War of the Rebellion: Serial 049 Page 0548 OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

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bers of my staff, who have more immediately worked and sympathized with me, I desire to express my obligation for the zeal and fidelity which they have so generally evinced in the discharge of their part of our joint duty to the Government we serve. That duty and its attendant labors have not been light or inconsiderable. It is now a year since I had the honor to be assigned to this place, and during that space of time the limits of the Middle Department have been, by successive changes, variously expanded and contracted; at one time extending over and embracing the country between the west shore of the Hudson River and the border of Kentucky, and including within those bounds more than 50,000 troops, then constituting the Eighth Army Corps.

But it is within the reduced territory comprising Maryland, Delaware, and the Eastern Shore of Virginia, that the most important responsibility has been incurred. To the loyal people there, of all classes, I return my hearfelt thanks for the cordial support which they have constantly afforded me by their approbation and co-operation. If I have succeeded at all, it has been, I am sure, only owing to the simple fact that I have been unwilling to compromise with treason in any form or expression it might assume. And if, as I am but too conscious may be the case, I have made mistakes, I have a good degree of confidence that in this community I will at least have credit for honesty of purpose in my efforts, at all times, to sustain the just authority of a great and blessed Government, whose existence has been imperiled by devilish and causeless conspiracy and insurrection.

For the effectual putting down of a rebellion, moved and supported by such influences, I believe all good and patriotic men, in every capacity, will strive and pray together until our common efforts are crowned with full success.





Baltimore, Md., December 5, 1863.

In accordance with Special Orders, Numbers 518, Paragraph 22, dated War Department, Adjutant-General's Office, November 21, 1863, I hereby assume command of the Middle Department and Eighth Army Corps.

It is with a full appreciation of the delicacy and responsibility of the position that I enter upon the discharge of the duties incident thereto, and it is with diffidence that I attempt to exercise the functions of an office which have been discharged with so much ability, sagacity, and justice by the accomplished and respected commander who has just retired to enter upon another sphere of public duty.

I would announce to the citizens resident in this military department that my views as to the government thereof are in consonance with those of its late chief, and that while I earnestly trust there will be no occasion requiring harsh measures, I am, at the same time, determined that any and all disloyal manifestations, declarations, or proceedings shall surely be overtaken by that retributive justice they so properly merit.


Brigadier-General, Commanding