The New Army Corps.
December 21, 1864
The New Army Corps.
State of West Virginia,
Wheeling, Dec. 5th, 1864.
The following General Order from the War Department is published for the information of all concerned:
Adjutant Generalís Office,
Washington, D. C., Nov. 28, 1864.
Ordered, for raising and organizing a new Volunteer Army Corps:
1st. That an Army Corps, to consist of not less than 20,000 Infantry, and enlisted for not less than one year, to be designated the First Corps, shall be organized in the District of Columbia, commencing the Organization on the first day of December, 1864, and continuing until the first day of January next; the privates to consist of able-bodied men who have served honorably not less than two years, and, therefore, not subject to draft; the officers to be commissioned from such as have served not less than two years.
2d. Recruits will be furnished transportation to Washington, and will be credited to the district in which they or their families are domiciled, and will be paid a special bounty of $300, from the subsistence fund, upon being mustered into the service. Each recruit who preserves his arms to the end of his term may retain them as his own upon being honorably discharged.
3d. Details of Organization will be preserved by the Adjutant General. The heads of bureau will detail officers for the prompt examination and organization, arming, equipping, and supplying of the Corps.
4th Major-General Hancock is assigned to the command of this Corps, with his headquarters at Washington.
By order of the Secretary of War:
(Signed) E. D. Townsend,
Assít Adjít General.
No subordinate commander in our armies has achieved such a brilliant reputation as General Hancock, who is to command this new Army Corps; which is designed to be a legion of honor, numbering in its ranks the choice spirits of the great veteran reserve now at their homes. No such opportunity for distinction has been offered within the history of the war.
Nor have volunteers ever had such pecuniary indicements offered. A special government bounty of Three Hundred Dollars will be paid IN FULL, WHEN THE MEN ARE MUSTERED INTO SERVICE. There are, doubtless, great numbers of our brave boys in this State who have served their country three years, and are willing to re-enlist, and see the end of the rebellion. This generous offer of the government affords them an opportunity to do so not only with credit to themselves, but with pecuniary advantage to their families or friends. West Virginia troops have sustained a high reputation for those qualities of courage and dash, which make the good soldier. Let us have a fair representation in this Corps, which is to embody these high qualities in an organization representing the whole Republic. West Virginia ought to furnish two or three companies; and will if anything approaching to an adequate effort is made.
The attention of the several Boards of Supervisors is respectfully invited to this General Order. It is more than probable that another call for troops will soon be made, and West Virginia required to furnish her quota. If reasonable exertion is made to improve the advantages now offered by the government large numbers of volunteers to our credit may be obtained during the organization of this new Corps, with but little expense to our own people. And such credits will be deducted from our quota under a future call, when it may require a local bounty equal to that now offered by the United States to obtain recruits. As a matter of finance, then, it would seem that large sums may be saved to our people by an active co-operation in the present effort to recruit men under this Special Government Bounty. Besides, the men are needed NOW; and it is the part of patriotism, no less than of practical foresight, to use every exertion to stimulate volunteering immediately. No time is to be lost! Remember that the inducements now offered end with the 31st day of the present month.
Veterans desiring to enlist in this Corps will make application to the district Provost Marshals at Grafton, Wheeling and Charleston; and if found qualified under the order, they will be furnished transportation to Washington.
By order of the Governor.
F. P. Pierpont,
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: November 1864