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[308] vacancies. The work of reorganizing, drilling, and supplying the army was begun at the earliest moment. The different corps were stationed along the river in the best position to cover and guard the fords, Reconnoissances upon the Virginia side of the Potomac, for the purpose of learning the enemy's positions and movements, were frequently made. This was a trying and exhausting service for our cavalry, with which the army was inadequately supplied.

On the first day of October the President of the United States paid a visit to the Army of the Potomac, and remained several days, during which time he passed through the different encampments, reviewed the troops, and went over the battle-fields of South Mountain and Antietam. During this visit, General McClellan explained to him fully, in conversation, the movements of the army since it had left Washington, and gave the reasons why the enemy was not pursued after he had crossed the Potomac.

The twenty-second day of September, 1862, was a memorable day in the history of the war and the history of the country; for on that day the President issued his proclamation in which he announced that on the first day of January, 1863, all persons held as slaves within any State, or any designated part of a State, the people whereof should then be in rebellion against the United States, should be thenceforth and forever free. All discussion of the expediency of this proclamation, or of its legal effect, would be inopportune; but

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