War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0568 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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Washington, December 1, 1865.

I. Enlisted men of the Veteran Reserve Corps within the respective military departments who have, under General Orders, Numbers 155, current series, from this office, elected to remain in service will be consolidated, under the orders of the respective department commanders, into as many companies of the maximum strength as the number will permit, and complete muster and descriptive rolls thereof forwarded to this office with a view to their numerical designation as "Independent companies, Veteran Reserve Corps." To enable the consolidation to be made, chief mustering officers of States will report the enlisted men who may be serving under their control to the department commander.

II. Whenever regimental and company organizations of the Veteran Reserve Corps are broken up by the operation of General Orders, Nos. 155 and 165, current series, from this office, regimental and company commanders will look to the prompt completion of existing records, and cause the same to be forwarded to this office. Further returns and records will not be thereafter required, and their rendition will be discontinued accordingly.

Regimental and company funds will be transferred to the nearest officer of the Subsistence Department, and returns thereof rendered as required by the Army Regulations.


Assistant Adjutant-General.

WASHINGTON, December 4, 1865.


To express gratitude to God, in the name of the people, for the preservation of the United States is my first duty in addressing you. Our thoughts next revert to the death of the late President by an act of parricidal treason. The grief of the nation is still fresh; it finds some solace in the consideration that he lived to enjoy the highest proof of its confidence, by entering on the renewed term of the Chief Magistracy to which he had been elected; that he brought the civil war substantially to a close; that his loss was deplored in all parts of the Union; and that foreign nations have rendered justice to his memory. His removal cast upon me a heavier weight of cares than ever devolved upon any one of his predecessors. To fulfill my trust I need the support and confidence of all who are associated with me in the various departments of the Government, and the support and confidence of the people. There is but one way in which I can hope to gain their necessary aid: It is, to state with frankness, the principles which guide my conduct, and their application to the present state of affairs, well aware that the efficiency of my labors will in a great measure depend on your and their undivided approbation.

The Union of the United States of America was intended by its authors to last as long as the States themselves shall last. "The Union shall be perpetual," are the words of the Confederation. "To form a more perfect Union," by an ordinance of the people of the United States, is the declared purpose of the Constitution. The hand of Divine Providence was never more plainly visible in the affairs of men than in the framing and the adopting of that instrument. It is, beyond comparison, the greatest event in American history; and,