14 April 1863: “The Comdg Gen. leaves temporarily and for the purpose of putting himself at the head of a relieving force, and having raised the siege expects soon to return.”

Item Description: Copy of Union General John Gray Foster’s 14 April 1863 Order commending the troops, enclosed in a 17 April 1863 letter written to William L. Whitney of Cambridge, Massachusetts from his son in the Union army stationed at Washington, N.C.

[Item transcription available below images.]

Item Citation: From Folder 51 of the Federal Soldiers’ Letters #3185Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

                             General Order
                                                                         Apr. 14th 1863
Head Quarters Washington N.C. 
The Comdg Gen. announces to the garrison of the town that he is about to leave for a brief time the gallant soldiers & sailors of the garrison – Brig. Gen. Potter will remain in command, and in him the Comdg. Gen. has the most perfect confidence as a brave and able soldier. The Commander of the naval forces remains unchanged therefore that arm of the defense will be as effective & perfect as before heretofore. The Comdg Gen. leaves temporarily and for the purpose of putting himself at the head of a relieving force, and having raised the siege expects soon to return. But before leaving he must express to the soldiers under his command, the 27th & 44th Mass., parts of the 3rd N.Y. Artillery & 3rd N.Y. Cavly & 1st N.C. Volunteers, his thanks for and admiration of their untiring zeal, noble emulation and excellent courage, which has distinguished them during the sixteen days of the enemy’s attack on the post. And he has confidence that the display of those qualities under Gen. Potter will hold the place until the siege be raised.
                                                                   John G. Foster
                                                                               Ma. Gen. Comdg.

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