stormed and carried works deemed impregnable by the enemy. You have shown the positions to be so by holding them against his fiercest assaults in the attempt to retake them. Those skilled in war have marvelled at the obstacles overcome by your valor. Your line of works has excited the wounded of officers of other nations who have come to learn defensive warfare from the monuments of your skilled labor. Your deeds have rendered your name illustrious. In after times your general's proudest memory will be to say with you, "I,k too, was of the Army of the James." To share such companionship is pleasure. To participate in such acts is honor. To have commanded such an army is glory. No one could yield it without regret.
Knowing your willing obedience to orders, witnessing your ready devotion of your blood in your country's cause, I have been chary of the precious charge confided to me. I have refused to order the useless sacrifice of the lives of such soldiers, and I am relieved from your command. The wasted blood of my men does not stain my garments. For my action I am responsible to God and my country.
TO THE COLORED TROOPS OF THE ARMY OF THE JAMES:
In this army you have been treated not as laborers but as soldiers. You have shown yourselves worthy of the uniform you wear. The best officers of the Union seek to command you. Your bravery has won the admiration even of those who would be your masters. Your patriotism, fidelity, and courage have illustrated the best qualities of manhood.
With the bayonet you have unlocked the iron-barred gates of prejudice, opening new field of freedom, liberty, and equality of right to yourselves and your race forever.
Comrades of the Army of the James, I bid you farewell! farewell!
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF VA. AND N. C., ARMY OF THE JAMES, Numbers 4.
In the Field, January 8, 1865.
In obedience to orders contained in Special Orders, Numbers 5, of January 7, 1865, from headquarters Armies of the United States, the undersigned hereby assumes command of the Department of Virginia and North Carolina.
E. O. C. ORD,
BROADWAY LANDING, VA., January 8, 1865-11.300 a.m.
Chief of Staff, Armies in the Field, City Point:
I have seen Major Hassler, of General Graham's staff. He advises that crews be taken for the two launches, as they require skilled oars-men. I would, therefore, request that a good officer and thirty-five men be ordered to report to me from that command. I shall be ready to start early to-morrow morning, and shall report in person this p.m.
HENRY L. ABBOT,
Brevet Brigadier-General of Volunteers.