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[160] of the Potomac and east of the Department of the Mississippi be a military department, to be called the Mountain Department, and that the same be commanded by Major-General Fremont.

That all the commanders of departments, after the receipt of this order by them, respectively report severally and directly to the Secretary of War, and that prompt, full, and frequent reports will be expected of all and each of them.


Whatever emotions General McClellan may have felt on reading this order, his sense of duty as a patriotic citizen, and his instincts of obedience as a soldier, taught him to suppress all expression of them; and, in a note addressed by him to the President on the 12th of March, the next day, he said, in language alike distinguished for good feeling and good taste,--

I believe I said to you, some weeks since, in connection with some Western matters, that no feeling of self-interest or ambition should ever prevent me from devoting myself to the service. I am glad to have the opportunity to prove it; and you will find that, under present circumstances, I shall work just as cheerfully as before, and that no consideration of self will in any manner interfere with the discharge of my public duties.

On the 13th of March a council of war was assembled at Fairfax Court-House, to discuss the military position. The President's order No. 3, of March 8, was considered. As future events made the action of this council of considerable importance,

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