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    George McClellan: Fair Copy of General Order No. 163 Regarding the Emancipation Proclamation. Manuscript copy of "General Orders No. 163", Head Quarters Army of the Potomac, Camp near Sharpsburg, October 7, 1862, written on three sides of 8" x 10" bifolium stationery. Writing after his victory at Antietam that provided the necessary "moral boost" for the issuance of the final version of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, McClellan comments on its ramifications for the army. In part: "... The principles upon which, and the objects for which armies shall be employed in suppressing rebellion must be determined and declared by the civil authorities; and the Chief Executive who is charged with the administration of the National affairs is the proper and only source through which the views and orders of the Government can be made known to the Armies of the Nation. Discussions by Officers and Soldiers concerning public measures... tend greatly to impair and destroy the discipline and efficiency of the troops... The remedy for political errors, if any, are committed, is to be found only in the actions of the people at the polls..." Docketed "Head Quarters Army of the Potomac/ Oct. 7th 1862/ General Orders,/ No. 163./ Relating to the Presidents/ Emancipation proclamation." McClellan would be relieved of command shortly after this order was issued, taking an early retirement, only to run against Lincoln for President in 1864. The people decided that Lincoln committed no "political errors" and McClellan was roundly defeated.

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    September, 2016
    17th Saturday
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