193                                HISTORY OF THE SEVENTY-EIGHTH REGIMENT O.V.V.I.

           The parting of the Sixty-Eighth, Twentieth and Seventy-Eighth Ohio, was like the breaking up of a family. From the beginning of the war they had served together, and had been successful in every engagement, and never once gave way or retreated before the enemy. All were conscious of the fact that no other Brigade in the army had a prouder or more honorable record.

           The following letter from General Leggett to the officers and soldiers of the Seventy-Eighth Ohio on the expiration of their original term of service, I take the liberty to insert:


To the Officers and Men of the Seventy-Eighth O. V. V. Infantry:

           FELLOW SOLDIERS: — To-day ends the original term of "three years" for which the Seventy-Eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry entered the service of the United States.

           At the beginning of this term, few thought our services would be so long required. Then we enlisted for "three years" or "during the war;" we believed that "during the war" would be a shorter term than "three years." We failed then to correctly estimate the number and wickedness of those banded together to destroy our general government; and disgrace our national flag. Neither did we know then the strength of our affection for that flag, nor the depth of our love for that government. Three years of the most arduous and exposed service, has increased our devotion to our country, and greatly deepened our hatred of its foe.

           The history of the regiment has been one of which we are all proud. Thank God and the brave men of the Seventy-Eighth, there is not a page or a paragraph of that history that need ever cause the blush of shame to tinge our cheeks, or those of our children after us.

           During the "three years" the regiment has never been the subject of censure, but has often been commended and praised in orders and reports, for its gallantry in battle, its thorough discipline, its soldierly conduct in camp and on the march, and for its proficiency in drill.

           The Seventy-Eighth has never gone into summer or winter quarters. Its entire term has been one of extreme exposure and arduous service. Its history may truly be said to have been written in sweat and blood. At Donelson, Burnt Bridge, Shiloh, Siege of Corinth, Bolivar, Iuka, Thompson's Hill, Raymond, Jackson, Champion Hills, Siege of Vicksburg, Boguechitta, Baker's Creek, Clinton, Kenesaw Mountain, Atlanta, Jonesboro, Lovejoy, Siege of Savannah, and in almost numberless affairs and skirmishes of less importance, the regiment has left its mark in blood, and by its determined bravery shown its invincible character.

           In the campaigns to Iuka, to Water Valley, in the rear of Vicksburg, and the expedition of the Yazoo valley, Boguechitta Creek, through Louisiana, the great Meridian raid, the march through Northern Alabama, the Atlanta campaign, the pursuit of Hood in the rear of Atlanta, and the great expedition through Georgia to Savannah, it has displayed its high state of discipline, its marching qualities, and the patriotic willingness of its officers and men to undergo the greatest deprivations, and to subject themselves to

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