Saturday, July 7, 2012

Monday, July 7, 1862

Lucy went back to town and took some cherries.  
Today's paper says that McClellan's army had seven days fighting with but little food or rest.  Some say there was brilliant generalship and splendid fighting on our side and altho the losses were heavy those of the enemy were greater.  On Tuesday July 1st the seventh day of the battle we claim and the rebels admit that we were victorious.  The rebel General, Stonewall Jackson who has been very troublesome and active doing us great injury is among the killed; also Gen. Barnwell Rhett of South Carolina.  He was one of the original traitors and did all in his power to get up the rebellion.  They troubled the peace of the country.  It is well they can do so no more.  We lose General McCall, severely wounded and a prisoner and Gen. Reynolds, a prisoner.  What a field of blood must that be where this terrific struggle took place.  The loss on both sides will probably never be truly known and estimates vary much.  Our loss is estimated at from 10,000 to 25,000; the rebels from 15,000 to 75,000.  No doubt it is heavy on both sides.  This is to us the hour of darkness.  The Democrats under the lead of Vallandigham are brewing mischief.  There is danger that England and France may interfere being glad of a pretext to destroy the best and freest government in the world.  Oh that God would deliver us from these horrors.  
William writes that there is great solicitude in Washington for the fate of McClellan's army.  He says he thinks there is great need of "Intervention", not of England, but of God Almighty.

Peggy's comments:
There were indeed heavy losses on both sides in the Seven Days Battles.
One source claims that  91,000 Union troops and 95,000 Confederate troops engaged in the battles.  Casualties were 15,849 Union and  20,614 Confederates.  Casualty figures usually contained those wounded as well as those killed.

Reports from the battlefield obviously contained errors.  Despite what Julia read in newspaper accounts, Confederate Generals Stonewall Jackson and Barnwell Rhett were not killed.   Union General George McCall was taken prisoner and was imprisoned in Libby Prison, Richmond, Virginia.  He was exchanged in August, but due to ill health, he went on sick leave until he resigned from the army.  Union General John Fulton Reynolds was captured and later exchanged in August whereupon he reentered service.  He served another year and died at Gettysburg.

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