Army of the Cumberland Certificate
Original Author: Strobridge, Middleton & Co.
Created: ca. 1863
Medium: Lithograph
Publisher: Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division

Army of the Cumberland Certificate

An 1863 certificate for soldiers serving in the Army of the Cumberland shows a portrait of Union general William S. Rosecrans, at center, who was then in command of that Union army. The color lithograph created by Strobridge, Middleton & Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio, features six scenes from the war as well as vignettes, at bottom, of an African American family (presumably newly freed slaves), and a white mother and her children at the "Grave of the Brave." The names of battles fought by the soldiers of the Army of the Cumberland festoon the print: Shiloh and Chattanooga in Tennessee, Perryville in Kentucky, Corinth in Mississippi, and Chickamauga in Georgia. Beneath the illustration is a resolution adopted by the Cumberland troops at Stone's River, Tennessee, during a battle which lasted from December 31, 1862, until January 2, 1863. "For ourselves we are resolved to maintain the honor and integrity of our Government … [which] was formed for noble purposes," the statement reads, and it includes a warning to the "petty traitors, who vainly seek to immortalize themselves by acts of treason … let them bear in mind that a time is coming when he honest indignation of a loyal people will hurl them headlong into an abyss as bottomless as the pit."

Union general George H. Thomas served effectively under Rosecrans as a corps commander in the Army of the Cumberland and earned the nickname "the Rock of Chickamauga" for his fierce defensive stand during that September 1863 battle. After Chickamauga, Thomas replaced Rosecrans as commander of the Army of the Cumberland.

The "Roll of Honor" certificate shown here, when filled in, would include personal information about an individual soldier, including his age, height, physical description, occupation, date of birth, and details of his enlistment.