country, either for good or for evil, it is not neeessary at this late day to exhume from its secret records the crude conceits and extravagant demands which were pressed by Southern members, by which they hoped to prevent civil war, but which, if adopted, would have added strength and permanency to slavery, which was the weakness and the crime of the republic, and the fruitful cause of all our national woes.
It does not appear that the Massachusetts
members submitted any plan of adjustment, but contented themselves with debating such as were offered by others, and voting as their judgments dictated.
Same day. In the House
, of Newburyport
, introduced a bill to limit the number of privates in infantry and rifle companies to fifty, except when, in the opinion of the Governor
, the number should be extended to sixty-four, which was subsequently passed.
The bill also to provide for the equipment of troops in active service was passed to be engrossed.
April 3. In the House
.—The Committee on the Militia
reported it was inexpedient to legislate upon the appointment of a commissary and surgeon-general, and of amending chapter 13, section 144, of the General Statutes
, in relation to the mileage of the militia.
April 5. In Senate
.—A resolve in favor of calling a national convention was discussed.
It was opposed by Mr. Whiting
, of Plymouth
, and Mr. Walker
, of Worcester
, and advocated by Mr. Northend
, of Essex
, and Mr. Hardy
, of Norfolk
It was finally, on motion of Mr. Davis
, of Bristol
, referred to the next Legislature.
The session closed Thursday, April 11, 1861.
The most important acts of the session, having for their object the preparation of the State
for war, were ‘the act in relation to the volunteer militia,’ the appropriating of $100,000 as an emergency fund, and of $25,000 to provide overcoats and equipage for 2,000 men. The militia law of the General Statutes
limited the active militia to 5,000 men: the act already quoted gave the Governor
authority to organize as many companies and regiments as the public exigency might require.