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Adjutant and Inspector General Reports

1865 Report
Appendix C

Official Reports

XVIII. BREVET MAJOR GENERAL CHARLES DEVENS, THIRD DIVISION TWENTY-FOURTH ARMY CORPS, TO THE GOVERNOR OF VERMONT.

Headquarters 3rd Division 24th A. C.,
Near Richmond, Va., June 14, 1865

His Excellency John G. Smith
Governor of the State of Vermont

Governor--The 9th regiment of Vermont volunteers, Colonel and Brevet Brigadier General E. H. Ripley commanding, today leaves this Division for Vermont, there to be finally discharged from the United States service.

The 9th, after much good service on the southern Peninsula of Virginia and in North Carolina, in the various conflicts of 1863 and1864, was transferred to the Army of the James and joined, in the summer of 1864, the 18th Corps, from which this Division was formed. It bore an honorable part in the successful assault on Fort Harrison, Sept. 29th, 1864, and in the affair of the Williamsburg Road of October 27th, 1864, and was one of the first regiments to enter Richmond on the morning of April 3rd.

Throughout all its service with the Army of the James, as I am informed, in all its previous service, it has borne the reputation of a most brave, reliable and well disciplined regiment, and at several examinations has been pronounced the best equipped and disciplined regiment in this Division, composed of eighteen (18) regiments. I commend its officers and men to you, as in every way worthy of the consideration of your Excellency and the patriotic people of the State of Vermont. They have nobly sustained the honor of the State which sent them forth; they have bravely borne their part in vindicating the principles of free government, and they come to claim their share in the common happiness, which the glorious results of our triumph will ensure to us and the millions who are to come after us. I have much confidence that they will not be found to be worse citizens, because they have been brave and true soldiers, that they will bring back to their native hills, not the vices, but the virtues of the camp, and that fidelity, fortitude, energy and perseverance will be found to mark them in the various ways of life to which they may hereafter be called.

All who went forth under the flags of this regiment will not return; although more fortunate than many of the regiments who have gone from your gallant State, yet it will be found that war, by its twin agencies of battle and disease, has fearfully thinned their numbers. I do not record them here, yet grateful and loving hearts will recall the names of all of these.

He who heads this Roll of Honor, however, the senior officer of the regiment, who fell in action, was so well known to me personally, that I cannot but claim to share some portion of the grief which will spring up anew as this gallant regiment returns without him. Major Charles Jarvis, killed in action at Cedar Point, N. C., December, 1863, was one of those men who would have preferred the quiet of civil life, to any honors and emoluments which military life could bestow. Strongly attached to his profession, as an agriculturist, he had no ambition that extended beyond the bounds of his own beautiful acres on the Connecticut; yet sternly obedient to the call of duty, when the hour had arrived that demanded he should leave the pleasant fields, which his plough had furrowed, for those in which the sword was reaping, it did not find him wanting in sorrow, that such an hour should arrive; yet with a stern devotion, that enabled him to meet all its exigencies, he went forth, never to return. No man more worthy of the appellation of a christian gentleman and christian soldier has fallen during the whole of the terrific struggle. May we wisely use the victory we have won at the price of lives like his.

I am very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,
CHARLES DEVENS,
Brig. and Brevet Major General U. S. Vol.s