SIMEON SAMMONS' Letter of Farewell
Fonda, Montgomery County, N. Y.
January 6, 1865
To the Officers and Privates of the 115th Regiment of N. Y. S. Volunteers:
My resignation, as your Commanding Officer, having been accepted, and my military connection with you thereby terminated, in taking leave of you I cannot refrain from expressing the feeling of my heart in relation to the past, and my hopes for your future.
For your kind and generous confidence, while I had the honor to command the 115th, I cannot fail to express my warmest thanks. The responsibilities of a Commanding Officer are neither few nor light; but they were materially lessened by the frank and generous support of officers and men who were so long connected with me both in camp and field.
Your record, thus far, is one you may be truly proud of. In the numerous engagements in which you have borne a part, no disgrace has stained your reputation - no dishonor attaches to your good name; and on may a hard fought battle-field your colors have been foremost in the fight, and they have never been desecrated by rebel hands.
You have endured hardships, toil and privation, with fortitude, and without a murmur; and by your discipline and soldierly bearing won enconiums even from unwilling lips. I grieve when I think of your numerous and gallant dead, and of the just as gallant but more numerous wounded and maimed companions who are now suffering for their devotion to the Union, and the adored banner, the Stars and Stripes of our Country.
Let us cherish, on the ever green tablet of our memory, those brave spirits who have fallen; and be ever ready to aid the wounded and suffering who survive.
The Colors of our Regiment, forwarded by you, have been received; and I have placed them in the State Department, appropriated for such purposes, as a record of the deeds you have so nobly performed; and I cannot close without alluding to one - the beautiful banner, with its beaming folds, presented to us, on the 28th of August 1862, by the fair ladies of the Fifteenth Senatorial District of our State. Our thanks were returned, on that day, in a suitable manner, before we went forth to battle; and the fair donors cannot but feel proud that their beautiful and kindly gift had been so honorably supported; and now, although torn and tattered by the tramp of battle, it lies safely deposited in the archives of our State, as an evidence of their handiwork, and a memento of their patriotism, accompanied by the record of the many battles through which it has passed.
In closing, I must express my full profound gratitude to an over ruling Providence, through whom alone we have blessings and success - reverently commit to His guidance your lives and labors for the future, humbly trusting that He will protect and preserve you, each and all, to the expiration of your term of service in the field; and that you may return with safety and honor to your friends and families. T o one and all I send kind greetings, and trust you will not fail to call upon me, on your return, and I shall take great pleasure in extending to each a kindly welcome.
After having been with you two years and four months, I had cherished hopes of being able to remain until the expiration of your term of service. My wound and failing health compelled me to resign.
I am with great respect,
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