January 1, 1863
Camp Reynolds, VA


You have just closed an eventful year. During the year 1862, the 23rd Regiment has borne well its part in the great struggle for the Union - the splendid fight of Company C at Clark's Hollow - the daring, endurance, and spirit of enterprise exhibited in the capture of Princeton and Giles Court House - the steadiness, discipline, and pluck which enabled you in the face of an overwhelming force of the enemy to retreat from your advanced position, without panic and confusion, and almost unharmed. The conspicuous and acknowledged achievements of the Regiment at the Battles of South Mountain and Antietam, simply justify the satisfaction and pride which I am confident we all feel in the Regiment to which we belong. We recall those events and scenes with joy and exultation. But as we glance our eyes along the shortened line, we are filled with sadness - that we look in vain for many forms and faces once so familiar. We shall not forget what they gave to purchase the good name which we so highly prize. The pouring out of their life-blood has made the tattered old flag sacred. Let us begin the new year - this season to us of quiet and preparation - with a determination so to act that the future of the Regiment shall cast no shadows on its past, and that those of us, who shall survive to behold the opening of another New Year, shall regard with increased gratification the character, history, and name, of the gallant old 23rd.