General Orders! 

          Read General Orders from the American Civil War documented by Corporal Timothy J. Regan in his diaries. 


May 26, 1862 - Some portion of this army is engaged with the enemy every day, but our regiment has not been engaged since this campaign commenced; our turn is coming of course, and when it does come I know that the Ninth will make a good fight for Union and Liberty.

          The Following General order was read to the troops this morning:

Head Quarters, Army of the Potomac
Camp near Coal Harbour Va. May 25th, 1862.

          Upon advancing beyond the Chickahominy the troops will go prepared for battle at a moments notice, and will be entirely unencumbered, with the exception of ambulances. All vehicles will be left on the eastern side of the Chickahominy, and carefully packed. The men will leave their knapsacks, packed, with the wagons, and will carry three days rations. The arms will be put in perfect order before the troops march, and a careful inspection made of them, as well as of the cartridge boxes, which in all cases will contain at least forty rounds; twenty additional rounds will be carried by the men in their pockets. Commanders of batteries will see that their limbers and caissons are filled to their utmost capacity.

          Commanders of army corps will devote their personal attention to the fulfilment of these orders, and will personally see that the proper arrangements are made for packing and properly guarding the trains and surplus baggage, taking all the steps necessary to insure their being brought promptly to the front when needed; they will also take the steps to prevent the ambulances from interfering with the movements of the troops. Sufficient guards and staff officers will be detailed to carry out these orders.

          The ammunition-wagons will be in readiness to march to their respective brigades and batteries at a moment's notice, but will not cross the Chickahominy untill they are sent for. All quartermasters and ordinance officers are to remain with their trains.

          In the approaching battle the General Commanding trusts that the troops will preserve the discipline which he has been so anxious to enforce and which they have so generally observed. He calls upon all the officers and soldiers to obey promptly and intelligently all orders they may receive; let them bear in mind that the Army of the Potomac has never yet been beaten or checked, and let them preserve in battle perfect coolness and confidence, the sure forerunners of success. They must keep well together, throw away no shots, but aim carefully and low, and, above all things, rely upon the bayonet. Commanders of regiments are reminded of the great responsibility that rests upon them; upon their coolness, judgement and discretion the destinies of their regiments and success of the day will depend. By command of:

                                        Major-General Mc. Clellan
                                        S. Williams, Assistant Adjutant General


May 12, 1863 - There are a great many two years and nine months regiments in the army, whose term of service is now about to expire. One of the Maine regiments went home a few days ago, the Fourteenth New York went home today; the Twelfth, Thirteenth, and Seventeenth New York will soon follow. All of those regiments belong to this Army Corps, and the third division of this corps is composed almost entirely of nine months men whose term of service will soon expire, and they too will go home. Who is to take their places in the fight? -Send on the recruits and fill up.

          This brigade escorted the Fourteenth New York to the railroad station, and the other two brigades of the division formed in line and saluted their homeward bound comrades as they passed out of camp.

          In the afternoon, General Meagher presented our regiment with a green flag in behalf of the officers of the Irish Brigade. The flag is inscribed with the names of the battles in which the Ninth participated. -Weather is getting warm.

          The following General Order was read to the army today:

Headquarters Army of the Potomac
Camp Near Falmouth, Virginia May 12th, 1863

General Orders No. 50 -

          The Major General commanding desires to express to the troops leaving this army, by reason of the expiration of their term of service, his appreciation of their efforts and devotion.

          The record of their deeds, while it will prove a proud recollection in future days, will live in history, and in the memory of their comrades who still continue to serve the country and its cause in the glorious and honorable profession of arms. The Major General commanding directs that copies of this order be furnished to each regiment that has left or is about to leave this army, and he desires that the same be promulgated to the troops, with his best wishes for their welfare.

          May the same spirit which prompted them to respond to the call of duty and honor remain forever in their hearts and be transmitted, as a proud legacy to their descendants.

                                             By command of Major General Hooker
                                             Commanding Army of the Potomac
                                             S. Williams, Assistant Adjutant General


If you found these General Orders to be informative, please click the like button! You can read these and more documented by Mr. Regan in the book, "The Lost Civil War Diaries, The Diaries of Corporal Timothy J. Regan." Click the link below to preview at Amazon.

General Orders