HDQRS. 3rd Brigadier, 1ST DIV., 10TH A. C.,
Before Richmond, Va., November 1, 1864.
The colonel commanding cannot take leave of this command even temporarily with giving expression of his respect and admiration for the brave men whom it has been his good fortune to command.
While life shall last he will remember with pride and extreme satisfaction the brave deeds and heroic conduct of the men of the Third Brigade. The Army of the United States cannot boast of your superiors, and in his humble opinion you stand unrivaled by any troops who have fought in the Army of the James. Your name and fame are as familiar as household words in the camps of this army corps, and among your fellow-citizens at home. Your iron will and firmness have won for yourselves the proud title of the "Iron-clads."
Since this campaign commenced you have participated in more than twenty actions, besides skirmishes almost without number. You have never failed to accomplish what was set down for you to do, and your conduct has always called forth the praises of your commanding officers. It has never occasioned them a single regret. That cowardly cry, "We are flanked," has never been heard in your ranks. When other troops have given way on your right, on you left, you have shown to the enemy that you had no flanks and no rear; that the Third Brigade was all front, and that, too, of steel. How well that front has been maintained in this campaign the long list of your casualties, 1,385 out of 2,693, sadly but gloriously attest.
Fellow-soldiers, of your history it may indeed be said: "The past, at least, is secure." You have won a noble distinction in a noble army, fighting for a noble cause. That your future will be equally successful and brilliant your conduct in the past leaves no room for doubt. Your brave deeds will be remembered in your country's history, and be the proud boast of your descendants.
In conclusion, the colonel commanding desires to repeat for your encouragement the language of Washington to his brave troops, who had won for us the cause we are now contending to maintain. "Let me remind you, " said he, "you, the private soldiers, of the dignified part you have performed in this great struggle, for happy, thrice happy, will be accounted hereafter [he] who has contributed, though in the least degree, to the establishment of this gigantic Republic on the broad basis of human freedom and empire." Immortal honors will belong to you as saviors of the Republic, no less than to our fathers as founders of it.
Brave men of the Third Brigade, comrades, please accept this sincere expression of affectionate regard from your late brigade commander, and his best wishes for you future good fortune.
By order of Colonel H. M. Plaisted, Eleventh Maine Volunteers,commanding brigade:
Captain and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
November 2, 1864.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your telegram of the 1st instant in relation to the dates to be given the brevet appointments recently conferred by you upon officers of this army, and in ac-