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Thus ended the seven days of battle. In General Lee's congratulatory order, dated July 7, 1862, he says:

The General commanding, profoundly grateful to the only Giver of victories for the signal success with which he has blessed our arms, tenders his earnest thanks and congratulations to the army, by whose valor such splendid results have been achieved. On Thursday, June 26, the powerful and splendidly-equipped army of the enemy was intrenched in works vast in extent and formidable in character, within sight of our capital. To-day the remains of that confident and threatening host lie upon the banks of the James River, thirty miles from Richmond, seeking to recover, under the protection of his gun boats, from the effects of his series of disastrous defeats. * * * * The immediate fruits of our success are the relief of Richmond from a state of siege; therout of the great army that so long menaced its safety; many thousand prisoners, including officers of high rank, and the capture or destruction of thousands of arms, and fifty-one pieces of artillery. The service rendered to the country during this short but eventful period can scarcely be estimated, and the General commanding cannot adequately express his admiration of the courage and endurance and soldiery conduct of the officers and men. These brilliant results have cost us many brave men; but while we mourn the loss of our gallant dead let us not forget that they died nobly in defence of their country's freedom and have linked their memory with an event that will live forever in the hearts of a grateful people.

* * *

General McClellan's famous 4th of July order was intended to keep up the courage and spirits of his troops; but there can be but little doubt that the Army of the Potomac fully realized that their “change of base” was compulsory, not optional, and that they were just now more concerned in providing for their own safety than in the capture of Richmond. On the other hand the Army of Northern Virginia felt that they were masters of the situation.

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