covers the debouches in both directions, and enables me at any time to resume the offensive, which I hope soon to be in condition to undertake. My men are in excellent spirits. A short time will fully rest them, and the arrival of re-enforcements enable me to take care of my communications. You may rest assured, general, that Richmond shall yet be taken if I am properly supported.
If I am not attacked in the morning I shall feel the enemy with some strength, and at once take steps to ascertain his position and prevent him from assuming a new line of operations.
I have every reason to believe that our victory at Malvern Hill was a crushing one-one from which he will not readily recover.
It is not my present intention to fall back another mile. I will run the risk of the interruption of our communications by the James River.
I inclose with this copies of a proclamation I have just issued to the troops.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
Camp near Harrison's Landing, Va., July 4, 1862.
Soldiers of the Army of the Potomac:
Your achievements of the last ten days have illustrated the valor and endurance of the American soldier. Attacked by vastly superior force, and without hope of re-enforcements, 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 have been assailed day after day with desperate fury by men of the same race and nation skillfully massed and led; and 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 say with pride, "I belonged to the Army of the Potomac!"
You have reached this new base complete in organization and unimpaired in spirit. The enemy may at any moment attack you. We are prepared to receive them. I have personally established your lines. 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 their 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,