next
[1]

Chapter 1:

  • Massachusetts
  • -- civil Government -- election, 1860 -- Legislature -- Presidentof the Senate -- Speaker of the House -- State of the country -- Farewelladdress of Governor Banks -- Governor Andrew's inaugural -- their Viewsof the crisis -- sketch of Governor Andrew -- Lieutenant-Governor -- Executive Council -- Adjutant-General -- military staff -- Congressmen -- the volunteer Militia -- military equipment -- early preparations -- salutes, 8th ofJanuary -- General order no. 2 -- report of Adjutant-General -- Generalorder no. 4 -- proceedings of the Legislature -- regular session -- emergency fund -- loan credit of State -- delegates to peace Convention -- Southcarolina to Massachusetts -- two thousand overcoats -- order of inquiry -- letter of Adjutant-General -- letter of Colonel Henry Lee, Jr. -- meeting ofOfficers in Governor's room -- Colonel Ritchie sent to Washington -- his letters to the Governor -- Secretary Seward's letter -- letter of Colonel Lee -- charter of transports -- John M. Forbes, Esq. -- meeting in Faneuil Hall -- meeting in Cambridge -- speech of Wendell Phillips, Esq., at New Bedford -- remarks -- the President calls for troops -- the eve of battle.


To write the part taken by Massachusetts in the civil war which began in April, 1861, and continued until the capture, by General Grant, of Lee and his army in Virginia, and the surrender of Johnston and his forces to General Sherman in North Carolina, in 1865, requires patient research, a mind not distracted by other duties, and a purpose to speak truthfully of men and of events. Massachusetts bore a prominent part in this war, from the beginning to the end; not only in furnishing soldiers for the army, sailors for the navy, and financial aid to the Government, but in advancing ideas, which, though scouted [2] at in the early months of the war, were afterwards accepted by the nation, before the war could be brought to a successful end.

Massachusetts is a small State, in territory and in population. With the exception of Maine, it lies the farthest eastward of all the States in the Union. Its capital is four hundred and fifty miles east of Washington, and is separated from it by the States of Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland. It contains seven thousand eight hundred square miles of land, river, lakes, and sea. In 1860, it had a population of 1,231,066, engaged in farming, manufacturing, fishing, and mercantile pursuits. Less than one-half the land is improved. It is about 1/380 part of the whole Union, ranking the thirty-sixth in size among the forty States and Territories. It is divided into fourteen counties, and three hundred and thirty-five cities and towns. Its governor, lieutenant-governor, eight councillors, forty senators, and two hundred and forty representatives, are elected every year, in the month of November, by the free suffrage of the qualified voters.

The executive department of the Government is vested in the governor and Executive Council,—the governor, however, being the supreme executive magistrate, whose title is, His Excellency; the legislative, in a Senate and House of Representatives, each having a negative upon the other, and known and designated as the General Court. The judicial department is composed of different courts, the judges of which are appointed by the governor, and hold their offices during good behavior, and can only be removed upon the address of both houses of the Legislature, or by the abolishment of the court; this to ‘the end, that it may be a government of laws, and not of men.’

In the election for governor, in 1860, there were four candidates and four political parties. John A. Andrew, of Boston, was the candidate of the Republicans; Erasmus D. Beach, of Springfield, of the Douglas wing of the Democrats; Amos A. Lawrence, of Boston, of the conservative party; and Benjamin F. Butler, of Lowell, of the Breckenridge wing of the Democratic [3] party. John A. Andrew received 104,527 votes; Erasmus D. Beach, 35,191; Amos A. Lawrence, 23,816; Benjamin F. Butler, 6,000; all others, 75. Mr. Andrew's majority over all the opposing candidates was 39,445.

The eight councillors elected were all Republicans, as were all the members of Congress. The presidential electors in favor of the election of Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin, for President and Vice-President of the United States, received about the same majority Mr. Andrew did for Governor. Nearly all of the members of the Senate and House of Representatives were of the Republican party.

The newly elected Legislature met on the first Wednesday in January, 1861. Hon. William Claflin, of Newton, was chosen President of the Senate, and Stephen N. Gifford, Esq., of Duxbury, clerk. Hon. John A. Goodwin, of Lowell, was chosen Speaker of the House of Representatives, and William Stowe, Esq., of Springfield, clerk.

On assuming the duties of President of the Senate, Mr. Claflin made a brief address, in the course of which he said,—

While we meet under circumstances auspicious in our own State, a deep agitation pervades other parts of our country, causing every true patriot to feel the greatest anxiety. Disunion is attempted in some States, because, as is alleged, laws have been passed in others contrary to the Constitution of the United States. Massachusetts is accused of unfaithfulness in this matter in some of her enactments, although she has always been ready to submit to judicial decisions, and is so still. She has ever guarded jealously the liberties of her citizens, and, I trust, ever will. We cannot falter now without disgrace and dishonor. Whatever action we may take, let us be careful of the rights of others, but faithful to our trust, that we may return them to our constituents unimpaired.

Mr. Goodwin, on taking the Speaker's chair, referred to national affairs in the following words:—

The session before us may become second in importance to none that has been held in these halls, since, threescore years ago, our fathers consecrated them to popular legislation. For the second time in our history, we see a State of our Union setting at naught the common compact, and raising the hand of remorseless violence against a whole section of her sister States, and against the Union itself. But for [4] the first time in our history are unrebuked traitors seen in the high places of the nation, where, with undaunted front, they awe into treasonable inaction the hand the people have solemnly deputed to hold the scales of justice, and wield her imperial sword. To what points this ignominious crisis may compel our legislative attention, cannot now be stated; nor is it for the Chair to allude to particular measures of legislation. But it is to be remembered, that Massachusetts sacrificed much to establish the Union, and to defend and perpetuate it. She is ready to sacrifice more, provided it touch not her honor or the principles of free government,—principles interwoven with her whole history, and never dearer to the hearts of her people of all classes and parties than they are to-day. Let us approach this portion of our duties with coolness and deliberation, and with a generous patriotism.

Not since the days of the Revolution had a legislature assembled at a time of more imminent peril, when wise counsels, firm resolution, and patriotic devotion to the Constitution and the Union, were imperatively demanded. James Buchanan was still President of the United States; Floyd was Secretary of War; Cobb, Secretary of the Treasury; Thompson, Secretary of the Interior; and Toucey, who, although a New-England man, was believed to sympathize with the South, Secretary of the Navy. John C. Breckenridge was Vice-President of the United States, and presided over the deliberations of the Senate, of which Jefferson Davis, Judah P. Benjamin, John Slidell, James M. Mason, and Robert Toombs were members; all of whom proved traitors to the Government, were plotting daily and nightly to effect its overthrow, and to prevent the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln on the fourth of March. South Carolina had already voted itself out of the Union, and had assumed a hostile front to the Union garrison in Fort Sumter, in Charleston harbor. Other Southern States had called conventions to consider what steps they should take in the emergency which had been precipitated upon them by the South-Carolina secession ordinance. Our navy was scattered over far-off seas, the United-States arsenals were stripped of arms by orders from the Secretary of War, and the treasury of the General Government was well-nigh depleted by the Secretary of the Treasury.

The debates in Congress were warm and exciting. The speeches of the disunionists were rank with treason. The power [5] of the North to prevent, by armed force, the South from seceding was sneered at and derided. Some of the Republicans in Congress replied with equal warmth and animation to the threats of the Southern men; others counselled moderation, and expressed a hope that the difficulties which threatened our peace might yet be adjusted. Prominent among those who expressed these views were Mr. Adams, of Massachusetts, and Mr. Seward, of New York. To gain time was a great point,—time to get Mr. Buchanan and his Cabinet out of power and out of Washington, and to get Mr. Lincoln and his new Cabinet into power and into Washington. I have good reason to believe, that neither of the distinguished statesmen whom I have named had a full belief that an appeal to arms could, for a great length of time, be avoided; but they felt, that, when it did come, it was all important that the Government should be in the hands of its friends, and not of its enemies. They argued, that, if the clash of arms could be put off until the inauguration of the new President on the fourth of March, the advantage to the Union side would be incalculable. It was wise strategy, as well as able statesmanship, so to guide the debates as to accomplish this great purpose; and to these two gentlemen acting in concert, one in the Senate and the other in the House, are we, in a great degree, indebted for the wise delay. Mr. Lincoln was inaugurated, and the Union ship of state was fairly launched, not indeed with fair winds and a clear sky, but with stout hands and wise heads to guide her course; and after long years of terrible disaster, and amid obstacles which at times appeared insurmountable, finally weathered them all, and was brought safely to a peaceful haven.

Hon. Nathaniel P. Banks was Governor of Massachusetts the three years immediately preceding the election and inauguration of John A. Andrew. His administration had been highly successful and popular. He had met public expectation on every point. Many important measures had been passed during his term; and, upon retiring from office, he deemed it proper ‘to present to the Legislature a statement of the condition of public affairs, with such considerations as his experience might suggest;’ and enforced this departure from the course pursued [6] by his predecessors in the gubernatorial office, with many cogent reasons. He delivered his valedictory address on the 3d of January, 1861, in which he gave a review of the legislation, and a statement of the finances of the State for the three years during which he had been the chief executive officer.

It is my purpose to speak upon but two of the topics discussed in the address, which have a direct bearing on the war which was so soon to open, and in which Governor Banks was to take a prominent part, as a major-general in the Union army.

The Legislature of 1858 had passed what was known as an act for the protection of personal liberty. It was intended to mitigate the harsh and unjust provisions of the act of Congress passed in 1850, known as the Fugitive-slave Law. Several persons, held in the South as slaves, had made their way to Massachusetts; and, being afterwards arrested, had been returned to their masters. The entire provisions of that act were abhorrent to our people, notwithstanding its friends and supporters claimed for it an exact conformity to the provisions of the Constitution of the United States.

The opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States, pronounced by Judge Story, himself a Massachusetts man, declared that the Constitution contemplated the existence of ‘a positive, unqualified right, on the part of the owner of the slave, which no State law or regulation can in any way qualify, regulate, control, or restrain.’ This opinion of the Supreme Court, Governor Banks said, ‘has been approved by the Legislature of this State, and confirmed by its Supreme Judicial Court.’ He then invited the attention of the Legislature to the sections of the State act relating to the writ of habeas corpus and the State act for the protection of personal liberty, which he thought conflicted with the act of Congress regarding fugitive slaves; and said ‘It is not my purpose to defend the constitutionality of the Fugitive-slave Act. The omission of a provision for jury trial, however harsh and cruel, cannot in any event be supplied by State legislation. While I am constrained to doubt the right of this State to enact such laws, I do not admit that, in any just sense, it is a violation of the national compact. It is [7] only when unconstitutional legislation is enforced by executive authority, that it assumes that character, and no such result has occurred in this State.’

He then remarked, that Massachusetts had given unimpeachable evidence of her devotion to law; and it was because she had been faithful that he wished to see her legislation in harmony with her acts. ‘It is because I do not like to see her representatives in Congress, and her sons everywhere, put upon the defensive when they have just cause to be proud of her loyalty; . . . it is because, in the face of her just claims to high honor, I do not love to hear unjust reproaches cast upon her fame,—that I say, as I do, in the presence of God, and with a heart filled with the responsibilities that must rest upon every American citizen in these distempered times, I cannot but regard the maintenance of a statute, although it may be within the extremest limits of constitutional power, which is so unnecessary to the public service and so detrimental to the public peace, as an inexcusable public wrong. I hope, by common consent, it may be removed from the statute-book, and such guaranties as individual freedom demands be sought in new legislation.’

