With regard to the preparations for war made by Governor Andrew, I recollect, for my part, collecting information respecting steamers, and reporting the names and capacities and whereabouts of all which plied between Boston and other ports, on Feb. 2, 1861. On Feb. 4, the Governor called a meeting at his chamber in the State House, at which were present some of the chief officers of the militia: also, General Thayer, of the United-States Engineers, and Messrs. Gordon and Andrews, ex-United-States-army officers, both major-generals of volunteers in the late war. I recorded the replies, and drew up a memorandum of the items of clothing, equipment, arms, and ammunition needed, to prepare the militia for service in the field. On Feb. 6, a second meeting was called by the Governor. I cannot remember distinctly how much of the discussion took place at the first, and what at the second; but the result of the two was, the Governor's order for two thousand overcoats, equipments, &c., which was for two months the subject of so much ridicule. Feb. 9, a report was made by the Committee on Militia, of the Council, and a communication received by His Excellency from the Adjutant-General, giving estimates for clothing and equipments for two thousand troops in service.The same order passed by the Council referred to by Colonel Lee, respecting the overcoats, speaks also of forwarding troops to Washington, ‘the mode of transit to be governed by circumstances that may arise hereafter; rail being preferred, if practicable.’ Immediately after the meeting on the 2d of February, Governor Andrew detailed Colonel Ritchie, of his staff, to visit Washington, to confer confidentially with the Massachusetts senators and representatives, and General Scott, in regard to the prospect of a requisition being made for troops, and especially to learn from the general by what route in case of such a call he would wish the troops to be sent, and whether they would have to carry field equipage with them. He arrived at Washington on the 6th; and, on that evening, wrote to the Governor as follows:—
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