General Order No. 66 (June 28, 1863)

The outgoing commander of the Army of the Potomac (Library of Congress).

The outgoing commander of the Army of the Potomac (Library of Congress).

We should keep in mind that while George Gordon Meade took command of the Army of the Potomac on June 28, 1863, another general was losing that command. After being replaced by Meade, Joseph Hooker issued General Order No. 66.In conformity with the orders of the War Department, dated June 27, 1863, I relinquish the command of the Army of the Potomac to Maj. Gen. George G. Meade, a brave and accomplished officer, who has nobly earned the confidence and esteem of this army on many a well-fought field.Impressed with the belief that my usefulness as the commander of the Army of the Potomac is impaired, I part from it; yet not without the deepest emotion.

The sorrow parting with the comrades of so many battles is relieved by the conviction that the devotion of this army will never cease nor fail; that it will yield to my successor, as it has to me, a willing and hearty support.

With the earnest prayer that the triumphs of its arms may bring successes worthy of it and the nation, I bid it farewell.

Joseph Hooker
Major-General

From Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series One, Volume XXVII, Part III, pp. 373-4.

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