I have referred to these matters because they were prominent pretexts, made by the disunion party to justify a dissolution of the Union. The State acts named were condemned by many of our wisest men, who never had a thought unfriendly to the Union, nor would, by their acts or votes, sanction the existence of human slavery, or extend the area of its domain. The views of Governor Banks at this time are also important and interesting as in contrast to those expressed, a few days after, in the inaugural address of Governor Andrew.

Governor Banks, in concluding his address, referred in direct terms to the secession ordinance of South Carolina, and said, ‘While I would not withhold from the South what belongs to that section, I cannot consent that we should yield what belongs to us. The right to the Territories, so far as the people are concerned, must be a common right; and their status should be determined upon the rights of men, and not upon privileges of property.’ He was opposed to founding government upon the right to hold slaves. ‘There is no species of property [8] entitled to such protection as will exclude men from Territories, aside from all considerations of property. Neither do I believe that a geographical line will give peace to the country. The lapse of time alone will heal all dissensions. There can be no peaceable secession of the States. The Government has pledged its faith to every land, and that pledge of faith cannot be broken.’ He drew encouragement from the thrill of joy which touched every true heart, when Major Anderson moved his little garrison from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter. ‘Certainly, never an act, so slight in itself, touched the hearts of so many millions of people like fire from heaven, as the recent simple, soldier-like, and patriotic movement of Major Anderson at Fort Moultrie.’ He closed this part of his address with these grand words: ‘But no such result can follow as the destruction of the American Government. The contest will be too terrible, the sacrifice too momentous, the difficulties in our path are too slight, the capacity of our people is too manifest, and the future too brilliant, to justify forebodings, or to excite permanent fears. The life of every man is lengthened by trial; and the strength of every government must be tested by revolt and revolution. I doubt not that the providence of God, that has protected us hitherto, will preserve us now and hereafter.’

Throughout the entire address a hopeful feeling prevailed. The Governor evidently did not believe that we were so nigh the verge of civil war. He made no recommendation for the increase of the military force of the State, or to prepare that already organized for active service. It may properly be said, however, in this connection, that Governor Banks, upon retiring from office, did not deem it in good taste or proper to recommend legislative action to a body with which he was so soon to sever all official connection.

Shortly after retiring from the gubernatorial chair, Governor Banks made arrangements to remove to Illinois, having accepted a responsible executive position in the Illinois Central Railroad; but, in a few months, the country required his services as a military commander, which post he accepted, and continued in high command until the end of the war, when he returned to Massachusetts, [9] and was elected to Congress by the people of his old district.

John A. Andrew, Esq., of Boston, was inaugurated Governor of the Commonwealth, Jan. 5, 1861, and immediately delivered his address to the Legislature, in which he gave a statement of the financial condition of the Commonwealth, its liabilities, and its resources to meet them. The State was practically free of debt. The aggregate valuation of taxable property was within a fraction of nine hundred millions, a computation of which had been made by a special committee appointed for the purpose, whose labors had closed on the 1st of January, 1861, only five days before the address was delivered. After asking the attention of the Legislature to matters of a purely local character, Governor Andrew devoted the remainder of his address to matters of more general interest. He discussed the right of the Legislature to pass the statutes concerning personal liberty and the habeas corpus, and contended that Massachusetts had a clear right to pass them; and that, if properly understood and rightfully carried out, there could not be any conflict of jurisdiction between the State and Federal officers. The argument upon these questions extends through nine pages, and concludes as follows:—

Supposing, however, that our legislation in this behalf is founded in mistake, the Legislature will only have endeavored to perform their duty towards the citizens whom they were bound to shield from unlawful harm. The power to obtain the judgment of the court affords ample redress to all claimants. Should a critical examination disclose embarrassments in raising and reserving questions of law for the appropriate tribunals, the Legislature will readily repair the error.

In dismissing this topic, I have only to add, that in regard, not only to one, but to every subject bearing on her Federal relations, Massachusetts has always conformed to her honest understanding of all constitutional obligations; that she has always conformed to the judicial decisions; has never threatened either to nullify or to disobey; and that the decision of one suit, fully contested, constitutes a precedent for the future.

The concluding ten pages of the address give a graphic, condensed, truthful, and eloquent review of the condition of the [10] country, of the danger and wickedness of a civil war, and of the position which Massachusetts and her great statesmen have always held in regard to them. He said,—

Inspired by the same ideas and emotions which commanded the fraternization of Jackson and Webster on another great occasion of public danger, the people of Massachusetts, confiding in the patriotism of their brethren in other States, accept this issue, and respond, in the words of Jackson, “The Federal Union: it must be preserved!”

Until we complete the work of rolling back this wave of rebellion, which threatens to engulf the Government, overthrow democratic institutions, subject the people to the rule of a minority, if not of mere military despotism, and, in some communities, to endanger the very existence of civilized society, we cannot turn aside, and we will not turn back. It is to those of our brethren in the disaffected States, whose mouths are closed by a temporary reign of terror, not less than to ourselves, that we owe this labor, which, with the help of Providence, it is our duty to perform.

I need not add, that whatever rights pertain to any person under the Constitution of the Union are secure in Massachusetts while the Union shall endure; and whatever authority or function pertains to the Federal Government for the maintenance of any such right is an authority or function which neither the Government nor the people of this Commonwealth can or would usurp, evade, or overthrow; and Massachusetts demands, and has a right to demand, that her sister States shall likewise respect the constitutional rights of her citizens within their limits.

I have given these extracts from the addresses of Governors Banks and Andrew, that their official opinions in regard to important national questions, expressed on the eve of a great war, might be made fresh in the memories of men. Both gentlemen expressed the true sentiment of Massachusetts. I have taken their words as a base or starting-point to begin the long, grand story of Massachusetts in the Rebellion.

As Governor Andrew was at the head of the State Government during the entire period of the war, he of course was and ever will be the prominent, central figure in the galaxy of gentlemen, civil and military, who, by their services and sacrifices, gave renown to the Commonwealth, and carried her with imperishable honor through the conflict. [11]

John A. Andrew was the twenty-first Governor of Massachusetts since the adoption of the Constitution of the State in 1780. He was born at Windham, in the District of Maine, about fifteen miles from Portland, on the 31st of May, 1818. The family was of English origin, descending from Robert Andrew, of Rowley village, now Boxford, Essex County, Mass., who died there in 1668. He was connected with most of the ancient families of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay. The grandmother of Governor Andrew was the grand-daughter of the brave Captain William Pickering, who commanded the Province Galley, in 1707, for the protection of the fisheries against the French and Indians; and the mother of her husband was Mary Higginson, a direct descendant of the Reverend Francis Higginson, the famous pastor of the first church in the colony. The grandfather of Governor Andrew was a silversmith in Salem, who removed to Windham, where he died. His son Jonathan was born in Salem, and lived there until manhood, when he also removed to Windham. There he married Miss Nancy G. Pierce, formerly preceptress of Fryeburg Academy, where Daniel Webster was once a teacher. These were the parents of Governor Andrew.

At an early age, he entered Bowdoin College, from which he graduated in the class of 1837. He then removed to Boston, and entered, as a law student, the office of Henry H. Fuller, Esq. Being admitted to the Suffolk Bar in 1840, he commenced the practice of his profession, and adhered to it without interruption until his election as Governor in 1860, establishing in later years a reputation as an advocate second to no lawyer at that distinguished bar since the death of Rufus Choate. Attractive in personal appearance and bearing, with an excellent flow of language and variety of expression, and possessed of that sympathetic disposition which identifies an advocate in feeling and in action with the cause of his client, his merits were eminent as an advocate before juries; but the causes in connection with which his reputation as a lawyer had become chiefly known beyond legal circles, were those of arguments before Massachusetts courts, and the United-States courts for the district and circuit, on questions of political significance. [12] He defended the parties indicted in 1854, for an attempt to rescue the fugitive slave Burns, and succeeded in quashing the indictments on which they were arraigned. The following year, he successfully defended the British consul at Boston against a charge of violating the neutrality laws of the United States during the Crimean War. In 1856, cooperating with counsel from Ohio, he made a noted application to Judge Curtis, of the United-States Supreme Court, for a writ of habeas corpus, to test the authority by which the Free-State prisoners were held confined in Kansas by Federal officers. More lately, in 1859, he initiated and directed the measures to procure suitable counsel for the defence of John Brown in Virginia; and, in 1860, was counsel for Hyatt and Sanborn, witnesses summoned before Senator Mason's committee of investigation into the John-Brown affair. Upon his argument, the latter was discharged by the Supreme Court of Massachusetts from the custody of the United-States marshal, by whose deputy he had been arrested under a warrant issued at the instigation of that committee. Being himself, about the same time, summoned before the committee, he appeared at Washington, and rendered his testimony. Nor had he hesitated, under his theory of his duties as a lawyer, to defend causes appealing less directly to his sympathies, or even positively repugnant to them. Among others, besides the instance of the British consul before mentioned, may be named his advocacy, in 1860, of the right of Mr. Burnham, against the inquisition of a committee of the Massachusetts Legislature; and also his defence, the same year, in the United-States District and Circuit Courts, of the notorious slaver-yacht Wanderer against forfeiture.

This brilliant legal career was a result of uninterrupted devotion to a profession which always demands constancy as a condition of success. Although warmly interested from an early age in the course of public affairs, and often taking part in political assemblies,—until 1848 as a Whig, in that year passing into the Free-Soil party, and in 1854 uniting naturally with the Republicans,—it was not until 1858 that he consented to accept political office. In the autumn campaign of the previous [13] year, resulting in the overthrow of the Know-Nothing party, by which Massachusetts had been ruled since 1854, he had sustained an active part. The former political issues being revived by the dissolution of that organization after its defeat, he consented to be chosen to the Legislature of 1858. Mr. Andrew was at once recognized as the leader of his party in the House. The leader of the opposition was Hon. Caleb Cushing, of Newburyport, formerly member of Congress, and the Attorney-General of the United States under President Pierce. At the close of the session, Mr. Andrew returned to his profession, refusing to permit his name to be used as a candidate for Governor, and declined also an election to the Legislature, and an appointment, tendered him by Governor Banks, of a seat on the bench of the Superior Court. In the spring of 1860, he was unanimously selected to head the delegation from Massachusetts to the Republican National Convention at Chicago. As chairman of the delegation, he cast the vote of the State for Mr. Seward until the final ballot, when it was thrown for Mr. Lincoln. That fall he was nominated by the Republican State Convention for Governor, and was elected by the majority we have already stated, in the largest popular vote ever cast in the State.

This, in brief, was the life of Governor Andrew, up to the time he entered upon the duties of Governor of this Common-wealth.

Associated with him on the ticket as Lieutenant-Governor was Hon. John Z. Goodrich, of West Stockbridge, who, being afterwards appointed Collector of the Port of Boston, resigned on the 29th of March, 1861. Oliver Warner, of Northampton, was elected Secretary of State; Henry K. Oliver, of Salem, Treasurer and Receiver-General; Dwight Foster, of Worcester, Attorney-General; and Levi Reed, of Abington, Auditor of Accounts. Jacob Sleeper, of Boston; John I. Baker, of Beverly; James M. Shute, of Somerville; Hugh M. Greene, of Northfield; Joel Hayden, of Williamsburg; James Ritchie, of Roxbury; Oakes Ames, of Easton; and Eleazer C. Sherman, of Plymouth,—were elected Councillors. William Schouler, of Lynn, was Adjutant-General, to which office he had been appointed [14] by Governor Banks; he was also acting Quartermaster and Inspector-General of the Commonwealth,—the entire duties of which offices he performed with the assistance of William Brown, of Boston, clerk, and one man, who had charge of the State arsenal at Cambridge, in which were deposited the arms and munitions of war belonging to the Commonwealth, except those which were loaned to the companies of active militia, and cared for in their several armories.

