[Gettysburg, PA]: July 4, 1863.
1p. Signed in print by Maj. Gen. Meade. 6-3/8 x 6-1/2 inches. Field Printed General Orders Congratulating the Army on their Victory at the Battle of Gettysburg. Old folds. Housed in a blue morocco backed box Item #353816
The General Orders continues: "Our task is not yet accomplished, and the Commanding General looks to the Army for greater efforts to drive from our soil every vestige of the presence of the invader. It is right and proper that we should, on all suitable occasions, return our grateful thanks to the Almighty Disposer of events, that in the goodness of his Providence He has thought fit to give victory to the cause of the just."
Lincoln would take issue with Meade's choice of words, arguing that "our soil" applied to the southern states as well. In addition, he was disappointed that Meade did not impel a greater effort to pursue Robert E. Lee in retreat. Nevertheless, the Union victory at the three-day Battle of Gettysburg would prove a seminal turning point of the war, arguably the greatest military victory for the Union. Interestingly, Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address would echo Meade's own words from this order over the historic nature of the victory: "The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here."
Fewer than ten known copies of this battlefield-issued printing of Meade’s victory message are recorded, in several variant printings. The use of tabletop field printing presses by both the Union and Confederate armies helped make quick field communication possible, but minor typographical differences were certain to occur given the circumstances of their composition. In addition, a more formal printing of General Orders 68 was issued in Washington and can be found in annual bound volumes of such orders (though is frequently misidentified as the present field-printed order). The last example on the market sold at Sotheby's in May 2016.
[WITH:] Two-page manuscript official true copy of Meade's General Orders No. 66, assuming command of the Army of the Potomac just prior to the Battle of Gettysburg, dated June 28, 1863, written and signed by Acting Assistant Adjutant General Paul Nason
This example accompanied by a contemporary official manuscript true copy, written and signed by A.A.A.G. Paul F. Nason, of Meade's General Orders No. 66 in which he assumed command of the Army of the Potomac on the eve of the Battle of Gettysburg: "The country looks to this army to relieve it from the devastation and disgrace of an hostile invasion. Whatever fatigues and sacrifices we may be called upon to undergo, let us have in view constantly the magnitude of the interests involved, and let each man determine to do his duty, leaving to an all-controlling Providence the decision of the contest"
Price: $32,500.00 Free International Delivery