confident of decisive victory,--when, in the midst of the movement, while my advance-guard was actually in contact with the enemy, I was removed from the command. I am devoutly grateful to God that my last campaign with this brave army was crowned with a victory which saved the nation from the greatest peril it had then undergone. I have not accomplished my purpose if by this Report the Army of the Potomac is not placed high on the roll of the historic armies of the world. Its deeds ennoble the nation to which it belongs. Always ready for battle, always firm, steadfast, and trustworthy, I never called on it in vain; nor will the nation ever have cause to attribute its want of success under myself, or under other commanders, to any failure of patriotism or bravery in that noble body of American soldiers. No man can justly charge upon any portion of that army, from the commanding general to the private, any lack of devotion to the service of the United States Government and to the cause of the Constitution and the Union. They have proved their fealty in much sorrow, suffering, danger, and through the very shadow of death. Their comrades, dead on all the fields where we fought, have scarcely more claim to the honor of a nation's reverence than the survivors to the justice of a nation's gratitude.To this mournful, eloquent, and modest summing up of the case there is not much to be added. At the close of the biography of a distinguished military commander, the reader naturally looks for an analysis and exposition of his military genius, and, if not a comparison with the great generals of other countries and other times, at least some statement of his merits, some enumeration of his claims. But there is an obvious embarrassment in thus dealing
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