The personal military staff of the Governor was limited by law to four aides-de-camp, each with the rank and title of lieutenant-colonel. Governor Andrew appointed, as his military aids, Horace Binney Sargent, of West Roxbury (senior aid); Harrison Ritchie, of Boston; John W. Wetherell, of Worcester; and Henry Lee, Jr., of Brookline. Colonel Sargent had served on the staff of Governor Banks. He remained on the staff of Governor Andrew until he was commissioned lieutenant-colonel of the First Regiment of Massachusetts Cavalry, in August, 1861, when Colonel Ritchie became senior aid, and John Quincy Adams, of Quincy, was appointed to fill the vacancy.

Massachusetts was represented in the Thirty-sixth Congress, which ended March 4, 1861, by Charles Sumner and Henry Wilson, in the Senate, and by Thomas D. Elliot, James Buffinton, Charles Francis Adams, Alexander H. Rice, Anson Burlingame, John B. Alley, Daniel W. Gooch, Charles R. Train, Eli Thayer, Charles Delano, and Henry L. Dawes, in the House of Representatives.

Before the war, and during the war, Mr. Sumner was chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Wilson of the Militia and Military Affairs, two of the most important committees of that body, which positions they now hold.

In the Thirty-seventh Congress, which terminated March 4, 1863, Benjamin F. Thomas succeeded Mr. Adams, who resigned his seat upon receiving the appointment of Minister to England, Samuel Hooper succeeded Mr. Burlingame, who was appointed Minister to China, and Goldsmith F. Bailey succeeded Mr. Thayer.

In the Thirty-eighth Congress, which terminated March 4th, 1865, Oakes Ames succeeded Mr. Buffinton, George S. [15] Boutwell Mr. Train, James D. Baldwin Mr. Bailey, (deceased) and William B. Washburn Mr. Delano.

In the Thirty-ninth Congress, Mr. Gooch having accepted a government appointment, Ex-Governor Banks was elected to fill the vacancy.

These Congresses extend over the period immediately preceding the war, and that of its duration and close. The Massachusetts Senators and Representatives served with distinction on several of the most important committees, and thus were prominent in perfecting bills and shaping the legislation of Congress. It does not, however, come within the scope of this volume to speak of their varied and valuable services in behalf of the Union, although, if properly recorded, they would add materially to the renown of the Commonwealth. The story of their services will hereafter be told by the historian of the nation, for it was the nation, and not merely a part, that they served.

The whole number of enrolled militia of the Commonwealth, in 1860, was 155,389; and the number of the active or volunteer militia, 5,593. The active force was organized into three divisions and six brigades; nine regiments and three battalions of infantry; three battalions and eight unattached companies of riflemen; one battalion and five unattached companies of cavalry. Officers and men found their own uniforms. The State furnished arms and equipments, except to officers. Each company had an armory for the deposit of its arms, and for drill purposes, the rents of which were paid by the Commonwealth.

The State, on the 1st of January, 1861, had at the arsenal at Cambridge, and distributed to the active militia, seventy-one field-pieces, of various calibre, and about ten thousand serviceable muskets, twenty-five hundred of which were of the most approved pattern of the Springfield rifled musket, which, as a muzzle-loading arm, is the best in the world.

It was plain, from the tenor of his inaugural address, that Governor Andrew believed war between the North and South was imminent. He advised, among other things, an inquiry, whether, in addition to the active volunteer militia, the dormant militia, or some considerable portion of it, should not be placed on a footing of activity. ‘For how otherwise,’ he asks, [16] ‘in the possible contingencies of the future, can we be sure that Massachusetts has taken care to preserve the manly self-reliance of the citizens, by which alone, in the long-run, can the creation of standing armies be averted, and the State also be ready, without inconvenient delay, to contribute her share of force in any exigency of public danger?’

But it was not alone in his address that he foreshadowed his belief of the approach of war. It would not have been wise to make known publicly his inmost thoughts. Let actions speak. On the evening of the very day on which his inaugural address was delivered (Jan. 5), he despatched confidential messages, by trustworthy messengers, to each of the Governors of the New-England States, urging preparation for the approaching crisis. Early in December, soon after the meeting of Congress, he had visited Washington, and personally acquainted himself with the aspect of national affairs, and with the views of the principal representatives both of North and South. After his return, he had opened a confidential correspondence on matters transpiring there, with Hon. Charles Francis Adams, who kept him minutely acquainted, from day to day, with the progress of events. One of the suggestions of Mr. Adams was, that there should be public demonstrations of loyalty throughout New England, and it was proposed by him to have salutes fired in each of the States on the 8th of January, the anniversary of General Jackson's victory at New Orleans. Colonel Wardrop, of New Bedford, Third Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Militia, was sent to Governor Fairbanks, of Vermont; and other messengers were sent to Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Maine, for this purpose. One of these messengers was the gentleman who afterwards became Governor Andrew's private military secretary,—Colonel Albert G. Browne, of Salem,—and who served him during the entire war; and who, for ability as a ready writer, truthfulness, sturdy independence, reticence, and undoubted patriotism, deserved, as he received, the respect and confidence of the Governor, the entire staff, and of gentlemen holding confidential and important relations with His Excellency. Colonel Browne's mission was to confer with Governor Goodwin, of New Hampshire, and Governor Washburn, [17] of Maine. Besides the mere duty of organizing public demonstrations, he was intrusted, as to the Governor of Maine with a mission of a far more important character. Maine and Massachusetts, being subject to a common State government until 1820, sustained peculiar relations to each other, by similarity of legislation, institutions, and, in later years, of political sentiment. Colonel Browne was intrusted with the whole of the private correspondence with Mr. Adams before mentioned, and was directed to lay it confidentially before Governor Washburn; to advise him, that, in Governor Andrew's judgment, civil war was the inevitable result of the events going on at Washington and in the South; that the safety of Washington was already threatened; that the policy of the Executive government of Massachusetts, under the new administration, would be to put its active militia into readiness at once for the impending crisis, and persuade the Legislature, if possible, to call part of the dormant militia into activity; and to urge Governor Washburn to adopt the same policy for Maine. Leaving Boston on the evening of Saturday, Jan. 5, Colonel Browne, after an interview with Governor Goodwin, at Portsmouth on Sunday, reached Augusta on Jan. 7, and held his interview with Governor Washburn. By him, Adjutant-General John L. Hodsdon, and United States Senator Lot M. Morrill were called into consultation, and the answer was returned, that, ‘wherever Massachusetts leads, Maine will follow close, if she can't keep abreast.’

Thus Governor Andrew, on the very day of his inauguration, placed himself in confidential relations with each of the Governors of New England, which continued through the entire rebellion, and were of mutual benefit.

On the 6th of January, the day after the inauguration, Governor Andrew directed the Adjutant-General to issue General Order No. 2, which was promulgated the next day, and properly executed on the eighth.

General order no. 2.

Headquarters, Boston, Jan. 7, 1861.
In commemoration of the brave defenders of New Orleans, Jan. 8, 1815, by the deceased patriot, General Jackson, and in honor of the [18] gallant conduct and wise foresight of Major Anderson, now in command of Fort Sumter, in the State of South Carolina, His Excellency John A. Andrew, Governor and Commander-in-chief, orders, that a salute of one hundred guns be fired on Boston Common, at twelve, meridian, on Tuesday, Jan. 8th inst., and a national salute be fired, at the same time, for the same purposes, in Charlestown, Lexington, Concord, Waltham, Roxbury, Marblehead, Newburyport, Salem, Groton, Lynn, Worcester, Greenfield, Northampton, Fall River, and Lowell.

By command of His Excellency John A. Andrew, Governor and Commander-in-chief.

William Schouler, Adjutant-General.

The purpose of firing these salutes was to revive old patriotic memories. The 8th of January had been held a holiday by the Democratic party since the presidency of General Jackson; though of late years it had been, in a great measure, passed over without special regard. The association of the first battle-fields of the Revolution with the last and most brilliant action of the war of 1812 and the patriotic movement of Major Anderson in Charleston Harbor, would, it was believed, revive pleasant recollections of the past, and serve to unite the North in support of the Constitution and the Union.

As required by law, the Adjutant-General had made his annual report in December. It was addressed to Governor Banks, and is dated Dec. 31, 1860. On pages 37 and 38 he says,—

Events have transpired in some of the Southern States and at Washington, which have awakened the attention of the people of Massachusetts, in a remarkable degree, to the perpetuity of the Federal Union, which may require the active militia of the Commonwealth to be greatly augmented. Should our worst fears be realized, and this nation plunged into the horrors of civil war, upon Massachusetts may rest, in no inconsiderable degree, the duty of staying the effusion of blood, and of rolling back the black tide of anarchy and ruin. She did more than her share to achieve the independence of our country, and establish the Government under which we have risen to such unparalleled prosperity, and become the Great Power of the American Continent; and she will be true to her history, her traditions, and her fair fame. Should it become necessary to increase the number of her [19] active militia to a war footing, the present organization offers an easy and a good means. The present companies could be filled to their full complement of men, and the regiments to their full complement of companies; new regiments of infantry, new battalions of riflemen, new companies of artillery and cavalry, could be formed, with which to fill the several brigades, and make our present divisions five thousand men each, with proper apportionment of the several military arms. This, of course, would require a large outlay of money, which would doubtless be cheerfully met by our people, if their honor and the welfare of the country demand it of them.

The Adjutant-General then suggested, ‘that a board of officers be called, as provided in section one hundred and sixty-three, chapter thirteen, of the General Statutes, to consider and recommend such changes as their judgment shall approve, and their experience suggest.’—‘In the mean time,’ he said, ‘I would suggest, that a general order be issued, calling upon commanders of the active force to forward to Headquarters the names of the persons composing their commands, also their places of residence, so that a complete roll of each company may be on file in this department. The companies that have not their full quota of men should be filled by new enlistments to the number fixed by law; and, whenever new enlistments are made or discharges given, the names of the persons enlisted and discharged should be forwarded immediately to Headquarters, and placed on file.’

Governor Banks, to whom the report was addressed, retired from office four days after it was printed, and before any action could be taken upon the recommendations made. They looked to a greatly increased active militia force, and are the first suggestions that were made in an official form for strengthening the military force of the Commonwealth, and placing it upon a war footing.

Governor Andrew adopted these suggestions; and on the 16th of January, eleven days after his inauguration, directed the Adjutant-General to issue General Order No. 4, which created a great interest throughout the State, and especially among the active militia. [20]

Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

General order no. 4.

Headquarters, Boston, Jan. 16, 1861.
Events which have recently occurred, and are now in progress, require that Massachusetts should be at all times ready to furnish her quota upon any requisition of the President of the United States, to aid in the maintenance of the laws and the peace of the Union. His Excellency the Commander-in-chief therefore orders,—

That the commanding officer of each company of volunteer militia examine with care the roll of his company, and cause the name of each member, together with his rank and place of residence, to be properly recorded, and a copy of the same to be forwarded to the office of the Adjutant-General. Previous to which, commanders of companies shall make strict inquiry, whether there are men in their commands, who from age, physical defect, business, or family causes, may be unable or indisposed to respond at once to the orders of the Commander-in-chief, made in response to the call of the President of the United States, that they be forthwith discharged; so that their places may be filled by men ready for any public exigency which may arise, whenever called upon.

