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along the railroad and well towards the south, in order to prevent any hostile demonstrations which the enemy might be disposed to make from that direction. At the time of the surrender General Parke's command extended from Farmville to Sutherland's station. The Ninth Corps was not immediately present when the army of Northern Virginia laid down its arms. A few of the officers rode up and witnessed the ceremony. The intelligence was received with the most joyful acclamations. The soldiers were glad to know that their work of carnage and death were finished. Visions of homes and friends rose before their minds. They now awaited the coming of the day when they could lay aside the weapons of war and resume the implements of peace. A citizen soldiery, unaccustomed to scenes of deadly conflict, had learned to face death in its frightfullest forms with calmness, and by heroic deeds and sublime sacrifices, had saved the Republic. The men who had composed the Ninth Corps, drawn from fourteen different States, were faithful representatives of the best portions of our volunteer army. No stain of dishonor ever sullied their fair renown, and no stigma of shame can ever be affixed upon their bright record.
The assassination of Mr. Lincoln caused intense feeling throughout the army and especially among the soldiers of the Ninth Corps to whom the President was like a personal friend. The relations between General Burnside and Mr. Lincoln were particularly intimate and the interest felt in the commander was extended to the troops. By no one more than by the President was the Ninth Corps appreciated for its long and arduous services. The good will was reciprocated, and the Presidential policy was nowhere more firmly supported than among the officers and men of the Corps.
The rest of the story can be quickly told. The Corps remained in the neighborhood of Sutherland's until the 19th, when the troops were ordered to Washington. They embarked at City Point during the week following the 20th, and in due time arrived at Alexandria. General Parke was assigned
to the command of the district of Alexandria. On the 22d of May the Corps marched across Long Bridge, bivouacked near the Capitol and on the 23d participated in the grand review. It remained encamped in the neighborhood of Washington for the next four months, gradually disintegrating by the departure of the different regiments which had composed the command. During the trial of the conspirators against the life of the President, General Hartranft was assigned to duty as the guard of the prisoners. The date of final disbandment of the Corps was the 27th of July. General Willcox's division was the last to be mustered out. On the 25th of July General Willcox, who had for a time commanded the district of Washington, issued his last orders. In hearty and affectionate
words he bade his soldiers farewell. What he said of his division might well be said of the entire Corps. The story of the command, "various regiments of which have left the bones of their dead to whiten battle fields in seven different States, will form a part of your individual life hereafter," said General Willcox to his troops. "Your families and fellow citizens will welcome your return in peace and victory. You will carry about you in civil life a sense of your own worth, and self-respect will characterize, those who have done and deserved so well of their country."
Generals Parke and Potter on the disbandment of the Corps were assigned to duty in the department of the East under General Hooker. General Parke was placed in command of the southern district of New York, and General Potter* of the district of Rhode Island and Connecticut. General Willcox was assigned to duty as the commander of the district of Michigan in the department of the Ohio under General Ord, where he met his former comrade, General Cox. General Hartranft was assigned to the department of Kentucky under General Palmer. The other general officers were mustered out of the service at the time of the final disbandment. On the 1st of
*General Potter was promoted to full Major General September 29, 1865.
January, 1866, General Cox, who had previously been elected Governor of Ohio, resigned his commission in the army. On the 15th of the same month, Generals Parke, Potter, Willcox and Hartranft were "honorably mustered out of the service of the United States."
General Parke returned to the corps of engineers, in which he held the rank of brevet Brigadier General. He was afterwards promoted to brevet Major General in the regular army. The other officers returned to civil life. Generals Potter and Willcox resumed the practice of their profession. General Hartranft was elected in October, 1865, Auditor General of Pennsylvania. Thus with honor to themselves and the country did the men and officers of the Ninth Corps close their term of service. But, though the bonds of army life were severed by the completion of the work, to which they had consecrated their powers, the ties of affection which a community of danger and duty had woven still remain strong as ever. The memory of the noble dead is the common inheritance, and the proud consciousness of duty always well performed the common satisfaction, of those brave men whose names are borne on the rolls of the old NINTH ARMY CORPS!
LL history is necessarily imperfect. Even if every detail is told, there still remain many things which cannot be recorded. There are many acts of fidelity, self-sacrifice and heroism of which there can be no chronicle. The more prominent events of a great struggle, the movements of large armies, the battles in which they engage, the shining exploits which win glory for their actors and secure the admiration of the world, stand conspicuously out before the eyes of mankind. But there are many other deeds, less distinguished and less known, which yet have an important influence upon the course and issue of the strife. Much that is borne and done, both in the camp and in the field, cannot be written down or made the object of the public gaze. No one thinks of telling the story except in some choice circle of friendship. The endurance of hardship, the self-discipline and self-control, the spirit of moderation in victory and of steadfastness in defeat, the sense of imperative duty and the love of a great and noble cause-all the qualities of character, in short, which belong to good soldiers and brave men, and make up the morale of an army, belong to that part of history which may well be called un
Nor is the spirit of a people, which perpetually encourages and reënforces an army in the field, to be disregarded or overlooked. The war of the rebellion was without precedent among the nations the world. Never was there an army like that which was raised in defence of the Republic. When its numbers, the ch er of its officers and men for intelligence,
faithfulness to duty and patriotic fervor, the spirit of persistrace which animated its action, and wrung the victory of right 'from the desperation of injustice, and the willingness to suffer and to do all needful things, are considered, the verdict of history must be, that never was a principle more loyally served, and never was its triumph more gloriously won. We have to look beyond the march of armies and the din of battle, to see what it is that carries the day. We have to appreciate the power of invisible forces, the unrecognized virtues and even the unsuccessful heroism, with which every great contest abounds, but which rarely becomes matter of public knowledge, if we wish to understand the greatness of a nation, when struggling for its liberty and its life. There is oftentimes as much heroism in the humblest homes of the people, as on the most famous battle field. Valor in action secures its well-earned meed of honor, but calm and silent endurance also has its exceeding great reward. The trust in God which alleviated the sorrows of bereaved affection, the uncomplaining fortitude, with which the pains of wounds and sickness, and the loneliness of imprisonment were borne, can never be adequately traced by any human pen. But one book-the book of everlasting life-is, alone fit to contain such a glorious record.
The soldiers of the Ninth Corps can count many a comrade whose nameless grave lies far away, beneath the turf of southern plain, forest or hill-side. Many were compelled to suffer the rigors and cruelties of southern prisons, and to become familiar with the horrors of Belle Isle, Salisbury and Andersonville. Of the fate of many there is no register and no knowledge, even to this day. They left their homes, they gave up the things which most men think dear, they entered bravely into the struggle, they laid down their lives for their country, and there is no chronicle of their virtues except in the memories of those who mourn their loss. They sank to rest in the silent earth-" unknelled, uncoffined and unknown." It is manifestly impossible to speak the sufficient praise of the unlaurelled heroism of these unnamed martyrs: