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[284] as they learned that their beloved commander was to lead them again, took heart once more. Confidence returned. “Hope elevated and joy brightened their crests.” Missing men reappeared, the broken fragments of divisions and brigades were reunited, order reigned anew in the lately disordered files, and the shattered and demoralized host began instantly to assume the method and proportions of an army, with “degree, priority, and place.” Before the close of that very 2d of September, such dispositions were made as insured the successful defence of Washington against any attack on the south side of the Potomac.1

1 “To-day, by order of the President, General McClellan has again assumed the supreme command of the army. Immediately after accepting the chief command of all the Union forces in the neighborhood of Washington, General McClellan proceeded to inspect the troops and fortifications on the south side of the river. This occupied him until after midnight. His reception by the officers and soldiers was marked by the most unbounded enthusiasm. In every camp his arrival was greeted by hearty and prolonged cheering, and manifestations of the wildest delight. Many of the soldiers who fought under him in the hardest battles of the war wept with joy at again having for their commander one upon whom they could place implicit reliance. Already his hurried visit to our camps has wrought a remarkable change in the soldiers. His presence seemed to act magically upon them: despondency is replaced by confidence, and all are glad that McClellan will, hereafter direct them.” --Elis's Leaves from the Diary of an Army Surgeon, p. 214.

“To-night the Union army will all be concentrated in the works around this city, and General McClellan has already assumed the position of commander-in-chief of all the forces in the field in this part of the country. The announcement of this latter fact has been hailed with acclamations of infinite delight by nearly the whole population.” --Same, p. 218.

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