After the above orders shall have been fulfilled, no discharge, either of officer or private, shall be granted, unless for cause satisfactory to the Commander-in-chief.

If any companies have not the number of men allowed by law, the commanders of the same shall make proper exertions to have the vacancies filled, and the men properly drilled and uniformed, and their names and places of residence forwarded to Headquarters.

To promote the objects embraced in this order, the general, field, and staff officers, and the Adjutant and acting Quartermaster General will give all the aid and assistance in their power.

Major-Generals Sutton, Morse, and Andrews will cause this order to be promulgated throughout their respective divisions.

By command of His Excellency John A. Andrew, Governor and Commander-in-chief.

William Schouler, Adjutant-General.

The order was generally well received, and immediately acted upon. Some of the newspapers attacked it, as unnecessary and sensational; but it was sustained as proper. The active militia responded with alacrity. Meetings were held in their armories, the rolls called; and the men who could [21] not respond, should a call be made to march, were honorably discharged, and their places filled by active men who could. The corrected rolls were forwarded to Headquarters. Only one company sent in a political argumentative answer, which was drawn up with ability, and was evidently written by a Southern sympathizer. The document made several pages of manuscript. The Adjutant-General returned it to the officer, with the remark, that the paper was disrespectful in its tone and language to the Commander-in-chief, and in violation of the first principles of military law. He would give him an opportunity either to modify it or to withdraw it entirely. If a satisfactory response was not received within a reasonable time, the matter would be laid before His Excellency the Governor; and the probability was, the officers of the company would be discharged, and the company disbanded. In a few days, a proper answer was made; and the officer with his company, before the end of the year, were mustered into the service for three years, and were sent to the Department of the Gulf, where they did good service.

From the day that General Order No. 4 was issued, a new spirit and zeal imbued our volunteer force. Applications also came from different parts of the Commonwealth for permission to raise new companies. A general impression prevailed, that we were on the perilous edge of battle, and it was the duty of Massachusetts to be ready to meet the crisis. In the mean time, the Governor, who believed from the first that war would ensue, was obtaining information, from every available source, that would be of use, and which could guide him wisely in his course.

The first movement made in the Legislature in relation to national or military matters was a resolution which was offered in the House on the 11th of January, six days after Governor Andrew's inauguration, and a day or two after the Speaker had announced the standing committees; which was in effect, ‘that it is the universal sentiment of the people of Massachusetts, that the President should enforce the execution of the laws of the United States, defend the Union, protect national property;’ and, to this end, the State ‘cheerfully tenders her entire means, [22] civil and military, to enable him to do so.’ This was referred to the Committee on Federal Relations.

Jan. 12. Mr. Slocum, of Grafton, offered a resolution, directing the Committee on the Militia to inquire whether the militia laws of this State were in accordance with the Constitution and laws of the United States.

In the Senate, Jan. 14, the Committee on the Militia reported a bill of three sections to increase the volunteer force, which was discussed on the 15th and 16th, and finally recommitted to the committee, together with all the amendments that had been proposed.

On the same day (14th), Mr. George T. Davis, of Greenfield, introduced a bill ‘to prevent hostile invasions of other States;’ the purpose of which was to prevent, by fine and imprisonment, persons who should set on foot any unlawful scheme, military or naval, to invade any State or Territory of the Union. This was referred to the Committee on Federal Relations, but never was passed.

Jan. 18. In the Senate.—Mr. Cole, of Berkshire, from the Committee on Federal Relations, reported a series of resolutions, the purport of which was, to stand by the Union, and tendering to the President of the United States such aid, in men and money, as he may require. On motion of Mr. Northend, of Essex, the rules were suspended, and the resolves passed the Senate by a unanimous vote.

On the same day, Mr. Parker, of Worcester, introduced in the House a new militia bill, which was referred to the committee on that subject.

Jan. 19. In Senate.—Mr. Northend introduced a series of resolutions, to the effect that the Constitution of the United States was the supreme law of the land; that the recent acts of South Carolina are revolutionary and treasonable; and that this Government must be maintained at all hazards.

Referred to the Committee on Federal Relations.

The same day, a long debate took place in the House, on a bill to increase the militia, but without coming to a vote.

Jan. 21. In Senate.—Mr. Walker, of Worcester, introduced a resolution to inquire whether there were parties in this [23] Commonwealth making arms or ammunition, to be sold to the agents of States now or likely to be in rebellion, with power to send for persons and papers. Adopted.

Same day, a debate occurred in the House on the Militia Bill; but, without taking a vote, the bill was recommitted.

Jan. 23. In Senate.—Mr. Schouler, of Middlesex, offered an order, which was adopted, directing the Adjutant-General to furnish estimates, for the use of the Legislature, of the cost of furnishing 2,000 overcoats, 2,000 blankets, 2,000 knapsacks, and camp equipage for a force of 2,000 men, when in active service.

In the House, same day, Mr. Coffin, of Newburyport, reported the Militia Bill in a new draft.

Same day, the Governor sent a communication to the House, informing it of the tender of the Sixth Regiment, by Colonel Jones, for immediate service, if required.

Jan. 24. In Senate.—A message was received from the Governor, transmitting the proposition from the Legislature of Virginia, for the appointment of commissioners to meet at Washington on the 4th of February, to agree upon a compromise of the national difficulties. Referred to the Committee on Federal Relations, and ordered to be printed.

Jan. 26. In Senate.—Mr. Davis, of Bristol, offered this order:—

That the Committee on the Judiciary be instructed to forthwith report a bill authorizing the authorities of this Commonwealth to indorse and guarantee the treasury notes of the United States to the full amount of the surplus revenue received by Massachusetts in the year 1837.

Some opposition was made to the order, but it was adopted.

Jan. 28. In the House.—Mr. Pierce, of Dorchester, introduced resolutions to sustain the Union; and that all attempts to overthrow it, with the expectation of reconstructing it anew, were vain and illusory.

Referred to the Committee on Federal Relations.

Jan. 29. In Senate.—A message was received from the Governor, transmitting certain resolutions passed by the States of Pennsylvania and Tennessee; also the Ordinance of Secession [24] of the State of Georgia, adopted by a convention of the people of that State, and forwarded to Governor Andrew by George W. Crawford, president of that convention. After some debate, it was voted to print the message of Governor Andrew and the resolutions from the two States, but not to further notice the Secession Ordinance.

A debate then arose upon passing the bill for Massachusetts to indorse the notes of the United States to the amount of our indebtedness on account of the surplus revenue, which, after debate, was rejected,—yeas 14, nays 19. The reason for rejecting the bill was stated by Mr. Hardy, of Norfolk. ‘He did not like to have it put on record that old Massachusetts came to the Federal Government in the hour of distress, and said that she would loan her all she owed, and no more. He was in favor of giving all that the Government needed, as far as it was possible,—two, three, or four millions.’

Same day, in the House, the bill to increase the militia was further debated, and a substitute for the whole bill, offered by Mr. Banfield, of West Roxbury, was adopted, and passed to a third reading by a vote of 116 to 40. This bill, however, did not become a law.

Jan. 30. In Senate.—On motion of Mr. Hardy, of Norfolk, the bill in relation to loaning the State credit to the United States, which was rejected yesterday, was reconsidered; and he offered a new proposition, as follows:—

That the Treasurer and Receiver-General of the Commonwealth be and hereby is authorized to guarantee, upon the request of the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, the treasury bonds of the United States to the amount of $2,000,000, on such conditions as shall be agreed upon by the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, and the Governor and Council of this Commonwealth.

Mr. Boynton, of Worcester, thought the passage of the bill would indicate that the credit of the United States is not good, and we must indorse it to make it good. He did not think it necessary to take such a step before it is called for. He thought it was ‘a Union-saving’ movement, and would do more to our discredit than to the good of the country.

Mr. Hardy said it was not only a movement in behalf of the [25] Union, but a matter of business. It is true, the General Government is bankrupt. Massachusetts can help by her notes or her indorsement; and, instead of bending the knee or rolling in the dust before the South, it is putting backbone into the Government. It shows that Massachusetts has faith in the General Government.

Mr. Boynton was opposed to giving any aid to the present Administration (Buchanan's). When we have a new Administration that we can trust, he thought it would be time enough to talk about lending money.

Mr. Davis, of Bristol, moved to amend the bill so that it would take effect immediately upon its passage. The amendment was carried, and the bill was passed to a third reading.

On motion of Mr. Schouler, of Middlesex, the bill was ordered to be printed.

Jan. 30. In the House.—The Senate Militia Bill came up in order. Mr. Durfee, of New Bedford, moved to strike out all after the enacting clause, and to substitute a bill of his own. The subject was then laid on the table, and the bill and amendment ordered to be printed.

Jan. 31. In Senate.—A communication was received from the Adjutant-General, in accordance with a joint resolution of the Legislature, adopted on the 23d inst., giving the following estimates of equipping 2,000 men for active service: 2,000 overcoats, at $9 each, $18,000; 2,000 knapsacks, at $2.25 each, $4,500; 2,000 blankets, at $3 each, $6,000; camp equipage (exclusive of tents), $3,000,—total, $31,500.

On motion of Mr. Schouler, of Middlesex, the communication was laid on the table, and ordered to be printed.

Feb. 1. In Senate.—Mr. Whitney, of Plymouth, from the Committee on Federal Relations, reported a bill to create an emergency fund for the Governor of $100,000, to take effect upon its passage. The bill was immediately passed through the several stages, under a suspension of the rules.

The communication of the Adjutant-General was taken from the table, and referred to the Joint Standing Committee on the Militia.

In the House, the Militia Bill was discussed. Several amendments [26] were offered by Mr. Quincy, of Boston, which were lost. The substitute offered by Mr. Durfee, of New Bedford, was also voted down; and the bill in the draft offered by Mr. Banfield, of West Roxbury, was ordered to be engrossed.

Mr. Parker, of Worcester, moved to reconsider the vote by which the bill was passed. Placed on the orders of the day.

Saturday, Feb. 2. In the House.—The motion to reconsider the vote by which the Militia bill was ordered to be engrossed was carried; and, on motion of Mr. Hills, of Boston, it was recommitted to the Committee on the Militia.

On leave, Mr. Smith, of Boston, introduced a new bill in relation to the militia; and that also was referred to the Committee on the Militia.

Mr. Tyler, of Boston, from the Finance Committee, reported to the House the Senate bill creating an emergency fund of $100,000. He moved that the rules be suspended, that it might take its several readings at once.

Mr. Parsons, of Lawrence, opposed the suspension of the rules, on the ground that a bill of so much importance should be carefully considered.

Mr. Slack, of Boston, thought extraordinary circumstances demanded extraordinary measures, and alluded briefly to the present state of national affairs.

On motion of Mr. Davis, of Greenfield, the House went into secret session. During the secret session, the motion to suspend the rules prevailed; and the bill took its several readings, and was ordered to be engrossed.

