War of the Rebellion: Serial 089 Page 0298 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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GENERAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DEPT. OF VA. AND N. C.,

ARMY OF THE JAMES,

Numbers 135.

In the Field, October 21, 1864.

SOLDIERS OF THE ARMY OF THE JAMES:

With deep grief from the heart the sad word must be said-Major General David B. Birney is dead.

But yesterday he was with us-leading you to victory. If the choice of the manner of death had been his, it would have been to have died on the field of battle as your cheers rang in his ear. But the All-Wise "determineth all things well."

General Birney died at his home in Philadelphia, on Tuesday last, of disease contracted on the field in the line of his duty.

Surrounded by all that makes life desirable-a happy home, endeared family relations, leaving affluence and ease, as a volunteer at the call of his country- he came into the service in April, 1861. Almost every battle-field whereon the Army of the Potomac has fought has witnessed his valor. Rising rapidly in his profession, no more deserved appointment has been made by the President that General Birney's assignment to the command of the Tenth Army Corps. The respect and love of the soldier of his own corps has been shown by the manner they followed him.

The patriot-the hero-the soldier. by no death has the country sustained a greater loss.

Although not bred to arms he has shown every soldierly quality and illustrated that profession of his love and choice.

It is not the purpose of this order, nor will the woe of the heart of the officer giving it, now permit him, to write General Birney's eulogy.

Yet even amid the din of arms, and upon the eve of battle, it is fit that we, his comrades, should pause a moment to draw from the example of his life the lesson it teaches.

To him the word duty-with all its obligations and incentives-was the spur of action. He had no enemies, save the enemies of his country. A friend, a brother to us all, it remains to us to see to it, by treading the path of duty as he has done, that the great object for which he has struggled with us and laid down his life, shall not fail and his death be profitless.

Soldiers of the Tenth Army Corps! Your particular grief at the loss of your brave commander has the sympathy of every soldier in the army. It will be your to show your respect to his memory by serving your country in the future as with you Birney has served it in the past.

By command of Major-General Butler:

ED. W. SMITH,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

GENERAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DEPT. OF VA. AND N. C.,

ARMY OF THE JAMES,

Numbers 136.

In the Field, Va., October 21, 1864.

In compliance with General Orders, Numbers 251, of August 31, 1864, from the War Department, and for the purpose of enabling courts-martial to be convened by the commanding generals of the troops embraced in the Districts of Eastern Virginia and North Carolina, respectively, they are hereby designated as separate brigades.

By command of Major General B. F. Butler:

ED. W. SMITH,

Assistant Adjutant-General.