organizations to the army between May 31st and July 3rd were as follows:
....................................................|....Estimated at not less than
1st. Pettigrew's infantry brigade.......|... 2,000
2d. Jenkins's cavalry brigade...........|... 1,600
3d. Imboden's cavalry brigade..........|... 2,000

Total gain ..........................................5,600

The loss by organizations during the same period was:

1st. Corse's brigade and one regiment
of Pettigrew's brigade left at Hanover Court House, Va.-------------- 2,000
2d. Three regiments of Early's division left at Winchester, Va. --- 1,009
3d. One regiment of Stuart's cavalry left in Virginia ---------------------- 350
======================================================
-------------------------------------------------------------Total loss (estimated) 3,350

or a net gain of 2250, which added to the strength on May 31st, of 75,268, makes a maximum in the campaign of 77,518. After making a liberal allowance for losses by sickness, straggling, guards to prisoners and casual ties in the various encounters between June 1st and June 30th inclusive, it seems reasonable to conclude that General Lee had at his command on the field of battle, from first to last, an army numbering at least 70,000 men of all arms.

(Adapted from Battles and Leaders of the Civil War)

Recommended Reading: Brigades of Gettysburg: The Union and Confederate Brigades at the Battle of Gettysburg (Hardcover) (704 Pages). Description: While the battle of Gettysburg is certainly the most-studied battle in American history, a comprehensive treatment of the part played by each unit has been ignored. Brigades of Gettysburg fills this void by presenting a complete account of every brigade unit at Gettysburg and providing a fresh perspective of the battle. Using the words of enlisted men and officers, the author and renowned Civil War historian, Bradley Gottfried, weaves a fascinating narrative of the role played by every brigade at the famous three-day battle, as well as a detailed description of each brigade unit. Continued below...

Organized by order of battle, each brigade is covered in complete and exhaustive detail: where it fought, who commanded, what constituted the unit, and how it performed in battle. Innovative in its approach and comprehensive in its coverage, Brigades of Gettysburg is certain to be a classic and indispensable reference for the battle of Gettysburg for years to come.

Site search Web search

Recommended Reading: The Gettysburg Companion: A Guide to the Most Famous Battle of the Civil War (Hardcover). Description: There have been many books about Gettysburg, but never one to rival this in scale or authority. Based on extensive research, The Gettysburg Companion describes the battle in detail, drawing on firsthand accounts of participants on all sides in order to give the reader a vivid sense of what it was like to experience the carnage at Gettysburg in early July 1863. Continued below...

The many full-color maps--all specially commissioned for the book--and the numerous photographs, charts, and diagrams make this book a feast for the eyes and a collector's dream. Includes a massive library of 500 color illustrations.

 

Recommended Reading: The Gettysburg Campaign: A Study in Command (928 pages). Description: Coddington's research is one of the most thorough and detailed studies of the Gettysburg Campaign. Exhaustive in scope and scale, Coddington delivers, with unrivaled research, in-depth battle descriptions and a complete history of the regiments involved. This is a must read for anyone seriously interested in American history and what transpired and shaped a nation on those pivotal days in July 1863.

 

Recommended Reading: The History Buff's Guide to Gettysburg (Key People, Places, and Events) (Key People, Places, and Events). Description: While most history books are dry monologues of people, places, events and dates, The History Buff's Guide is ingeniously written and full of not only first-person accounts but crafty prose. For example, in introducing the major commanders, the authors basically call Confederate Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell a chicken literally. 'Bald, bug-eyed, beak-nosed Dick Stoddard Ewell had all the aesthetic charm of a flightless foul.' Continued below...

To balance things back out a few pages later, they say federal Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade looked like a 'brooding gargoyle with an intense cold stare, an image in perfect step with his nature.' Although it's called a guide to Gettysburg, in my opinion, it's an authoritative guide to the Civil War. Any history buff or Civil War enthusiast or even that casual reader should pick it up.

 

Recommended Reading: Hallowed Ground: A Walk at Gettysburg, by James M. McPherson (Crown Journeys) (Hardcover). Publishers Weekly: The country's most distinguished Civil War historian, a Pulitzer Prize winner (for Battle Cry of Freedom) and professor at Princeton, offers this compact and incisive study of the Battle of Gettysburg. In narrating "the largest battle ever fought in the Western Hemisphere," McPherson walks readers over its presently hallowed ground, with monuments numbering into the hundreds, many of which work to structure the narrative. Continued below...

 They range from the equestrian monument to Union general John Reynolds to Amos Humiston, a New Yorker identified several months after the battle when family daguerreotypes found on his body were recognized by his widow. Indeed, while McPherson does the expected fine job of narrating the battle, in a manner suitable for the almost complete tyro in military history, he also skillfully hands out kudos and criticism each time he comes to a memorial. He praises Joshua Chamberlain and the 20th Maine, but also the 140th New York and its colonel, who died leading his regiment on the other Union flank in an equally desperate action. The cover is effective and moving: the quiet clean battlefield park above, the strewn bodies below. The author's knack for knocking myths on the head without jargon or insult is on display throughout: he gently points out that North Carolinians think that their General Pettigrew ought to share credit for Pickett's charge; that General Lee's possible illness is no excuse for the butchery that charge led to; that African-Americans were left out of the veterans' reunions; and that the kidnapping of African-Americans by the Confederates has been excised from most history books.