Feb. 2.—The Senate debated the resolves for the appointment of seven commissioners to proceed to Washington to confer with the General Government, or with commissioners from other States, upon the state of the country. These resolves were reported in accordance with the invitation of the General Assembly of Virginia. The debate in the Senate was very able: the proposition being sustained by Messrs. Northend and Stone, of Essex; Davis, of Bristol; and Hardy, of Norfolk; and opposed by Mr. Whiting, of Plymouth. The resolves passed,—yeas 24, nays 6. The bill provided, that the commissioners should be appointed by the Governor, and should make their report to the Legislature. [27]

In the House, resolutions of a similar character were introduced by Mr. Parker, of Worcester. They were supported by Mr. Davis, of Greenfield, and Mr. Parker; and opposed by Mr. Branning, of Lee. Before coming to any conclusion, the resolves which had passed the Senate reached the House. Mr. Parker's were laid on the table, and the Senate resolves were discussed. After a long debate on a motion to suspend the rules, which was lost,—yeas 104, nays 65, not two-thirds,—the House adjourned.

Tuesday, Feb. 5. In the House.—The Senate resolves for the appointment of commissioners were, on motion of Mr. Davis, of Greenfield, taken from the orders of the day, and considered. He said the resolves met with his entire approbation.

Mr. Slocum, of Grafton, said, with all respect for Virginia, he could not abide by her opinions, since they might desecrate the soil of Massachusetts to slavery; rather than that, said he, let blood come. He moved an amendment.

Mr. Wallis, of Bolton, favored the amendment.

Mr. Gifford, of Provincetown, opposed it, and favored the resolutions. ‘He had no fears that Massachusetts would act at the bidding of Virginia or any other State.’

Mr. French, of Waltham, favored the amendment, which was, in substance, that Massachusetts did not agree with Virginia that the Constitution required amendment to guarantee to each State its rights.

Mr. Hyde, of Newton, opposed the amendment. He did not see any good reason why it should be adopted. He did not think Virginia needed to be told where Massachusetts stands to-day.

Mr. Pierce, of Dorchester, did not want the matter forced through by outside influence. He was opposed to the resolves, and hoped they would be rejected.

Mr. Fisk, of Shelburne, advocated the proposition, and would forward it with his hand and vote.

Mr. Prentiss, of Marblehead, opposed the measure in a speech of considerable length, and asked if we would send commissioners to a convention of traitors? Let us rather send the sword. [28]

Mr. Slack, of Boston, spoke in opposition. He foresaw that the convention would act contrary to the desires of the people of Massachusetts, and that this Commonwealth would be partly responsible for its acts.

Mr. Durfee, of New Bedford, moved to amend by instructing the commissioners not to recognize the resolutions presented in Congress by Mr. Crittenden, of Kentucky, as a proper basis for adjustment or compromise of difficulties.

Mr. Sears, of Boston, and Mr. Gibbs, of New Bedford, spoke in favor of the original resolves, and against the amendments.

The amendments were voted down, and the resolves were passed to be engrossed by a vote of yeas 184, nays 31.

Feb. 6.—The House voted to substitute the Senate bill for the increase of the militia for the bill of Mr. Banfield, of West Roxbury,—yeas 96, nays 60.

The bill was as follows:—

chapter 49.—An Act in Relation to the Volunteer Militia.

section 1. The volunteer militia companies, as now organized, with their officers, shall be retained in the service; and hereafter, as the public exigency may require, the organization of companies of artillery may be authorized, on petition, by the Commander-in-chief, with advice of the Council, and the organization of other companies may be authorized, on petition, by the Commander-in-chief, or by the mayor and aldermen or selectmen, by his permission; and said companies, so retained and so organized, shall be liable, on a requisition of the President of the United States upon the Commander-in-chief, to be marched without the limits of the Commonwealth; but all additional companies, battalions, and regiments which may be organized under the provisions of this act, shall be disbanded whenever the Governor or the Legislature shall deem that their services are no longer needed. Companies of cavalry shall be limited to one hundred privates, and a saddler and a farrier; companies of artillery to forty-eight cannoneers, twenty-four drivers, and a saddler and farrier; the cadet companies of the first and second divisions to one hundred, and companies of infantry and riflemen to sixty-four, privates.

sect. 2. The fourteenth section of the thirteenth chapter of the General Statutes, and all laws or parts of laws now in force, limiting the number of the volunteer militia, are hereby repealed.

sect. 3. This act shall take effect upon its passage. [29]

The resolves to appoint commissioners to attend a convention to be held in Washington, Feb. 5, were approved by the Governor, and were as follows:—

Whereas, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is desirous of a full and free conference with the General Government, and with any or all of the other States of the Union, at any time and on every occasion, when such conference may promote the welfare of the country; and

Whereas questions of grave moment have arisen touching the powers of the Government, and the relations between the different States of the Union; and

Whereas the State of Virginia has expressed a desire to meet her sister States in convention at Washington; therefore—

Resolved, That the Governor of this Commonwealth, by and with the advice and consent of the Council, be, and he hereby is, authorized to appoint seven persons as commissioners, to proceed to Washington to confer with the General Government, or with the separate States, or with any association of delegates from such States, and to report their doings to the Legislature at its present session; it being expressly declared, that their acts shall be at all times under the control, and subject to the approval or rejection, of the Legislature.

On the same day, Feb. 5, the Governor, with the consent of the Council, appointed the following named gentlemen as commissioners:—

Hon. John Z. Goodrich, of Stockbridge.

Hon. Charles Allen, of Worcester.

Hon. George S. Boutwell, of Groton.

Hon. Francis B. Crowninshield, of Boston.

Theophilus P. Chandler, Esq., of Brookline.

John M. Forbes, Esq., of Milton.

Richard P. Waters, Esq., of Beverly.

These gentleman immediately proceeded to Washington, and took part in the deliberations of the ‘Peace Congress.’ It was a very able delegation.

There was great interest felt in regard to the action of the Peace Congress, and how far its acts would bind the States which the delegates represented.

Feb. 8. In the House.—Mr. Albee, of Marlborough, offered the following resolution:— [30]

That our commissioners at Washington are hereby instructed to use every effort to prevent the adoption of the Crittenden Compromise, or any similar proposition, by the Convention now in session in Washington.

Passed,—yeas 112, nays 27; and the Governor was requested to forward a copy to each of the commissioners.

After the adjournment of the House, the members retained their seats, and the Clerk read the following communication:—

Extract from the Proceedings of the House of Representatives of South Carolina, Jan. 23, 1861.

Mr. Holland offered the following, which were unanimously adopted:—
Whereas a certain Mr. Tyler, of Boston, has introduced a resolution in the Massachusetts Legislature, “that, in view of the great suffering in South Carolina, the immediate consequence of the citizens of that State acting under a mistaken idea of their rights and obligations, and in view of the abundance of this Commonwealth, a sum be appropriated from the State treasury, to be invested in provisions and stores for the relief of our suffering fellow-countrymen of that State;” therefore be it—

Resolved, That the report now current in Massachusetts or elsewhere, that any part of South Carolina is suffering, or likely to suffer, for the want of provisions, is a lie as black as hell, and originated nowhere but amongst negro-worshippers at the North.

Resolved, That the Legislature of Massachusetts be respectfully requested to appropriate the money to the relief of her own suffering, starving, poor thousands.

Resolved, That we can attend to our own affairs without the aid of Massachusetts.

Mr. Speaker,—The foregoing is a true copy of the proceedings of the South Carolina Legislature. You are respectfully requested to have them read in open session.

W. F. Coy Kendall, Assistant Clerk.

March 19. In the House.—Mr. Tyler, of Boston, from the Committee on Finance, reported a resolve relating to the equipment of troops for active service in a new draft, reducing the sum from $35,000 to $25,000; which, on motion of Mr. Jewell, of Boston, was referred to the Committee on the Militia, with instructions ‘to inquire and report whether any contracts have been made or liabilities incurred in regard to any of the [31] matters mentioned in the resolve; and, if so, what and when, and by what officer, and under what authority.’

March 23. In the House.—Mr. Coffin, of Newburyport from the Committee on the Militia, reported that the resolve for the equipment of troops for active service ought to pass; also the following communication from the Adjutant-General:—

Boston, March 21, 1861.
Colonel Frederick J. Coffin, House of Representatives.
Sir,—In answer to the inquiry made by the Honorable House of Representatives, ‘whether any contracts have been made or liabilities incurred in regard to any of the matters mentioned in the resolve reported to the House, relating to the equipment of troops for active service, and, if so, when, and by what authority,’ I have the honor to say:—

Under the direction of His Excellency the Governor and the Honorable Council, the following contracts have been made by me as Adjutant and Acting Quartermaster General:—

1st. With the Middlesex Company, Lowell, for 6,000 yards of cloth, six-fourths wide, to make 2,000 military overcoats, at $1.37 a yard.

2d. With William Deacon, to make 2,000 military overcoats at $2.15 each, he finding the trimmings, except the buttons.

3d. With James Boyd & Sons, to make 1,000 knapsacks, army pattern, and with Edward A. G. Roulstone, to make 1,000 knapsacks, army pattern, severally at $1.88 each.

4th. With Converse, Harding, & Co., for 1,000 pairs of blankets, army size, at $3.75 a pair.

5th. With the Rubber Clothing Company, Beverly, for 2,000 haversacks, at 75 cents each.

6th. The buttons for the coats have been contracted for with the manufacturer at Attleborough, and will cost about $740.

7th. I was also authorized to contract for 200,000 ball-cartridges to suit the new rifled musket. The lowest market price for these cartridges is $14 a thousand. At the State Arsenal, at Cambridge, there have been for many years upwards of 200,000 musket-balls suitable for the old smooth-bore musket. I have caused these to be recast, and the cartridges made at the Arsenal; so that the entire cost to the Commonwealth for the 200,000 new musket cartridges will not exceed $1,500.

The aggregate cost to the Commonwealth to fulfil these contracts [32] will be $23,770; to which should be added $150 to pay a proper person or persons to inspect the work when finished, to ascertain whether the parties contracted with have faithfully fulfilled their several agreements. The resolve appropriating $25,000 will cover the entire expense, and will leave a surplus sufficient to purchase 300,000 percussion caps, which it will be necessary to buy, if the troops of the Commonwealth are called into active service.

With great respect, I have the honor to be your obedient servant,

William Schouler, Adjutant and Acting Quartermaster General.

Monday, March 25. In Senate.—A message was received from the Governor, transmitting a report of the commissioners appointed to represent the Commonwealth in the Peace Congress at Washington, which was read. Without taking action, the Senate adjourned.

The report gave a careful record of the proceedings of the Convention, which commenced its sessions in Washington on the 4th of February, and adjourned on the 27th of the same month. It sat with closed doors, and no full or consecutive report of its proceedings was ever made. It appears, however, from the report of our Commissioners, that most of the time was consumed in considering seven distinct propositions for amending the Federal Constitution, each of which was intended to strengthen the institution of slavery, by giving it additional guarantees and enlarged privileges. These propositions were reported by a committee composed of one from each State represented. Mr. Guthrie, of Kentucky, was made chairman. Massachusetts was represented on the committee by Mr. Crowninshield, who appears to have called for a specific statement of the grievances complained of by the discontented States. This request led to discussion, but failed to obtain the desired information. Mr. Guthrie's report was adopted by the committee by a majority of five, but the report, as a whole, never received the sanction of a majority of the Convention. Massachusetts voted against all of the propositions except the last, and on that, the delegation declined to vote, either for or against. As this Congress failed to accomplish any practical purpose, or to make an impression upon the [33] 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.—Colonel Coffin, 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. [34]

While the Legislature was considering and passing preparatory measures, the Governor was not idle. A constant correspondence was kept up with our members of Congress and the Governors of other States. Leading merchants, and other gentlemen of experience and wisdom, were daily consulted. The militia was strengthened. A cipher key was arranged, to be used in transmitting messages which required secrecy.

