First Kentucky "Orphan" Brigade 


 

RESOLUTIONS OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE, 1865

 

   Introduction ... In January and February 1865, in the face of seemingly impending defeat, a patriotic fervor swept the Army of Northern Virginia. Several regiments and brigades met to adopt resolutions of continued support for the war effort, and the soldiers’ determination to conquer their country’s independence. These resolutions were published in various Southern newspapers. In support of their brothers-in-arms in Virginia, the Orphan Brigade met to draw up similar resolutions in February. The following is the text of these resolutions as printed, with spelling corrected and punctuation added only as needed. Entries that might produce confusion are annotated.

 

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RESOLUTIONS OF LEWIS’ BRIGADE

Camp Lewis’ Ky. Brigade,
Green’s Cut, Ga., Feb. 11, 1865.

   At a meeting of the officers and enlisted men of Lewis’ Brigade Mounted Infantry, held at Green’s Cut on Saturday, February 11th, 1865, after a statement of the object of the meeting, by Lieut-Col. Phil. Lee, of the 2d Kentucky Regiment, Lieut-Col. Geo. W. Connor of the 26th [should read 6th] Kentucky Regiment was appointed President, and Capt. Thos. Steel and Sergt. V. Hutchen, of the 4th Kentucky Regiment, chosen Secretaries.

   On motion of Col. Lee a committee of ten, consisting of two from each regiment was appointed to draft resolutions expressive of the sense of the meeting, viz: Adjt. T.E. Moss and Burk, of the 20th [2nd] Kentucky; V. Hutchen and Jno. Marshall, of 4th Kentucky; Capt. White and Sergt. Clayton, of the 5th Kentucky; and Lieut-Col. J. C. Wickliff and Capt. Chris Borchi [Bosche], of the 9th Ky Regiment.

   On motion, Capt. Hewitt, A.A.G., was added to the committee on resolutions.

   Col. Lee, Col. Connor, Col. Wickliff and Lieut. Overton addressed the meeting.

   Col. Wickliff, as chairman of the committee, submitted the following preamble and resolutions, which were adopted without a dissenting voice:

   WHEREAS, We consider our long and arduous service in behalf of Southern independence as giving us a right to express our views and our attachments and devotions to the cause as making it our duty to speak, therefore,

   1. Resolved, That we see nothing in the present aspect of affairs to justify a fear of our ultimate triumph, or any excuse for relaxing our efforts to conquer independence and peace.

   2. Resolved, That although we have been exiles from our homes and separated from those nearest and dearest to us, for more than three years, we are not yet willing to return to our native State upon the terms Lincoln may prescribe.

   3. Resolved, That we see no honorable escape from the dangers that threaten us but to boldly meet our enemy, as heretofore, in the field.

   4. Resolved, That we believe the Minnie rifle our best peace commissioner, and will never lay down our arms until we have achieved our unqualified independence.

   5. Resolved, That while we heartily approve the effort of the free press fostered and cherished by our infant government in their untrameled [sic] expression of opinion, we, with our voice, condemn the course of those public journals who, by the publication of articles subversive to the true interest of the government, weaken the loyalty of the non-combatants at home, and by arousing an enemy mostly to be feared, ie, the desire for peace under any circumstances, render abortive the efforts of our soldiers in the field; we suggest that the editors of such papers be placed by the side of loyal men in the ranks, where, with an Enfield on their shoulders, they will be taught how our government ought to be supported.

   6. Resolved, That we have read, with the greatest degree of interest, the thrilling resolutions passed by the Virginia soldiers in the field, in which they reassert their devotion to the cause of independence, and that we re-echo the sterling music of their tone. As sons of Kentucky, the fairest daughter of Virginia, we intend to stand by the banner of the South -- whether it waves in the sunlight of victory or trail in the black shadow of defeat; and further Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be sent to General Lee to be read to the Army of Virginia, thus assuring that noble band of men, that we will stand shoulder to shoulder with them in this war for right, justice and the priceless boon of liberty.

   7. Resolved, That these resolutions be published in the Augusta Constitutionalist, and all editors friendly to the cause are requested to copy the same.

   The meeting then adjourned.

Lt. Col. GEORGE W. CONNOR,
Chairman.

Capt. THOS. STEEL,
Sergt. V. HUTCHEN,
Secretaries.

 

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 from a copy of the printed resolutions in the Special Collections of the Robert W. Woodruff Library, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia

 

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Geoff Walden: enfield577 (at) live.com
Laura Cook
: lcook62 (at) hotmail.com

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