Posted By Norman Gasbarro on July 27, 2011
Farewell addresses to regiments as they were mustered out of service were almost always printed in the newspapers. The one given by J. K. Robison of the 16th Pennsylvania Cavalry was read by the Adjutant Samuel E. Cormany on a Wednesday evening in late June 1865. The address is provided here along with a list of those members of the 16th Pennsylvania Cavalry from the Lykens Valley area who have thus far been identified for this Civil War Research Project. Not all the men listed were present to hear the address. For example, Henry Lauinger died in Libby Prison in 1864, and Isaac Kebaugh, died of typhoid in a hospital in Georgetown on 1862.
The following is a copy of an address by Brevet Colonel J. K. Robison, of the 16th Pennsylvania Cavalry, upon the occasion of the old members of the regiment being mustered out of service. The address was read to the regiment on dress parade on Wednesday evening, by Adjutant Samuel E. Cormany: -
HEAD-QUARTERS SIXTEENTH PENNSYLVANIA CAVALRY, LYNCHBURG, Va., 14 June 1865. Officers and Men of the Sixteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry: – The time has come for us to part; our work is done; and armed enemy no longer remains to defy us; all our long fatiguing marches and hard fighting, and watching for the enemy by night and day are past; the glorious Stars and Stripes now proudly wave in all the States of the old Union. For two years I have had the honor of being your commander, and I would not be doing myself or you justice, without giving expression to my feelings. Many thanks are due to both officers and men for their prompt obedience to all my orders, and my pride in you is ever increased, by the remembrance of your bravery and gallantry, as displayed on many bloody battle-field, when by your sides many a brave comrade fell.
The thought that the great Rebellion is ended is glorious; we do not realize it in its full purport; you who are about to leave us, may, as you are about to return to your homes, families, and friends, who have been eagerly watching and patiently waiting this many a day to welcome you again into the dear home circle. Although I imagine you will be the more happy for getting to your homes, and becoming freed from military restraints, yet I am sorry to part with you; the endearments that existed between us is strong, and I have every reason to believe is mutual. You have stood by me and our once beautiful, but now tatered colorss, through many campaigns.
When many things looked dark and gloomy, you were cheerful. When orders were strict and exacting, you did not complain, and when fighting against odds, overwhelmed by superior numbers, and compelled to retreat, you evinced that praiseworthy characteristic of a good soldier, repulsed but not whipped, defeated but not conquered; and when, after many victorious engagements, the final struggle came, which proved such a complete victory to our arms and cause, you rejoiced not so much over the conquered foe, as over the crushing of that cause which threatened the existence of our beloved republic. An now that we part, I feel sad and gloomy at the thought that I may never again see many of my “brave boys.” You are about to return to your homes and firesides to lead the lives of citizens. Let me request, yes, even urge, that you be as good citizens as you have been good, brave and exemplary soldiers.
If any of you have acquired bad habits in camp life, resolve to break off at once, and show to the world that a good soldier can be a good citizen. You may well be proud of the honors you have won while fighting for the perpetuation of the glorious Union, “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” I am sorry we cannot all go home together, but it is ordered otherwise, and it is the duty of every true soldier to obey cheerfully.
I now bid you good-bye. May the kind Providence that has protected us thus far still shield us, and keep us, and prepare us for usefulness in this and a final happy home in a better world.
Yours truly (signed),
J. K. Robison, Brevet Colonel Sixteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry
Samuel E. Cormany, Adjutant
Those men from the Lykens Valley area who have thus far been identified as part of the 16th Pennsylvania Cavalry are:
John Allman —- Riley Bressler —- Simon Brown —- William Challenger —- Edward Delaney —- Gabriel B. Derr —- Isaac Snowden Finton —- Charles Griner —- Daniel Hand —- James M. Hart —- Philip Hawk —- Josiah Heckard —- John F. Helt —- Michael M. Hoffman —- Isaac Kebaugh —- Hiram Kimmel —- George Kissinger —- Josiah Kocher —- Charles Kreiner —-George Krissinger —- Henry Lauinger —- William Lebo —- Josiah Lentz —- Gustavius Augusst Martin —- Daniel David Messner —- John Mucher —- George W. Myers —- William Owens —- Barnhardt Plotzer Sr. —- David John Reasoner —- Isaac H. Ressler —- John Sager —- David H. Shaffer —- John H. Spangler —- Casper Tschopp —- Elias B. Tschopp —- Benjamin B. Umberger —- William W. Wallace —- Benevelll Welker —- Daniel Wert —- Nathaniel Woland —- Frederick Yentch —- John Youndt —- Levi Zerbe
The news article from the Philadelphia Inquirer is from the on-line resources of the Free Library of Philadelphia. Information for this post was also taken from the files of the Gratz Historical Society. A separate digital file is kept on each of the above-named men. Information is sought on any men from the Lykens Valley area who were soldiers or sailors during the Civil War.
Excerpts from the Diary of Samuel Cormany can be found by clicking here.