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 Posted: Wed Dec 9th, 2009 02:14 am
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Mark
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One point on Confederate desertions that hasn't been mentioned is the number of Johnnies who came back to their commands after going AWOL. For example, there was an epidemic of desertions in September 1862 when the ANV crossed the Potomac into MD, however, the number that returned to their posts once the Army was back in VA made up for the losses the Army had suffered at Sharpsburg. It was pretty much taken for granted that a sizable percentage of soldiers would take French leave when the Army went into winter quarters and then return in the spring prior to the opening of a new campaigning year. This was a major problem in VA regiments since often they wintered within a few days walk of their homes. I'm not saying that desertion wasn't a problem, it definitely was, especially in 1864-65, its just some food for thought when looking at raw statistics.

-Mark

PS. Glad to see its safe to come out of the foxhole again...

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