ranks, and thronged around him with the bitterest complaints against those who had removed from command their beloved leader.”
As he rode up to the Headquarters of General Fitz-John Porter
, he was met by a large delegation of officers in that command, and addressed by General Butterfield
, who, in a few well-chosen words, alluded to the affection existing between General McClellan
and his officers, and stated that those on behalf of whom he spoke were there to bid him a personal farewell.
In reply, General McClellan
said, “I hardly know what to say to you, my friends, officers associated with me so long in the Army of the Potomac.
I can only bid you farewell.
History will do justice to the deeds of the Army of the Potomac, if the present generation does not. I feel as if I had been intimately connected with each and all of you. Nothing is more binding than the friendship of companions in arms.
May you all in future preserve the high reputation of our army, and serve all as well and faithfully as you have served me. I will say farewell now, if I must say it. Good-bye: God bless you.”
On the 11th, General McClellan
On reaching Warrenton Junction, a salute was fired.
The troops, who had been drawn up in line, afterwards broke their ranks; the soldiers crowded around him, and many eagerly called for a few parting words.
He said, in response, while standing on the platform of the railroad-station, “I wish you to stand by General Burnside
as you have stood by me, and all will be well.”