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[310] ends and the duty of the soldier begins, and giving to every candid mind an assurance that General McClellan himself would serve his country as faithfully and zealously in the future as he had done in the past:--

General order no. 163.

Headquarters army of the Potomac, camp near Sharpsburg, Maryland, October 7, 1862.
The attention of the officers and soldiers of the Army of the Potomac is called to General Order No. 139, War Department, publishing to the army the President's proclamation of September 22.

A proclamation of such grave moment to the nation, officially communicated to the army, affords to the general commanding an opportunity of defining specifically to the officers and soldiers under his command, the relation borne by all persons in the military service of the United States towards the civil authorities of the Government.

The Constitution confides to the civil authorities, legislative, judicial, and executive, the power and duty of making, expounding, and executing the federal laws. Armed forces are raised and supported simply to sustain the civil authorities, and are to be held in strict subordination thereto in all respects.

This fundamental rule of our political system is essential to the security of our republican institutions, and should be thoroughly understood and observed by every soldier. The principle upon which, and the object for which, armies shall be employed in suppressing rebellion, must be determined and declared by the civil authorities; and the chief executive, who is charged with the administration of the national affairs, is the proper and only source through which the needs and orders of the Government can be made known to the armies of the nation.

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