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ADDRESS TO THE ARMY.
seven days previous. On the next day, which was the 4th, General McClellan issued the following address to the troops :
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, )
July 4th, 1862.
Your achievements of the last ten days have illustrated the valor and endurance of the American soldier. Attacked by superior forces, and without hope of reinforcements, you have succeeded in changing your base of operations by a flank movement, always regarded as the most hazardous of military expedients. You have saved all your material, all your trains, and all your guns, except a few lost in battle, taking in return, guns and colors from the enemy. Upon your march you were assailed, day after day, with desperate fury, by men of the same race and nation, skilfully massed and led. Under every disadvantage of number, and necessarily of position also, you have, in every conflict, beaten back your foes with enormous slaughter. Your conduct ranks you among the celebrated armies of history. No one will now question that each of you may always with pride say, “I belong to the Army of the Potomac.”
You have reached the new base, complete in organization and unimpaired in spirit. The enemy may, at any time, attack you. We are prepared to meet them. I have personally established your lines. 156
ATTACK OF TEXAN CAVALRY.
Let them come, and we will convert their repulse into a final defeat.
Your government is strengthening you with the resources of a great people. On this, our Nation's birthday, we declare to our foes, who are rebels against the best interests of mankind, that this army shall enter the capital of the so-called Confederacy; that our National constitution shall prevail; and that the Union, which can alone insure internal peace and external security to each State, “must and shall be preserved,” cost what it may in time, treasure, and blood.
GEO. B. MCCLELLAN.
This stirring address was received with immense enthusiasm by the army. During the day a national salute was fired at the headquarters of each Army Corps, and immediately after the bands played vari. ous national airs. General McClellan likewise visited all the troops in the afternoon, and they paraded before him.
The position here was one of great beauty, the country being open, rolling, and skirted with large and variegated forests. Beautiful country residences, belonging to aristocratic owners, were seen in every direction.
Saturday morning, 5th, Smith's Division was sent back on the Charles City Cross-roads, two and a half miles, to the support of General Shields’ forces, which had been attacked by Texan cavalry. The rebels were repulsed, and fled, leaving one gun in our pos
CLEARING AWAY THE FORESTS.
session. The Brigade remained here, and pitched their tents in a very commanding though unhealthy position. The water was frequently so stagnant that fish could not live in it, floating lifeless to the top. The men immediately commenced earthworks on the highlands in the vicinity of the Landing. The Thirty-third assisted in the construction of an extensive fort, mounting several 32-pounders. When completed, it presented a very formidable appearance. An immense amount of slashing was also performed. It was a fine sight to see a whole forest rapidly disappear before the sturdy blows of a thousand choppers. While one Regiment used the axes, another was posted in front to prevent the enemy's sharpshooters from firing upon them.
The men learned, with much satisfaction, soon after reaching the Landing, of the capture of their old acquaintance, the Teaser, which surrendered to the Union gunboat Mantanzas.
Much sickness prevailed among the camps, owing to the unhealthy surroundings and impure water. Many died, and many more were taken North, not, however, before the seeds of death had been implanted in their constitutions. Each Company of the Thirty-third provided itself with a well, and afterwards enjoyed the luxury of pure water. Everything pertaining to a soldier's living was furnished in abundance, after affairs became settled, sweet bread, in addition to many other things, being added to the bill of fare. While here, General Smith was confirmed as a Brigadier General of Volunteers.
158 RETURN OF GEN. DAVIDSON TO THE BRIGADE.
He was likewise nominated for a Major Generalship. General Davidson, recovering from the effects of the sunstroke, resumed command of the Brigade, and Colonel Taylor returned to his Regiment. One reconnoissance was made by him in the direction of Richmond.