This is the printed farewell address circulated to the regiments of the 24th Corps by its commander, General John Gibbon. Gibbon, a former commander of the Iron Brigade and then division commander in the Army of the Potomac, fought at Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, the Overland Campaign, and Petersburg, among others, before being appointed commander of the 24th Corps in January 1865. His troops helped achieve the decisive breakthrough at Petersburg, capturing Fort Gregg.
During the Appomattox Campaign, Gibbon's men helped block the Confederate escape route, resulting in General Lee's surrender. In this document of Gibbon's address, which is marked as having reached its recipient on June 15, the general thanks his men in the name of a grateful country. " "By your discipline, long marches and hard fighting, you have established for yourself a name second to none in the army, it reads.
Gibbon then encourages his men to continue to wear the Corps' badge, which "has become an emblem of energy, valor and patriotism, " and was made sacred by the blood of so many brave men. The document measures 5" x 7 1/2" and is in excellent condition with light foxing and toning. There are two horizontal and one vertical crease where the document was previously folded. Soldiers of the 24th Corps.
This, probably, is the last occasion upon which you, as a Corps, will be assembled. Before we separate, I desire to thank you, in the name of a grateful country, for the service you have rendered her. By your discipline, long marches and hard fighting, you have established for yourself a name second to none in the army. Your badge has become an emblem of energy, valor and patriotism, and is a source of just pride to all who wear it. Those of you who are entering civil life should still wear it, on all occasions, as an evidence to your brothers who remain in service of your pride in a badge made sacred by the blood of so many brave men, and your disposition, should your country ever again call you to arms, to again assemble under that proud emblem and revive the glory of the 24th Corps.
To our comrades who are leaving the service we pledge a kind farewell, and a wish that their career in civil life may be as successful and prosperous as their military life has been alike honorable to themselves and beneficial to their country. Please see my other items for more interesting Civil War letters, documents, and images.
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