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12350OR's - Breckinridge's Report for Stones River

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  • hartshje
    Jul 1, 2002
      Wakefield,

      This is what I have found so far. In Vol.20, Chap.32, on page 787
      in Breckinridge's battle report, he states:

      "Many of the reports do not discriminate between the losses of
      Wednesday and Friday. The total loss of my division, exclusive of
      Jackson's command, is 2,140 of which I think 1,700 occurred on
      Friday."

      So he is saying he lost 440 men on the 31st. He also reported a
      strength of 5,663. On page 779, Hardee reports Breck's loss at 2,068
      (not much difference), but on page 780 reports Breck's strength at
      6,824. Furthermore, Bragg attached an addendum to Breck's report
      (this is on page 789). Bragg states the following:

      "The tabular statement No. 7, February 8, 1863, accompanying my
      report of the battle, shows the force of this division on Wednesday,
      December 31, to have been 7,053. The loss of Wednesday, the 31st,
      was 730, not 440 as made by the division commander; and the loss on
      Friday, the 2nd, was 1338, not 1,700. The loss of Wednesday, 440,
      stated by the division commander, deducted from his whole strength,
      leaves 6,613. Deducting again the regiment and battery he was
      ordered to leave out, and adding the two batteries of Captain
      Robertson, leaves him still with over 6,000 infantry and artillery,
      instead of 4,500, with which he says he made the attack; and
      correcting his error in making the loss too small on Wednesday and
      too large on Friday, he still has understated his force by more than
      one-fourth." Braxton Bragg, General, Commanding

      Bragg uses Hardee's total casualty figure. Hardee stated the
      difference in strengths reported by him and Bragg was due to the
      exchanging of some regiments in reorganization. I find it
      interesting that Jackson's brigade (which lost 303 men) is not
      included with Breck's others in the casualty count. I am thinking
      that it was considered detached (as reported by Hardee), and yet I
      think both Hardee and Bragg seem to be including it for strength
      purposes, but excluding it in regards to casualties. I find it
      interesting that Bragg states as a fact (without offering any
      evidence) that Breck's loss on the 31st was 730. Where did he get
      that figure? If you add Jackson's 303 to Breck's 440 you would get
      743!! But Hardee's casualty number of 2,068 does not include
      Jackson's brigade, which is reported seperately as 303.

      My opinion, for what it's worth, is Bragg is trying to "cook the
      books" in his favor to cover his butt. But then again, in your own
      immortal words Wakefield, "I could be wrong!"

      Best Regards,
      Joe H.
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