War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0210 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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bodies of dead animals, and unless early steps are taken I shall be compelled to quit the camp now occupied by my command.

I intend to make my headquarters there to-morrow morning.

Kearny informs me that he has moved on to the railroad.

Very respectfully, &c.,

JOSEPH HOOKER,

Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

Camp near New Bridge, Va., June 2, 1862.

Soldiers of the Army of the Potomac:

I have fulfilled at least a part of my promise to you. You are now face to face with the rebels, who are at bay in front of their capital. The final and decisive battle is at hand. Unless you belie your past history the result cannot be for a moment doubtful. If the troops who labored so patiently and fought so gallantly at Yorktown, and who so bravely won the hard fights at Williamsburg, West Point, Hanover Court-House, and Fair Oaks now prove worthy of their antecedents, the victory is surely ours. The events of every day prove your superiority; wherever you have met the enemy you have beaten him; wherever you have used the bayonet he has given way in panic and disorder. I ask of you now one last crowning effort. The enemy has staked his all on the issue of the coming battle. Let us meet and crush him here in the very center of the rebellion.

Soldiers, I will be with you in this battle, and share its dangers with you. Our confidence in each other is now founded upon the past. Let us strike the blow which is to restore peace and union to this distracted land. Upon your valor, discipline, and mutual confidence that result depends.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

SPECIAL ORDERS,

HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

No. 168. Camp near New Bridge, Va., June 2, 1862.

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IV. In order [to] secure uniformity of action among the corps on the right bank of the Chickahominy, General Sumner, commanding the Second Corps, will, in the absence of the general commanding the army, assume command of the Second, Third, and Fourth Corps.

The general positions occupied by the corps will be those held at the close of yesterday's battle, holding the Seven Pines and Fair Oaks Station, at least by strong advanced guards, which may be intrenched. Especial care will be taken to establish perfect communication between the three corps if necessary, opening new roads practicable for artillery. To accomplish this purpose the right should occupy Golding's; the left, the road running from Bottom's Bridge toward Charles City Court-House, now held by a portion of Hooker's division. The engineers will select points to be occupied by the artillery and such as are to be strengthened by abatis, &c.

The general purpose is to hold the positions now occupied by the Second, Third, and Fourth Corps until communication can be made practicable