f African descent, were mustered into the United States service.
John A. Andrew, the war Governor of Massachusetts, very early advocated the enlistment of colored men to aid in suppressing the Rebellion.
The General Government having at last adopted this policy, he visited Washington in January, 1863, and as the result of a conference with Secretary Stanton, received the following order, under which the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry was organized:—
War Department, Washington City, Jan. 20, 1863.
Ordered: That Governor Andrew of Massachusetts is authorized, until further orders, to raise such number of volunteers, companies of artillery for duty in the forts of Massachusetts and elsewhere, and such corps of infantry for the volunteer military service as he may find convenient, such volunteers to be enlisted for three years, or until sooner discharged, and may include persons of African descent, organized into special corps.
He will make the usual needful requ
took the name of Morgan Guards, in recognition of kindnesses from S. Griffiths Morgan.
At camp the New Bedford men,—some seventy-five in number,—with others from that place and elsewhere, became Company C, the representative Massachusetts company.
Only one other commissioned officer is known to the writer as having performed effective recruiting service.
This is Watson W. Bridge, who had been first sergeant, Company D, Thirty-seventh Massachusetts Infantry.
His headquarters were at Springfield, and he worked in Western Massachusettts and Connecticut.
When ordered to camp, about April 1, he had recruited some seventy men.
Much the larger number of recruits were obtained through the organization and by the means which will now be described.
About February 15, Governor Andrew appointed a committee to superintend the raising of recruits for the colored regiment, consisting of George L. Stearns, Amos A. Lawrence, John M. Forbes, William I. Bowditch, Le Baron Russell, and Richa