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Chapter 9:

  • The army of the Potomac withdrawn from Richmond

The history of the Army of the Potomac during the months of July and August, 1862, may be told in a few words. During their retrograde movement to the banks of the James, they had been fearfully weakened by losses in killed, wounded, and prisoners; but they were not in the least demoralized. They had conducted themselves in a way to move the admiration and win the gratitude of their commander; and from a full heart, on the 4th of July, he issued to them the following admirable and heartful address:--

Headquarters army of the Potomac, camp near Harrison's Landing, July 4, 1802.
soldiers of the army of the Potomac :--Your achievements of the last ten days have illustrated the valor and endurance of the American soldier. Attacked by superior forces, and without hope of reinforcements, you have succeeded in changing your base of operations by a flank movement, always regarded as the most hazardous of military expedients. You have saved all your material, all your trains and all your guns, except a few lost in battle, taking in return guns and colors from the enemy. Upon your march, you have been assailed day after day, with desperate fury, by men of the same race and nation, skilfully massed and led. Under every disadvantage of number, and necessarily of position also, you have in every conflict beaten back your foes with enormous slaughter. Your conduct ranks you among the celebrated armies

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