The defenceless condition of the forts in Boston harbor was considered. In Fort Warren there was but one gun; in Fort Winthrop none at all; and, in Fort Independence, hardly twenty guns, and most of them were trained on the city itself. The casemates were unfit for human occupation. The grounds inside the forts were covered with workshops and wooden shanties; and, instead of being a defence to the city and harbor, the fortifications of Boston were a standing menace to them, and invited seizure by the enemy. The entire coast of Massachusetts was open to attack from sea; not a fort or an earthwork or a gun was in proper condition. There were neither officers nor troops in garrison. Our entire reliance, should war come, was in the patriotism of the militia and the people of the Commonwealth.

If troops were to be sent to Washington, the best and safest way of forwarding them was a question for discussion. Two Southern States lay between Boston and Washington; which, in case of civil war, were as likely to array themselves against the Government as for it. The danger of sending troops through Baltimore was very fully considered. The ease with which the passage of the Susquehanna could be impeded, and the long railroad bridges over the creeks between that river and Baltimore destroyed, was foreseen, and on the other hand the facility with which the approach by transports up the Potomac could be stopped by batteries, seemed to render that route impracticable. A meeting was held in the Governor's room on the 2d of February, and was adjourned to the 6th, at which Major-Generals Sutton, Morse, and Andrews, of the State militia; Colonel Thayer, U. S. A.; the Adjutant-General of the State; the aides-de-camp of His Excellency; and others, were present. [35]

Colonel Henry Lee, of Governor Andrew's staff, in a letter dated July 9, 1867, to me, says,—

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:—

Washington, D. C., Wednesday, Feb. 6, 1861.
I received your instructions on Monday, at 1 P. M. I found, that, if I left Boston that afternoon, I could get here on Tuesday evening, but too [36] late to attend to any business. I therefore determined to start on Tuesday morning, which gave me an opportunity of discussing the objects of my mission with Colonel Sargent, who took the same train as far as Springfield, Mass., and enabled me to reach this city this morning by daybreak.

Immediately after breakfast, I called on the Hon. Charles Sumner. He at once understood the object of my mission, and favored me with a statement on the present state of affairs. I also met him again later in the day in the Senate Chamber, when he went over again, with me, the same ground.

He gives as serious an account of the conspiracy to take possession of this city by the secessionists as any you have received; but he thinks the danger has been steadily diminishing since the 2d of January,— the day on which the President gave General Scott power to concentrate troops for the defence of the capital. The President has had several relapses since that date; and at times has seemed about to recall all the confidence he had placed in General Scott, and oblige him to undo all that had been done. The most extraordinary scenes have taken place in the Cabinet: only last week it was on the point of breaking up entirely, and the danger seemed to be as great again as at any previous time; but the general has triumphed in all particulars, excepting in his desire to have the militia of the Northern States called out: to that the President will not even now consent.

Mr. Sumner thinks there was a crisis in the Cabinet last week, and that, even after the general had overcome the hesitation of the President, there was a most serious danger to be apprehended from the revolutionary threats of the Democratic leaders in Maryland, in which the leaders of both wings of the Democratic party united. He thinks, however, that, the first schemes of the conspirators having been disconcerted, there was nothing to be apprehended in the way of an attack upon this city, unless the conspirators should have been enabled to lean upon State authority for their action. Therefore he thinks that the result of the election of delegates to the convention in Virginia has postponed the danger from this source. He is convinced that the conspirators counted upon a different result in Virginia; that, by the 18th, the Virginia Convention would have pronounced for secession; and that they were therefore safe in calling the Maryland Convention for that day, being sure that in that event Maryland would follow suit. If the result of the Virginia election had been in favor of the secessionists, the attack on the Capitol might have been carried out without waiting for the formal action of the Virginia Convention. Mr. Sumner now thinks there is no immediate danger to be feared of such an attack. [37] He is by no means confident of the determination to which that convention will ultimately come, but thinks that a delay has been gained which will carry us over the 4th of March in safety. Mr. Adams and Mr. Seward, with both of whom I have had long conversations, agree with Mr. Sumner fully as to any danger of an immediate attack. Mr. Seward thinks all danger is past. Mr. Sumner thinks Mr. Seward has never been aware of the real peril; and is evidently of the opinion that the crisis is only postponed. Mr. Adams thinks there will be no need of troops before the 6th of March, but thinks we shall have to fight after that date.

Mr. Sumner thinks Congress would be now sitting in Independence Hall, Philadelphia, but for General Scott's action. Mr. Seward seems to think this concentration of troops has been unnecessary. General Wilson appears to be of the opinion that Massachusetts and New York will have to furnish money, but doubts if they will be called upon for any troops. Mr. Seward urged me to write to you, and beg you to secure the passage of the resolutions by which Massachusetts would endorse the bonds of the United States to the extent of the deposit of surplus revenue in her hands, made in 1837. He says this is all they now ask of Massachusetts; that she will never have to pay a cent on account of such indorsement, but that the indorsement must be given, as the new Administration will be without funds. I have also conversed with Mr. Burlingame, Mr. Thayer, and Mr. Alley, of Massachusetts, and particularly with Mr. Stanton, of Ohio, the chairman of the committee who have been inquiring into this conspiracy.

Mr. Adams, Mr. Burlingame, Mr. Thayer, and Mr. Stanton, all talked the matter over together in my presence; and all were of opinion that no call would be made on Massachusetts before March 4.

Mr. Seward is the only one I have seen who stated that he thought all danger was now at an end, owing to the action of Virginia. And even Mr. Seward, at dinner this P. M., at Mr. Adams', stated that the South must succumb, or we should have to exterminate them, or they would have to exterminate us. He thinks the South are anxious to creep out of the movement of their own creation.

I have had to give you as rapid a resume of the opinions of these civilians as possible, as I have hardly time to reach the mail. The only point of immediate importance is, that all agree that there is no probability of an immediate call upon us for militia.

Mr. Stanton thought, that, if a call were made, it would be for volunteers; and that there would be time to enlist special regiments for the war, as in the Mexican war. After leaving Mr. Sumner, I called on General Scott. He is avowedly very anxious even now, and would [38] at once call for ten thousand men, if empowered to do so. He says the President, however, will never issue such a requisition. The President doubts his power; and, while I was with the general, Mr. Stanton came to consult with him about a bill, which I inclose, introduced for the purpose of meeting this objection of the President's.

But even if this bill passes,—and it will pass, unless the Republicans are satisfied that the President already possesses the power hereby intended to be given him,—still the President thinks that a call for Northern militia would at once set Virginia and Maryland in a blaze.

They have declared in Maryland, only last week, that the Susquehanna should flow with blood, if the attempt were made to bring Northern troops across it.

General Scott therefore agrees that there is no probability of any call being made on you by President Buchanan. He, however, would himself issue such a call at once if he had the power, and would have issued it a month ago.

With Colonel Keyes, of General Scott's staff, I discussed all the points at length, which were considered at the meeting of officers convened by you on Monday last.

Colonel Keyes is General Scott's right-hand man, and is the officer who has been charged with ferreting out this whole matter. He also says there will be no call at present, but that we must be prepared. I telegraphed at once, after my interview with Mr. Sumner, General Scott, and Colonel Keyes, to Mr. Albert G. Browne, Jr., ‘There is not the slightest probability of any immediate call; particulars by mail; take no further steps.’ Colonel Keyes approved of this despatch; and so did Messrs. Sumner, Wilson, Adams, Burlingame, and Thayer.

Colonel Keyes thinks it would not be safe to come, either by land or by the Potomac, but that the United States must hold the forts at Baltimore; and that the troops must come by sea to Baltimore, and land there under cover of the forts.

As to this, however, as also the other details, I will give you oral information; and Colonel Keyes will furnish me with much at a later day to which he could not give answers at once. There are also many things which will depend upon circumstances at the date of the call. I shall see to-morrow if affairs assume any different aspect; and, if they do not, I shall leave here to-morrow afternoon.

I shall not think it expedient, under the circumstances, to approach the Mayor of Baltimore.

Please excuse this hurried note, as I have been writing to save the [39] mail, and been obliged to disregard form. I believe I have given you the substance of all that I have learned here.

Your Excellency's most obedient,

Harrison Ritchie, Lieutenant-Colonel and Aide-de-Camp.
P. S. It is thought that the delay gained by the result of the Virginia election will give time for at least one thousand of the troops from Texas to get here before they are wanted. General Scott thinks he can count upon two thousand of the volunteers of this district. Colonel Keyes says, be prepared; organize your regiments, and drill them; furnish them with the new rifle-musket, knapsacks, canteens, blankets, and proper clothing, one hundred rounds of ammunition per man, and a supply of camp-kettles.

As to other camp equipage, it may be necessary: that he cannot tell at present.


Colonel Ritchie left Washington the next day, and, on arriving at New York, wrote another letter from that city, dated February 8th, in which he discusses again the position of affairs at Washington, and makes certain suggestions in regard to getting troops to Washington, which in time became of great practical service:—

You will have perceived by my first letter that I had already made the acquaintance of Colonel Keyes. In fact we became great friends. When General Scott referred me to his two aides,—Colonels Leigh and Keyes,—I made up my mind after a very short conversation, that Colonel Leigh was a man of “Southern proclivities,” who did not look with any favor upon my mission, though I had a letter of introduction to him from a mutual friend. He was disposed I thought to prevent my interview with General Scott,—and interrupt it after I had obtained it by introducing other people and other matters,—and he showed evident marks of dissatisfaction at my quiet persistence until I had accomplished my object. Of course I did not appear to notice this.1 Keyes, on the other hand, went into the matter with his whole heart. He said he was bored to death with inquiries on these points—but where they were direct and to the point, he would answer them by the hour with pleasure. I had also heard of Mr. Goddard's errand, and conversed with him before receiving your [40] Excellency's note. I, however, had another conversation with him yesterday morning, when he informed me that the answer given to his request for a detailed plan, was, in effect, that none such could be furnished at present. Some regulars, one company of artillery from Augusta, and one company of dragoons from Carlisle barracks, arrived yesterday; and, as I believe I mentioned in my first, a draft of infantry arrived at Washington in the train in which I reached the city.

General Scott and Colonel Keyes are evidently anxious, and would like more men; but the President will never issue the requisition ... Floyd has so plundered the United-States magazines, arsenals, and depots of munitions of war and warlike stores, that they do not know yet what is left, and so cannot tell what we must bring with us. It is clear, that, if we move, it must be by sea, landing at Baltimore or Annapolis; that pilots must be secured in advance, as they will be seized by the secessionists; and that the ships must go to sea with sealed orders, while a false destination is publicly reported.

I shall take the liberty to recommend one other caution, to be adjusted when I can speak with you in private, and which actual experience has shown me is necessary, if you desire that certain Boston papers should not divulge all your plans, as they have done hitherto. On Thursday morning (yesterday), I saw Mr. Sumner, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Burlingame, Mr. Adams, and others. They had nothing new to communicate, but adhere to their conviction, that there is no prospect, or possibility indeed, of an immediate call upon you. I mentioned in my first, that Mr. Seward was the only person I saw who pretended to think the danger more than postponed. I happened to be present at a conversation between him and some of his most intimate and confidential friends, when he evidently spoke out his sincere conviction. I was much impressed with what he said, which satisfied me that his optimist views are assumed, as necessary in his relation to the new Administration, and that in reality he is no more hopeful than Mr. Sumner. I will repeat his remark to you on my return. Mr. Adams also heard this remark; and when I asked him, yesterday, if he noticed it, he seemed surprised at my having marked it also, and confessed that it impressed him very forcibly.

