Wednesday, September 5, 2012

September 6, 1862 (Sunday): "A hungry looking set.."

General Alfred Pleasanton
September 6, 1862 - 9.30 p. m.
Brigadier General R. B. MARCY, Chief of Staff:
    The pickets have just sent in a man, who left Leesburg this a. m. and crossed the river at Point of Rocks. He says there are no troops at Leesburg, and at Barnesville only two regiments of cavalry. That the army (some 60,000 strong, so the soldiers told him) was under Jackson, and are going to Baltimore. That the enemy has left Barnesville for Baltimore has been reported from another source. The man from Leesburg states that the rebel soldiers are running over the country, hunting something to eat, and are a hard-looking set, with a large number of stragglers. I can hardly think they are pushing for Baltimore yet. This man is an Irishman, and has been exempt from conscription before, this, but the rebels declare they will take everybody.


Official Records, Series I., Vol. 19, Part 2, Page 194.

An accurate report of the condition of Lee's Army in terms of physical condition (straggling and hungry).  Pleasonton accurately surmises the Confederates are not in condition yet to push for Baltimore.  And Jackson assuredly did not command 60,000 men.  This was probably a fairly accurate appraisal of the number of men Lee had moving north, but that number was diminishing by the hour.

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