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[154] S. P. Heintzelman. Fourth Corps to consist of three divisions, and to be commanded by Brigadier-General E. D. Keyes.

2d. That the divisions now commanded by the officers above assigned to the commands of army corps shall be embraced in and form part of their respective corps.

3d. The forces left for the defence of Washington will be placed in command of Brigadier-General James Wadsworth, who shall also be Military Governor of the District of Columbia.

4th. That this order be executed with such promptness and despatch as not to delay the commencement of the operations already directed to be undertaken by the Army of the Potomac.

5th. A Fifth Army Corps, to be commanded by Major-General N. P. Banks, will be formed from his own and General Shields's (late General Lander's) division.


This order was probably of no great practical importance, as it simply anticipated General McClellan's purpose. He had always been in favor of an organization into army corps, but preferred deferring its practical execution until some little experience in the coming campaign and on the field of battle should show what general officers were most competent to exercise these high commands, as an incompetent commander of an army corps might cause very serious damage, while an incompetent division commander could do no great harm. These views commend themselves to common sense; but they failed to convince the President's mind, who assumed a responsibility from which General McClellan at that time shrank. The latter at once

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