Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
December 6, 1864

Wheeling Daily Intelligencer
December 14, 1864

The 7th West Virginia Regiment

Expiration of Lieut. Co. Lockwood's Term of Service - His Farewell Speech to his Men.

The time of Lieut. Col. Lockwood's service, as the commanding officer of our 7th West Virginia Regiment, now with Gen. Grant, having expired some days ago, he took occasion on being mustered out to make the following remarks to his late companions in arms:

H'dq'rs 7th West Va. Vets. Vol's,
3d Brig., 2d Div., 2d Corps,
Camp Near Petersburg, Va., Dec. 6.
Fellow Soldiers, 7th W.Va. Vet Vol.: --

It deeply grieves me to have to inform you that I am about to leave you, and for the present, the service. For more than three years I have shared with you all the vicissitudes of a soldier's life - its glories and its privations - its hardships and its dangers. Neither by profession nor choice am I a soldier, and had not this wicked rebellion raised its serpent head in the south, I should never have left the peaceful walks of private life and the fireside of my family. You will bear me witness that I never undertook to rule you with an iron hand, but rather with kindness and love; for you are all my neighbors and friends. I have ever endeavored to be the friend of each and every one of you; and you are well aware that no one, more than I, so cheerfully and readily assisted you whenever you were surrounded by difficulties. Again, I say, I am grieved to leave you; I am severing one of the strongest ties on earth.

But circumstances which it is not necessary for me to mention, but which are entirely beyond my control, make it absolutely necessary that I shall become once more a citizen.

Since you have been in the service your lot has been cast with the Army of the Potomac. Although e might have preferred to remain in West Virginia where we could defend our own firesides, and fight under the eyes of those who are so near and dear to us, yet the exigencies of the service would not permit this. We were sent here, and like good and true soldiers we cheerfully obeyed the order.

I must say however that while memory lasts I can never forget the uniform courtesy and kindness with which my officers and men have been treated by everyone in this glorious army of the Potomac, from the Commanding General down to the men in the ranks.

Isolated as we have been from our own people, let us remember that we have nevertheless been recipients of the kindness of the ladies of the North. Among other things we owe our Thanksgiving dinner to the beautiful donations of those good and loyal women. Our own wives, sisters and daughters would have done the same had we been within their reach. However, God bless them all! May their tears ever be tears of joy, and may flowers surround their path through life.

But, my dear boys, I have assembled you here to-day to bid you farewell. I leave you surrounded with glory. You have by your privations, fortitude and bravery on many a bloody battle-field won an undying fame. You have reason to be proud of it; your friends and your children too. The latest generation will be proud of it. History, ever faithful history, will record your deeds on the tablets of fame. - I shall ever recur to the time passed with you as among the most glorious days of my life. "I shall always treasure in my memory of the many acts of kindness that you all have been pleased to pay me. But more than all else, I cannot express to you my heartfelt gratitude for your perfect gallantry and dashing bravery which I have witnessed on almost every battle field in West Virginia. You have been the regiment selected to advance on the enemy and cover a retreat.

This rebellion must soon die. Free and loyal men are destined to rule, and our good and glorious old Union will be placed on a safer and firmer basis than ever. Then you will return to your peaceful firesides, to your families and your friends to enjoy the quiet and tranquility that you have so nobly and so well earned. Then and there I hope to meet you all and extend to you the right hand of fellowship. Until then, my brave boys, farewell.

J.H. Lockwood, Lieut Col.,
Commanding 7th West Va. Vol. Inft.

Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: December 1864

West Virginia Archives and History