JULY 31ST, 1865: In a General order to the officers and men of the Potomac Flotilla, Commander F.A. Parker, announced the disbanding of the flotilla: "The war for the preservation of American liberty being at an end, the Potomac Flotilla, which took its rise with it and grew with its growth until it had become a fleet rather than a flotilla, this day happily ceases to exist."
This squadron had made significant contributions to the Union victory by safeguarding the water approaches to Washington, by denying the use of the Potomac River to the Confederacy, by maintaining control of the Rappahannock River which rendered secure General Grant's supply base at Fredericksburg, and by conducting numerous amphibious operations which secured Virginia's Northern Neck for the Union.
Parker concluded: "To those of you who are about to return to civil life I would say, render the same cheerful obedience to the civil that you have rendered to the naval law. Cast your votes as good citizens, regularly and quietly at the polls; so keeping in your hearts 'with malice toward none, with charity for all,' that after each Presidential election, whether it be with you or against you, you may be able to respond heartily to our old navy toast: "The President of the United States: God Bless Him!'"
Thanks a Lot, Guys. --Old B-Runner