 

Recommended Reading: General Lee's Army: From Victory to Collapse. Review: You cannot say that University of North Carolina professor Glatthaar (Partners in Command) did not do his homework in this massive examination of the Civil War–era lives of the men in Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Glatthaar spent nearly 20 years examining and ordering primary source material to ferret out why Lee's men fought, how they lived during the war, how they came close to winning, and why they lost. Glatthaar marshals convincing evidence to challenge the often-expressed notion that the war in the South was a rich man's war and a poor man's fight and that support for slavery was concentrated among the Southern upper class. Continued below...

Lee's army included the rich, poor and middle-class, according to the author, who contends that there was broad support for the war in all economic strata of Confederate society. He also challenges the myth that because Union forces outnumbered and materially outmatched the Confederates, the rebel cause was lost, and articulates Lee and his army's acumen and achievements in the face of this overwhelming opposition. This well-written work provides much food for thought for all Civil War buffs.

 

Recommended Reading: ONE CONTINUOUS FIGHT: The Retreat from Gettysburg and the Pursuit of Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, July 4-14, 1863 (Hardcover) (June 2008). Description: The titanic three-day battle of Gettysburg left 50,000 casualties in its wake, a battered Southern army far from its base of supplies, and a rich historiographic legacy. Thousands of books and articles cover nearly every aspect of the battle, but not a single volume focuses on the military aspects of the monumentally important movements of the armies to and across the Potomac River. One Continuous Fight: The Retreat from Gettysburg and the Pursuit of Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, July 4-14, 1863 is the first detailed military history of Lee's retreat and the Union effort to catch and destroy the wounded Army of Northern Virginia. Against steep odds and encumbered with thousands of casualties, Confederate commander Robert E. Lee's post-battle task was to successfully withdraw his army across the Potomac River. Union commander George G. Meade's equally difficult assignment was to intercept the effort and destroy his enemy. The responsibility for defending the exposed Southern columns belonged to cavalry chieftain James Ewell Brown (JEB) Stuart. If Stuart fumbled his famous ride north to Gettysburg, his generalship during the retreat more than redeemed his flagging reputation. The ten days of retreat triggered nearly two dozen skirmishes and major engagements, including fighting at Granite Hill, Monterey Pass, Hagerstown, Williamsport, Funkstown, Boonsboro, and Falling Waters. Continued below...

President Abraham Lincoln was thankful for the early July battlefield victory, but disappointed that General Meade was unable to surround and crush the Confederates before they found safety on the far side of the Potomac. Exactly what Meade did to try to intercept the fleeing Confederates, and how the Southerners managed to defend their army and ponderous 17-mile long wagon train of wounded until crossing into western Virginia on the early morning of July 14, is the subject of this study. One Continuous Fight draws upon a massive array of documents, letters, diaries, newspaper accounts, and published primary and secondary sources. These long-ignored foundational sources allow the authors, each widely known for their expertise in Civil War cavalry operations, to describe carefully each engagement. The result is a rich and comprehensive study loaded with incisive tactical commentary, new perspectives on the strategic role of the Southern and Northern cavalry, and fresh insights on every engagement, large and small, fought during the retreat. The retreat from Gettysburg was so punctuated with fighting that a soldier felt compelled to describe it as "One Continuous Fight." Until now, few students fully realized the accuracy of that description. Complimented with 18 original maps, dozens of photos, and a complete driving tour with GPS coordinates of the entire retreat, One Continuous Fight is an essential book for every student of the American Civil War in general, and for the student of Gettysburg in particular. About the Authors: Eric J. Wittenberg has written widely on Civil War cavalry operations. His books include Glory Enough for All (2002), The Union Cavalry Comes of Age (2003), and The Battle of Monroe's Crossroads and the Civil War's Final Campaign (2005). He lives in Columbus, Ohio. J. David Petruzzi is the author of several magazine articles on Eastern Theater cavalry operations, conducts tours of cavalry sites of the Gettysburg Campaign, and is the author of the popular "Buford's Boys." A long time student of the Gettysburg Campaign, Michael Nugent is a retired US Army Armored Cavalry Officer and the descendant of a Civil War Cavalry soldier. He has previously written for several military publications. Nugent lives in Wells, Maine.

 

Recommended Reading: Retreat from Gettysburg: Lee, Logistics, and the Pennsylvania Campaign (Civil War America) (Hardcover). Description: In a groundbreaking, comprehensive history of the Army of Northern Virginia's retreat from Gettysburg in July 1863, Kent Masterson Brown draws on previously unused materials to chronicle the massive effort of General Robert E. Lee and his command as they sought to expeditiously move people, equipment, and scavenged supplies through hostile territory and plan the army's next moves. More than fifty-seven miles of wagon and ambulance trains and tens of thousands of livestock accompanied the army back to Virginia. Continued below...

The movement of supplies and troops over the challenging terrain of mountain passes and in the adverse conditions of driving rain and muddy quagmires is described in depth, as are General George G. Meade's attempts to attack the trains along the South Mountain range and at Hagerstown and Williamsport, Maryland. Lee's deliberate pace, skillful use of terrain, and constant positioning of the army behind defenses so as to invite attack caused Union forces to delay their own movements at critical times. Brown concludes that even though the battle of Gettysburg was a defeat for the Army of Northern Virginia, Lee's successful retreat maintained the balance of power in the eastern theater and left his army with enough forage, stores, and fresh meat to ensure its continued existence as an effective force.

Return to American Civil War Homepage

Best viewed with Google Chrome

Google Safe.jpg