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headquarters of Hoke's division, Near Greensboro, N. C., May 1, 1865.
Soldiers of my Division.
On the eve of a long, perhaps a final separation, I address to you the last sad words of parting.

The fortunes of war have turned the scale against us. The proud banners, which you have waved so gloriously over many a field, are to be furled at last. But they are not disgraced, my comrades. Your indomitable courage, your heroic fortitude, your patience under sufferings, have surrounded them with a halo which future years can never dim. History will bear witness to your valor, and succeeding generations will point with admiration to your grand struggle for constitutional freedom.

Soldiers, your past is full of glory, Treasure it in your hearts. Remember each gory battle-field, each day of victory, each bleeding comrade!

Think, then, of your home.

Freedom's battle, once begun,
Bequeathed from bleeding sire to son,
Though baffled oft is ever won.

You have yielded to overwhelming forces, not to superior valor. You are paroled prisoners, not slaves. The love of liberty which led you into the contest burns as brightly in your hearts as ever. Cherish it. Associate it with the history of the past. Transmit it to your children. Teach them the rights of freedom, and teach them to maintain them. Teach them the proudest day in all your career was that on which you enlisted as Southern soldiers, entering that holy brotherhood whose ties are now sealed by the blood of your compatriots who have fallen, and whose history is coeval with the brilliant record of the past four years.

Soldiers, amid the imperishable laurels that surround your brows, no brighter leaf adorns them than your connection with the late Army of Northern Virginia!

The star that shone with splendor over its oft-repeated fields of victory, over the two deadly struggles of Manassas Plains, over Richmond, Chancellorsville, and Fredericksburg, has sent its rays and been reflected where true courage is admired, or wherever freedom

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Fredericksburg, Va. (Virginia, United States) (1)
Chancellorsville (Virginia, United States) (1)

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R. F. Hoke (1)
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May 1st, 1865 AD (1)
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