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[152] of the entire army, that the extremely unfavorable condition of the roads was a serious obstacle to be overcome, and that it was unnecessary, because the proposed movement to the Lower Chesapeake would — as it subsequently did — force the enemy to abandon all his positions in front of Washington. But the preparations for a movement towards the Occoquan in order to carry the batteries were advanced as rapidly as the season permitted.

This brings us down to the 8th of March, 1862,--an important day in the history of the war. General McClellan had invited the commanders of divisions to meet at Headquarters on that day, in order to give them instructions and receive their advice and opinion in regard to their commands; but at a very early hour on the morning of that day he was sent for by the President, who expressed his dissatisfaction with the affair of Harper's Ferry and with the plans for the new movement down the Chesapeake. Explanations were made which, apparently, satisfied the President's mind. At a later hour in the day, the meeting of general officers which had been called was held at Headquarters. The officers present (besides General McClellan) were Generals McDowell, Sumner, Heintzelman, Keyes, Franklin, Fitz-John Porter, Andrew Porter, Smith, McCall, Blenker, Negley, and Barnard. The President of the United States was also there. The plans of General McClellan were fully explained to the council, and the general question submitted to them was whether the enemy

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