HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION, SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Near East Point, Ga., September 10, 1864.
TO THE OFFICERS AND SOLDIERS OF THE SECOND DIVISION, SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS:
You have just passed through the most arduous campaign of the war, and by your unmurmuring endurance of the privations and hardships incident to it, have won the everlasting gratitude of your Government and people. By your heroism and gallantry on the field you have earned, and now enjoy, the reputation of being among the best soldiers the Republic has sent into the field. Your name is now historical, and future generations will point with pride to your deeds, and be stimulated to emulate your actions when danger shall menace the institutions for the perpetuation of which you have so manfully struggled. It is unnecessary here to enumerate the scenes through which you have so successfully passed, for they are indelibly engraved in the hearts of a grateful people, and the satisfaction of knowing that you have so successfully passed, for they are indelibly engraved in the hearts of a grateful people, and the satisfaction of knowing that you have done your duty, and done it well, is sweeter than listening to the catalogue of obstacles you have overcome, and trials you have patiently endured. You must now remember it is equally, if not more, difficult to sustain a good name than to secure one; that you labors are not finished. Although we have set down for a season of rest you are not to be idle; rest does not imply idleness. You must now turn the energies you have hitherto displayed into other channels. Officers must now strive to render themselves proficient, theoretically and practically, in the details of the profession to which they have devoted themselves. Schools of instruction for officers of all grades will be established. The strictest attention must now be paid to the proper conduct and military bearing of the men at parades, guard mountings, and roll calls; to the systematic and thorough policing of camps; to the cleanliness of the men, and the neatness of their arms and clothing. All must labor to be prompt and vigilant on duty; to be patient to inferiors, and obedient to superiors; the debasing influences of camp vices counteracted by the introduction of harmless games. Gymnasiums must be established, when such exercises will be introduced as will tend to add strength to the body, activity to the limbs, and grace to the motion. The men must be made to understand that it is disgraceful to get drunk to quarrel, to sue profane and coarse language; that they are regarded as gentlemen, and should bear themselves as such. Brigade and regimental commanders will institute a judicious system of rewards and punishments, and all must strive to impress upon their commands that their profession is the most dignified and honorable in the world; that the rank and reputation of each man depends upon his own conduct and valor, and the success of a cause, the most sacred in which man ever embarked, is, more or less, dependent upon your labors while in this camp. You have apparently a difficult task before you, but you can accomplish it, and more, if you manifest one-half the energy, patience,and perseverance you have displayed throughout the campaign, on the marches, in the trenches, and on the battle-field. Let every man do his duty.
JOHN M. CORSE,
27 R R-VOL XXXVIII, PT III