PFD or ETP: Which Should I Use?

Luke Freet

First Sergeant
Forum Host
Nov 8, 2018
Palm Coast, Florida
Due to my interest in the Atlanta Campaign, I always see the tabulations for the army strengths for the Confederates based on the "Effective Total Present" numbers given for each division in the returns for various points in the Atlanta Campaign. I never thought much of this until I started reading Ecelberger's "The Day Dixie Died" on the Battle of Bald Hill. There, he says that Cleburne's division numbered 4300 men at the time of the battle, which threw me off, because the ETP for his division in the July 10th returns shows 3743 men (see O.R. Volume 38, Part 3, Page 679). However, I've also started looking into Darrell L. Collins' Army of Tennessee book (giving organization, strengths, and casualty tables), and he pust Cleburne's strength at 4328 men (Page 176). This was bizarre to me, until I looked back at the O.R.s and realized he's placing his numbers on the PFD strengths, combining both the officers and enlisted men. I should have been ticked off on this earlier because he also lists the officer and enlisted numbers and has the section include "PFD strength" in the title.

So, I'm wondering: Which number set should I be using? ETP makes more sense, given how most other sources I've come across seems to point to them. But I get the feeling I may have been mislead by older sources. Then again, my reading thus far with Ecelberger has not given me a high opinion on his analysis and such, and he may have screwed up looking at the wrong numbers.