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[263] Richmond, on the enemy's army and the battle-fields upon which he had so manfully struggled, was sadly retracing his steps over the road which was to lead him to Williamsburg, Yorktown, Newport News, the theatre of the first incidents of this campaign, which had begun under such favorable auspices, and all the fruits of which were lost through the fatal blindness of his superiors.

On the same day, August 16th, Porter reached Williamsburg, where he was to wait for the remainder of the army; but having been informed, through an intercepted letter, of Lee's movement against Pope, he immediately started again for Newport News in order to be able the more speedily to come to his assistance. We shall see how badly his zeal was rewarded. On the 18th, after a march of about one hundred kilometres, performed in three days and one night, he encamped on the beach of Hampton Roads. At the same moment the last Federal soldier was crossing the Chickahominy, and on the 20th the whole army, distributed between Yorktown, Fortress Monroe and Newport News, was ready to embark at these three points as rapidly as the limited number of transports placed at its disposal would permit. The cavalry of Averill and Pleasanton covered the rear. The campaign of the peninsula was ended. General McClellan requested Halleck to issue a special order thanking the army of the Potomac for its services during this campaign. The latter did not even reply to the despatch containing this request, and not a word came from Washington to encourage these soldiers, who were thus made to feel the malevolence entertained toward their chief. McClellan had been ordered to forward his troops as fast as they could embark, to Aquia Creek, where Burnside had landed on the 8th of August, and whence he had already despatched eight thousand men of his corps, forming Reno's and Stevens' divisions, to reinforce Pope's army. On arriving at Aquia Creek, the army of the Potomac was to enter into the system of combined armies of which Halleck intended to assume the command in person. But instead of simplifying the transmission of orders by bringing all his forces together, he only complicated the whole matter by the manner in which he regulated the functions of the different generals whom he undertook to control. In fact, he remained

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