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[73] the Sixth Corps, were seemingly to wait here, unless some emergency were to hasten them on, until their wagons should overtake them with supplies, (we had not yet commenced to forage here, issuing quartermaster's vouchers,) and first of all, probably, to await further development of the enemy's plans.

He certainly has not crossed with any considerable force, east of the Blue Ridge. Had he crossed into Cumberland Valley, we should not be resting here. Our corps is being led by our old commander, Gen. Franklin. There seem to be no other troops along our line of march; probably the other corps have pursued a line farther north, taking the same general direction west. What may be the special mission of the Sixth Corps in the next eight days, will be manifest in good time. In the meanwhile it is positively stated that Little Mac has resumed the command of the Army of the Potomac. The news was almost universally welcomed in the Sixth Corps. The effect of it, as in the case of a rumor of his return, a year later, was a stimulus to the ardor and patriotism of the troops.

We need not resort to invidious comparisons of our first commander with his successors, or indulge in carping criticism of the war department during 1861 and 1862, in a vain endeavor to fix the responsibility for the misfortunes of that period. We should first remember the successes of that epoch, and the glory of our arms; then, whatever conclusion may be reached in regard to McClellan's conduct of the Peninsula campaign, these facts will still remain, perpetually incontrovertible: He was the wonderful organizer who developed from a chaotic mass of raw levies, during the fall and winter of 1861, the splendid Army of the Potomac; he was invested with a subtle personal magnetism, that inevitably impelled toward him generals and troops, and awakened their enthusiasm to the last; he drove back the army of Lee, with its prestige of a victorious march through northern Virginia, before it had hardly gained a foothold on Maryland soil; he turned over his command at the mandate of the department, amid the universal regret of the army and its corps commanders. Posterity will do him justice.

On the morning of the first day after our arrival at the camp beyond Rockville, our teams came up and our mail-carrier, Comrade Marsh, rode in with a full pack. We recollect Capt. Porter's

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