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[172] Rebel force be sent down the Peninsula on the track of our army; but there was none, and our retreat was entirely unmolested — the attention and forces of the enemy being now absorbingly devoted to Pope. Gen. McClellan and staff embarked at Fortress Monroe on the 23d, and reported at Acquia creek next day; coming up to Alexandria, by Gen. Halleck's request, on the 26th.

Thus ended the unfortunate Peninsular campaign of the magnificent Army of the Potomac. Its unsuccess was due to the fact that the enemy nearly always chose the time and place of combat; and, though uniformly inferior in aggregate numbers, usually contrived to bring the larger force into action — fighting two-thirds to three-fourths of his entire strength against one-fourth to one-half of ours. Our commander, incessantly calling urgently for reenforcements, never brought into action nearly all he already had, save that at Malvern the enemy forced a conflict before our army could again be scattered, and thus incurred a stinging repulse, though a large portion of our men were, even then, not enabled to fire a shot. Never before did an army so constantly, pressingly need to be reenforced — not by a corps, but by a leader; not by men, but by a man.

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