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[165] by many considerations, and thus concludes his communication:--
It may be summed up in a few words, that for the prompt success of this campaign it is absolutely necessary that the navy should at once throw its whole available force, its most powerful vessels, against Yorktown. There is the most important point,--there the knot to be cut. An immediate decision upon the subject-matter of this communication is highly desirable, and seems called for by the exigencies of the occasion.

In the mean time, the troops destined to form the active army were collected in camps convenient to the points of embarkation, and every preparation was made to despatch them as rapidly as possible when the transports should be ready. While the army was still encamped at Alexandria, a few days before sailing for Fortress Monroe, General McClellan met the President, by appointment, on board a steamer, and was told by the President that he had been strongly pressed to take General Blenker's division from his (General McClellan's) command and give it to General Fremont; but he, however, suggested many considerations in opposition to this step, and frankly and voluntarily avowed his purpose of allowing the division to remain with the Army of the Potomac. The astonishment, therefore, of General McClellan may well be imagined when by the receipt of the following note he learned that the President had changed his mind, and determined upon a measure the inexpediency of which was so obvious to him but a few days before :--

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