Mr. Adams was on his way to find me yesterday, as I was going to his house. He came to ask me to inform your Excellency that the Secretary of the Treasury had sent for him that morning, to beg him to urge upon you the extreme importance of our Legislature passing the resolves authorizing the indorsement by Massachusetts of the bonds of the United States to the amount of the shares of the surplus [41] revenue deposited with her in 1837. Mr. Adams said that the Secretary wished to issue his proposals on Monday, if possible, and hoped these resolves would be passed before that time.

I told Mr. Adams that Mr. Seward and Mr. Wilson had impressed me with the importance of this on the previous day, and that I had conveyed their request already to your Excellency. Mr. Adams then said I could do no more, and that he would write to you at once. I, however, saw Mr. Wilson about it yesterday morning, and he said he would consult the Massachusetts delegation yesterday, if possible, and get them all to sign a letter to you on the subject, for you to show to the Legislature.

I should mention that I called the attention of our delegation to the unsatisfactory state of the United-States militia laws, and the questions that have arisen with us already. I left a copy of Lothrop's opinion with Mr. Wilson. He will read it, and read again the debates in our Constitutional Convention, and see what can be done. They all saw the delicacy of the points, and their importance, and will do what they can.

Finding I could do nothing more, I decided to leave Washington last night, though, for my own pleasure, I should have liked to have remained some time longer at the centre of action in this great crisis. I accordingly came here last night. We were detained by ice and the extreme, savage cold; and I found this morning that my baggage, though properly checked and shipped at Washington, had not come through; indeed, none of the baggage did. This will detain me here; but I can only repeat in more detail what I have already written to your Excellency, when I have the pleasure of reporting my return to you in person. I hope your Excellency will not think my journey has proved entirely unprofitable. I think, at any rate, that an understanding and communication has been opened that may prove very useful in the future.

In connection with the letters of Colonel Ritchie, the following extract from a letter addressed to me by Secretary Seward, dated Washington, June 13, 1867, is of interest and importance:—

In regard to February, 1861, I need only say, that, at the time the secession leaders were all in the Senate and House, with power enough, and only wanting an excuse, to get up a resistance in the capital to the declaration of Mr. Lincoln's election and to his inauguration; in other words, to have excuse and opportunity to open the [42] civil war here before the new Administration and new Congress could be in authority to subdue it. I desired to avoid giving them that advantage. I conferred throughout with General Scott and Mr. Stanton, then in Mr. Buchanan's Cabinet. I presume I conversed with others in a way that seemed to me best calculated to leave the inauguration of a war to the secessionists, and to delay it, in any case, until the new Administration should be in possession of the Government. It was less military demonstration that was wanted at that particular moment than political discretion.

Discretion taught two duties; namely, to awaken patriotism in the North, and to get the secessionists, with Buchanan's Administration, out of Washington. Mr. Adams well and thoroughly understood me. On the 22d of February, in concert with Mr. Stanton, I caused the United-States flag to be displayed throughout all the Northern and Western portions of the United States.

Colonel Ritchie did not leave Washington until he had come to a definite understanding in regard to the route by which to forward troops to Washington, should a call for them be made. He had been cordially received by General Scott, to whom the purpose of his mission was made known, and he was referred to Colonel Keyes of General Scott's staff for information upon matters of detail. It was then arranged, that, in case of a call, the troops should be forwarded by sea to Annapolis or Baltimore. Colonel Keyes stated, that all other routes to Washington would be unsafe; that, for this reason, General Scott had placed an officer in command of Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor, upon whom he could rely to hold it to the utmost. Immediate measures were taken by the Governor to have the necessary transports in readiness, and Colonel Lee, of his staff, was detailed to attend to this duty. The following extract from a letter dated Boston, Feb. 2, 1861, addressed to the Governor, by Colonel Lee, relates a conversation he had held that day with John M. Forbes, Esq., in regard to chartering steamers to be used as transports, which shows that the attention of the Governor had been given to this subject before Colonel Ritchie had returned from Washington:—

Mr. Forbes assures me that he and others will have the transports ready as soon as the men can be, waiting until orders come before the vessel is chartered, so as to keep as quiet as possible. And [43] he thinks, with me, that we had better wait for New York, as we can get ready and move quicker; and any forwardness on the part of Massachusetts would be more offensive than that of New York. He urges also to write or telegraph to General Scott, that we can at once send three hundred men to relieve the garrison at Fortress Monroe, if he desires to have the present garrison march to Washington. The cost of steamer per month, with crew, would be three to four thousand dollars, probably. I send a list in order of merit.

A very large and respectable meeting of the citizens of Boston was held in Faneuil Hall, on the 5th of February, to indorse the resolutions of Mr. Crittenden, of Kentucky, in favor of a compromise with the South. J. Thomas Stevenson, Esq., presided, and made a strong and able speech in favor of compromise, in the course of which he said ‘he would almost pray for a foreign war, that it might bind us again as one, and prevent the shedding of fraternal blood. He would give up every thing but honor.’ B. R. Curtis, Esq., ex-judge of the United-States Supreme Court, made the leading speech, which was received with great favor. The resolutions were read by Colonel Jonas French. Speeches were made by Mr. Wightman, mayor of the city, Mr. Saltonstall, Mr. G. S. Hillard, and others, some of whom afterwards distinguished themselves as officers in the war.

This meeting spoke the sentiments of the conservative citizens, who regarded war and disunion as evils greater than the existence of slavery, or even of its further extension; and yet they were anti-slavery men, and regarded slavery as a great moral and political wrong, and would gladly have seen it abolished.

A few days later, on the 11th of February, a great meeting was held in Cambridge. The City Hall was crowded. The meeting was called without distinction of party. Hon. John G. Palfrey spoke briefly. He said, ‘South Carolina has marshalled herself into revolution; and six States have followed her, and abandoned our Government.’ Richard H. Dana, Jr., Esq., made the speech of the occasion. He said the South was in a state of mutiny; he was against John-Brown raids, and uncompromisingly for the Union. He was opposed to the Crittenden [44] compromise, and held to the faith of Massachusetts. This meeting uttered the sentiments of the majority of the State, and was designed as a counterblast to the meeting held the week before at Faneuil Hall.

The speeches made and resolutions passed at these meetings expressed the sentiments of the people of the State. Those who were at Faneuil Hall would rather compromise the issues than have bloodshed and civil war. The men who were at Cambridge would risk the chance of civil war rather than compromise.

There was another party, which, though small in number, was powerful in eloquence, moral character, and cultivated intellect. Its zeal never flagged, its leaders never faltered. Its hatred of slavery was chronic. Its martyr spirit was felt and acknowledged. Its policy was aggressive. It made no compromises; it sought no office; it asked no favor; and it gave no quarter. This was the abolition party. The leaders of it were Mr. Garrison and Mr. Phillips. The Federal Constitution, as interpreted by them, was a pro-slavery instrument: they would not, therefore, support it. The Union was ‘a covenant with hell:’ therefore they would break it. For a quarter of a century they had thus spoken, and consistently acted, and held their ground up to the very day that the rebels fired on Sumter.

The following extract from a speech delivered in New Bedford by Mr. Phillips, on the evening of the 9th of April, 1861, is curious and remarkable, when we consider the positions held by that gentleman before the war, during the war, and since the war. It shows that learned men and orators are sometimes false prophets; and what is visible to plain men is hid from them:—

The telegraph, said Mr. Phillips, is said to report to-night, that the guns are firing, either out of Fort Sumter or into it; that to-morrow's breeze, when it sweeps from the North, will bring to us the echo of the first Lexington battle of the new Revolution. Well, what shall we say of such an hour? My own feeling is a double one. It is like the triumph of sadness,—rejoicing and sorrow. I cannot, indeed, congratulate you enough on the sublime spectacle of twenty millions of [45] people educated in a twelvemonth up to being willing that their idolized Union should risk a battle, should risk dissolution, in order, at any risk, to put down this rebellion of slave States.

But I am sorry that a gun should be fired at Fort Sumter, or that a gun should be fired from it, for this reason: The Administration at Washington does not know its time. Here are a series of States girding the Gulf; who think that their peculiar institutions require that they should have a separate government. They have a right to decide that question, without appealing to you or me. A large body of people, sufficient to make a nation, have come to the conclusion, that they will have a government of a certain form. Who denies them the right? Standing with the principles of ‘76 behind us, who can deny them the right? What is a matter of a few millions of dollars, or a few forts? It is a mere drop in the bucket of the great national question. It is theirs, just as much as ours. I maintain, on the principles of ‘76, that Abraham Lincoln has no right to a soldier in Fort Sumter.

But the question comes, secondly, “Suppose we had a right to interfere, what is the good of it?” You may punish South Carolina for going out of the Union: that does not bring her in. You may subdue her by hundreds of thousands of armies, but that does not make her a State. There is no longer a Union: it is nothing but boy's play. Mr. Jefferson Davis is angry, and Mr. Abraham Lincoln is mad, and they agree to fight. One, two, or three years hence, if the news of the afternoon is correct, we shall have gone through a war, spent millions, required the death of a hundred thousand men, and be exactly then where we are now,—two nations, a little more angry, a little poorer, and a great deal wiser; and that will be the only difference: we may just as well settle it now as then.

You cannot go through Massachusetts, and recruit men to bombard Charleston or New Orleans. The Northern mind will not bear it; you can never make such a war popular. The first onset may be borne; the telegraph may bring us news, that Anderson has bombarded Charleston, and you may rejoice; but the sober second thought of Massachusetts will be, “wasteful, unchristian, guilty.” The North never will indorse such a war. Instead of conquering Charleston, you create a Charleston in New England; you stir up sympathy for the South. Therefore it seems to me that the inauguration of war is not a violation of principle, but it is a violation of expediency.

To be for disunion, in Boston, is to be an abolitionist: to be against disunion is to be an abolitionist to-day, in the streets of Charleston. Now, that very state of things shows, that the civilization of the two cities is utterly antagonistic. What is the use of trying to join them? [46] Is Abraham Lincoln capable of making fire and powder lie down together in peace? If he can, let him send his army to Fort Sumter, and occupy it.

But understand me: I believe in the Union, exactly as you do, in the future. This is my proposition: “ Go out, gentlemen; you are welcome to your empire; take it.” Let them try the experiment of cheating with one hand, and idleness with the other. I know that God has written bankruptcy over such an experiment. If you cannonade South Carolina, you cannonade her into the sympathy of the world. I do not know now but what a majority there is on my side; but I know this, that, if the telegraph speaks true to-night, that the guns are echoing around Fort Sumter, that a majority is against us; for it will convert every man into a secessionist. Besides, there is another fearful element in the problem; there is another terrible consideration: we can then no longer extend to the black race, at the South, our best sympathy and our best aid.

We stand to-night at the beginning of an epoch, which may have the peace or the ruin of a generation in its bosom. Inaugurate war, we know not where it will end; we are in no condition to fight. The South is poor, and we are rich. The poor man can do twice the injury to the rich man, that the rich man can do the poor. Your wealth rides safely on the bosom of the ocean, and New England has its millions afloat. The North whitens every sea with its wealth. The South has no commerce, but she can buy the privateers of every race to prey on yours. It is a dangerous strife when wealth quarrels with poverty.

