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 just above Port Republic where, on the Saturday following the battle, we were summoned by orders from headquarters to a most delightful thanksgiving service in which the stars and bars of rank knelt in the dust with the rough garb of the private soldier and our great chieftain brought the imperishable glory he had won and humbly laid it at the feet of the Lord of Hosts. And surely the “Foot cavalry” were now entitled to at least a few days' rest. In thirty two-days they had marched nearly 400 miles, skirmishing almost daily, fought five battles, defeated three armies, two of which were completely routed, captured about twenty pieces of artillery, some 4,000 prisoners and immense quantities of stores of all kinds,. and had done all this with a loss of less than 1,000 men killed, wounded and missing. The battle of “Seven Pines,” as the Confederates called it, or “Fair Oaks,” as it is named by the Federals, had been fought and claimed as a victory by both sides; and the Army of Northern Virginia had been deprived of its able commander, General J. E. Johnston, who was severely wounded. But fortunately for the Confederate cause General R. E. Lee was called to the command. Some time before, when Colonel A. R. Boteler had applied to him from Jackson for an increase of his force to 40,000 men, with which he “would invade the North,” General Lee had replied: “But he must help me to drive these people away from Richmond first,” and the plan of the great campaign was thus foreshadowed.
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