And now, Comrades, I have exhausted my resources in endeavor to serve you in this work of placing in historic record your deeds of heroism and works of patriotic sacrifice in the War of the Rebellion. Possibly I have been too plain, conservative and modest in the language used. But my heart's desire in it all has been to be faithful and true to you - to each and all of you. If I had not been one of you, I might have indulged in superlatives often. Of one thing rest assured, the verdict of the reader will be, "Nothing is overstated."
I feel that I have imperfectly sketched your part in the saving of the nation. Your children and theirs to the remotest time will ever be proud of it. We can ever emphasize one battle, in which as a Company we had our largest experience; and in which we registered our first and greatest loss in "killed in action." It was the decisive battle of that greatest of civil conflicts - "rebellion rising to its supremest effort and failing fatally wounded." Yes, we can ever point with pride to our "trial in the fire" at Gettysburg. And we can glory, too, in the magnificent victory won by the 2nd Corps at Spottsylvania. Certainly we cannot be charged with undue boasting if we do glory in such expressions as "brave old Co. K!" "The fighting 140th Regiment P. V. !" "The old reliable 2nd Corps!"
We together followed the flag of our country in march and battle for almost three years in the Army of the Potomac, till "old glory" was triumphant. And we certainly share in the honor a grateful nation accords to its defenders. And, surviving comrades, in loving remembrances of our dead, with our hearts full of gratitude and praise, we do feel proud of what we did, inasmuch, while the years have come and gone since we laid down our arms and again took our places as citizens, we have seen our beloved country, more precious in the immense cost of its preservation, rise to an unparalleled degree of success and prosperity. And while we rejoice in this, let us, in taking leave of each other, in the end of this book of history, pledge ourselves and our posterity to continued faithfulness, to unflinching devotion to our nation, even unto death.