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Musicians Discharge Signed by Brigadier General Regis de Trobraind

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Item No. AR80965 Category


Nice discharge for musician James Atkins who would serve as a 2nd class musician in the 1st Brigade band, 3rd Division, 2nd Army Corps. This discharge is dated May 31, 1865. It is signed at the bottom by Captain Charles Hays and to the right of that can be seen General Trobraind’s signature. Trobraind would initially be given command of the 55th New York Volunteer Infantry and would take part in the Peninsular Campaign. In December of 1862 the 55th was merged with the 38th New York and Trobraind would be named the colonel for the newly formed 38th New York. He would lead the regiment during the Battle of Chancellorsville, but his greatest military accomplishment would come at Gettysburg. He would arrive on the second day of battle and take up positions in the area known as the Wheatfield. His brigade put up a spirited defense against powerful assaults by Hood’s Division, particularly a Georgia brigade under Brig. Gen. George T. Anderson and a South Carolina brigade under Brig. Gen. Joseph B. Kershaw. They successfully held out until relieved by units of Maj. Gen. John C. Caldwell’s division of the II Corps, but it came at a terrible price—every third man in Trobriand’s brigade was a casualty. Following the battle, his division commander, Maj. Gen. David Birney, recommended that Trobraind be promoted to the rank brigadier general of volunteers for his gallantry and leadership during the battle. Despite the recommendation and his excellent performance at Gettysburg, Col. Trobriand did not receive a promotion to brigadier general until his appointment to that grade by President Lincoln on April 10, 1864, to rank from January 5, 1864, after the U.S. Senate had confirmed the appointment on April 7, 1864. He finally assumed command of a brigade to match his rank when Brig. Gen. J.H. Hobart Ward was dismissed from the Army for intoxication. Late in the war, Trobriand occasionally led a division during the Petersburg and Appomattox Campaigns. On January 13, 1866, President Andrew Johnson  nominated de Trobriand for the brevet grade of major general to rank from April 9, 1865, and the U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination on March 12, 1866. De Trobriand was mustered out of the volunteer service on January 15, 1866. On December 3, 1867 President Johnson nominated him for the brevet grade of brigadier general in the regular army, to rank from March 2, 1867 and the U.S. Senate confirmed the award on February 14, 1868. Not a very common signature to find!

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