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[335] “overlooked,” but has always been prominent, and set in the front of the battle, and has been the fruitful source of mistakes and disasters to our cause. In the present instance it led to the dangerous experiment of changing commanders in front of an enemy; and the bitter experience of Fredericksburg was the direct result.

The first act of General McClellan on receiving the order relieving him of command was to draw up a farewell address to the army, as follows,--which was read to them at dress-parade on the 10th:--

Headquarters army of the Potomac, camp near Rectortown, November 7, 1862.
officers and soldiers of the army of the Potomac:--
An order of the President devolves upon Major-General Burnside the command of this army. In parting from you, I cannot express the love and gratitude I bear you. As an army you have grown up under my care. In you I have never found doubt or coldness. The battles you have fought under my command will proudly live in our nation's history. The glory you have achieved, our mutual perils and fatigues, the graves of our comrades fallen in battle and by disease, the broken forms of those whom wounds and sickness have disabled,--the strongest associations which can exist among men,--unite us still by an indissoluble tie. We shall ever be comrades in supporting the Constitution of our country and the nationality of its people.

George B. Mcclellan, Major-General, U. S. A.

On Saturday, November 8, General McClellan was busily occupied in making the arrangements

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