War of the Rebellion: Serial 089 Page 0713 Chapter LIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

HEADQUARTERS SECOND ARMY CORPS,

November 26, 1864.

Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: I have received your communication of the 25th in reply to my letter of the 2nd instant, in reference to the article in the Philadelphia Inquirer of October 31, which I had charged as having misrepresented the operations of my command on the 27th of October last. It was asserted, among other erroneous statements, that the Second Corps "went too far." This statement the major-general commanding the Army of the Potomac knew to be untrue, and in consequence I called upon him to correct the injustice done to the Second Corps. I am now informed that if I prefer charges and specifications against the author of the article in question that he will be tried before a military court. I am about leaving the Army of the Potomac, and I do not know that an opportunity will be had to prepare charges against the author of the article referred to, nor do I think it necessary to do so now. In my letter of the 2nd instant I merely claimed the benefit of the precedent established by the major-general commanding the Army of the Potomac on a similar occasion, in reference to a slander circulated against himself, who punished the offender without trial. If the major-general commanding the Army of the Potomac cannot remedy the injustice done to my command in connection with persons over whom he has control and I have not, I do not consider it necessary, at this late date, to take other action than I have already done.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WINF'D S. HANCOCK,

Major-General, Commanding Second Corps.

GENERAL ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS SECOND ARMY CORPS,

No. 44.

Before Petersburg, November 26, 1864.

SOLDIERS OF THE SECOND CORPS:

Being about to avail myself of a brief leave of absence, previous to entering upon another field of duty, in accordance with instructions I transfer the command of this corps to Major General A. A. Humphreys, U. S. Volunteers. I desire at parting with you to express the regret I feel at the necessity which calls for our separation. Intimately associated with you in the dangers, privations, and glory which have fallen to your lot during the memorable campaigns of the past two years, I now leave you with the warmest feelings of affection and esteem. Since I have had the honor to serve with you, you have won the right to place upon your banners the historic names of Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Wilderness, Po, Spotsylvania, North Anna, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Reams' Station, Boydton Road, and many other contests. The gallant bearing of the intrepid officers and men of the Second Corps on the bloodiest fields of the war, the dauntless valor displayed by them in many brilliant assaults on the enemy's strongest positions, the great number of guns, colors, prisoners, and other trophies of war captured by them in many desperate combats, their unswerving devotion to duty and heroic constancy under all the dangers and hardships which such campaigns entail, have won for them an imperishable renown and the grateful admiration of their countrymen. The story of the Second Corps will live in history, and to its officers