1865 September 9: Wisconsin’s Adjutant General Cautions Soldiers Not to Part with their Discharge Papers
This week we have only The Prescott Journal issue of September 9, 1865, for news articles.
STATE OF WISCONSIN,
ADJUTANT GENERAL’S OFFICE, }
Madison, Aug. 25, 1865. }
GENERAL ORDERS }
. .No. 13. . }
To Discharged Wisconsin Soldiers :
It having become evident that there are persons in this State seeking to take advantage of ignorant or thoughtless soldiers in the purchase of discharge papers this is to caution all soldiers against parting with their discharge papers under any consideration whatever.
It is not at all improbable that Congress will at an early day recognize the service, at least of those who, enlisting in the first years of the rebellion, did not receive the large bounties of the latter years,—and perhaps all others—by a grant of Government lands.
Such grants, or any subsequent bounties, can be claimed only upon proper proof, in which your discharge paper will be required, and the soldier who sells his, puts his title to any such benefits entirely beyond recovery, excepting in the purchase back again of the discharge at such an extravagant rate as the speculator may impose.
Aside from the money value which may be attached to an honorable discharge from the service, in the future, it will have to those who shall come after you, if not now to yourselves, a value beyond that of money.
It will be treasured among the mementos of the past, and your name therein recognized as among the patriot heroes who left home and the pleasant paths of peace, to risk all for the laws and liberties of the Commonwealth, and whose valor has stricken down forever the envenomed foes of the Republic.
In any view of the matter, your discharge paper is worth more to you than to any one else. The person who seeks to purchase it of you has no good object in view. Do not part with it.
By order of the Governor.
. .AUG. GAYLORD, Adjutant General [Augustus Gaylord].