Driven to despair, the Southern States may be poor and bankrupt, but the poorest man can be a pirate; and, as long as New England's tonnage is a third of that of the civilized world, the South can punish New England more than New England can punish her. We provoke a strife in which we are defenceless. If, on the contrary, we hold ourselves to the strife of ideas, if we manifest that strength which despises insult and bides its hour, we are sure to conquer in the end.

I distrust these guns at Fort Sumter. I do not believe that Abraham Lincoln means war. I do not believe in the madness of the Cabinet. Nothing but madness can provoke war with the Gulf States. My suspicion is this : that the Administration dares not compromise. It trembles before the five hundred thousand readers of the New-York Tribune.

But there is a safe way to compromise. It is this: seem to provoke war. Cannonade the forts. What will be the first result? New-York commerce is pale with bankruptcy. The affrighted seaboard sees grass growing in its streets. It will start up every man whose [47] livelihood hangs upon trade, intensifying him into a compromiser. Those guns fired at Fort Sumter are only to frighten the North into a compromise.

If the Administration provokes bloodshed, it is a trick,—nothing else. It is the masterly cunning of the devil of compromise, the Secretary of State. He is not mad enough to let these States run into battle. He knows that the age of bullets is over. If a gun is fired in Southern waters, it is fired at the wharves of New York, at the bank-vaults of Boston, at the money of the North. It is meant to alarm. It is policy, not sincerity. It means concession; and, in twelve months, you will see this Union reconstructed, with a constitution like that of Montgomery.

New England may, indeed, never be coerced into a slave confederacy. But when the battles of Abraham Lincoln are ended, and compromises worse than Crittenden's are adopted, New England may claim the right to secede. And, as sure as a gun is fired to-night at Fort Sumter, within three years from to-day you will see thirty States gathered under a Constitution twice as damnable as that of 1787. The only hope of liberty is fidelity to principle, fidelity to peace, fidelity to the slave. Out of that God gives us nothing but hope and brightness. In blood there is sure to be ruin.

The lecture ‘was interrupted by frequent hisses.’

In the preceding pages, we have sketched the position held and the measures adopted by Massachusetts during the four months immediately preceding the advent of war. Sumter had been fired upon; hostilities had commenced; nothing remained but the arbitrament of battle. By the wisdom and foresight of her Governor and Legislature, Massachusetts was better prepared for it than other loyal States. Her militia had spent the winter and spring nights in drilling, recruiting, and organizing. The requirements of Order No. 4 had been enforced. The young men who filled the ranks of the volunteer force had kept alive the military spirit and martial character of the Commonwealth. They had remained faithful to duty, despite the taunts and jeers of open enemies, and the neglect and parsimony of professed friends. They were now to give the world an exhibition of ready devotion and personal sacrifice to duty and country seldom equalled and never surpassed in any age or nation. They had been bred in the delightful ways of peace, unused to war's [48] alarms and the strifes of battle. The common schools of Massachusetts were their Alma Mater. In their homes by the shores of the sea, and in the pleasant fields and valleys of the interior, they had been nurtured in Christian morals and the ways of God. They had beheld with anxiety, but without fear, the dark clouds of war settling upon the face of the nation, which they knew must be met and dispelled, or it would remain no longer a nation to them. Through the long and anxious years of the war, they never hesitated, doubted, or wavered in their faith that the Union would stand the shock which menaced it; and that, through the sacrifice of noble lives and the baptism of precious blood, it would emerge from the smoke and fire of civil war with unsubdued strength, and with garments glittering all over with the rays of Liberty. It was to be a contest between right and wrong, law and anarchy, freedom and despotism. He who could doubt the issue of such a war could have no abiding faith in the immortality of American progress, or the eternal justice of Christian civilization.

On the 15th day of April, 1861, Governor Andrew received a telegram from Washington to send forward at once fifteen hundred men. The drum-beat of the long roll had been struck,

1 Leigh afterwards deserted to the enemy, taking with him many of General Scott's plans and confidential papers.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Massachusetts (Massachusetts, United States) (65)
United States (United States) (24)
South Carolina (South Carolina, United States) (11)
New England (United States) (11)
Worcester (Massachusetts, United States) (10)
Maine (Maine, United States) (7)
Baltimore, Md. (Maryland, United States) (7)
Salem (Massachusetts, United States) (5)
Newburyport (Massachusetts, United States) (5)
Maryland (Maryland, United States) (5)
West Roxbury, Mass. (Massachusetts, United States) (4)
Norfolk (Virginia, United States) (4)
Bristol, R. I. (Rhode Island, United States) (4)
Accomack (Massachusetts, United States) (4)
Windham, Conn. (Connecticut, United States) (3)
Springfield (Massachusetts, United States) (3)
Middlesex Village (Massachusetts, United States) (3)
Waltham (Massachusetts, United States) (2)
Roxbury, Mass. (Massachusetts, United States) (2)
Rhode Island (Rhode Island, United States) (2)
Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania, United States) (2)
Northampton (Massachusetts, United States) (2)
New Hampshire (New Hampshire, United States) (2)
Marblehead (Massachusetts, United States) (2)
Lynn (Massachusetts, United States) (2)
Headquarters (Washington, United States) (2)
Groton (Massachusetts, United States) (2)
Fort Moultrie (South Carolina, United States) (2)
Dorchester, Mass. (Massachusetts, United States) (2)
Connecticut (Connecticut, United States) (2)
Charleston Harbor (South Carolina, United States) (2)
Brookline (Massachusetts, United States) (2)
Augusta (Georgia, United States) (2)
Annapolis (Maryland, United States) (2)
Williamsburg (Virginia, United States) (1)
Washington (United States) (1)
Virginia (Virginia, United States) (1)
Vermont (Vermont, United States) (1)
Tennessee (Tennessee, United States) (1)
Stockbridge (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
Quiquechan River (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
Queensborough (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
Provincetown (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
Providence, R. I. (Rhode Island, United States) (1)
Portsmouth, Va. (Virginia, United States) (1)
Northfield, Mass. (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
North Carolina (North Carolina, United States) (1)
New York (New York, United States) (1)
New Jersey (New Jersey, United States) (1)
Massachusetts Bay (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
Marlboro, Mass. (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
Kansas (Kansas, United States) (1)
Illinois (Illinois, United States) (1)
Georgia (Georgia, United States) (1)
Fortress Monroe (Virginia, United States) (1)
Fort Winthrop (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
Fort Warren (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
Fort Independence (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
Essex (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
Duxbury (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
Delaware (Delaware, United States) (1)
Concord (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
China (China) (1)
Chicago (Illinois, United States) (1)
Boxford (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
Boston Harbor (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
Berkshire (Mass.) (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
Attleboro, Mass. (Massachusetts, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
John A. Andrew (24)
Winfield Scott (19)
Nathaniel P. Banks (15)
Robert Andrew (14)
John Quincy Adams (14)
Charles Sumner (13)
William H. Seward (13)
Hamlin W. Keyes (13)
Abraham Lincoln (11)
Harrison Ritchie (9)
Henry Lee (9)
Henry Wilson (8)
George T. Davis (8)
Eli Thayer (7)
William Schouler (7)
Edwin M. Stanton (6)
Anson Burlingame (6)
James Buchanan (6)
William B. Washburn (5)
Francis J. Parker (5)
James Jackson (5)
Hardy (5)
Albert G. Browne (5)
Anderson (5)
Charles Francis Adams (5)
Nancy G. Pierce (4)
Wendell Phillips (4)
William D. Northend (4)
Charles R. Lowell (4)
John A. Goodwin (4)
John M. Forbes (4)
Frederick J. Coffin (4)
Philip H. Tyler (3)
Horace Binney Sargent (3)
Leigh (3)
Amos A. Lawrence (3)
William F. Durfee (3)
Crittenden (3)
Banfield (3)
George L. Andrews (3)
Whiting (2)
Henry Walker (2)
Charles R. Train (2)
William Sutton (2)
Slocum (2)
Slack (2)
Eleazer C. Sherman (2)
Henry A. Quincy (2)
Ralph W. Newton (2)
Henry U. Morse (2)
James M. Mason (2)
Guthrie (2)
Grafton (2)
John Z. Goodrich (2)
Daniel W. Gooch (2)
Stephen N. Gifford (2)
Floyd (2)
Essex (2)
Charles Delano (2)
Jefferson Davis (2)
Francis B. Crowninshield (2)
William Claflin (2)
Benjamin F. Butler (2)
James Buffinton (2)
William Brown (2)
Boynton (2)
George S. Boutwell (2)
Erasmus D. Beach (2)
Goldsmith F. Bailey (2)
Oakes Ames (2)
John B. Alley (2)
Wightman (1)
Addison O. Whitney (1)
John W. Wetherell (1)
Fletcher Webster (1)
Richard P. Waters (1)
Washington (1)
Oliver Warner (1)
David W. Wardrop (1)
Albert Wallis (1)
Toucey (1)
Robert Toombs (1)
Newell A. Thompson (1)
Benjamin F. Thomas (1)
William Stowe (1)
Edward A. Story (1)
James M. Stone (1)
J. Thomas Stevenson (1)
Gerritt Smith (1)
John Slidell (1)
Jacob Sleeper (1)
James M. Shute (1)
Shelburne (1)
David Sears (1)
Sanborn (1)
Saltonstall (1)
Rowley (1)
Edward A. G. Roulstone (1)
James Ritchie (1)
Alexander H. Rice (1)
Levi Reed (1)
Prentiss (1)
William Pickering (1)
Theophilus Parsons (1)
John G. Palfrey (1)
Henry K. Oliver (1)
Lot M. Morrill (1)
Montgomery (1)
Milton (1)
Alma Mater (1)
Thornton K. Lothrop (1)
W. F. Coy Kendall (1)
Edward F. Jones (1)
Johnston (1)
Jewell (1)
Jan (1)
John B. Hyde (1)
Hyatt (1)
Samuel Hooper (1)
Holland (1)
John L. Hodsdon (1)
Hills (1)
George S. Hillard (1)
Mary Higginson (1)
Francis Higginson (1)
Joel Hayden (1)
Harding (1)
Hannibal Hamlin (1)
Hugh M. Greene (1)
Grant (1)
George H. Gordon (1)
Goddard (1)
Gibbs (1)
Quartermaster General (1)
William Lloyd Garrison (1)
H. Fuller (1)
Jonas H. French (1)
Jonas French (1)
Dwight Foster (1)
Fisk (1)
Fairbanks (1)
Thomas D. Elliot (1)
Easton (1)
William Deacon (1)
Henry L. Dawes (1)
Richard H. Dana (1)
Caleb Cushing (1)
Greely S. Curtis (1)
B. R. Curtis (1)
George W. Crawford (1)
Converse (1)
Cole (1)
Cobb (1)
Rufus Choate (1)
Theophilus P. Chandler (1)
Burns (1)
Burnham (1)
John Brown (1)
John C. Breckenridge (1)
Branning (1)
James Boyd (1)
Boston (1)
Bolton (1)
Judah P. Benjamin (1)
James D. Baldwin (1)
John I. Baker (1)
Charles Allen (1)
Albee (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1860 AD (7)
1837 AD (4)
March 4th (4)
February 5th (4)
February 2nd (4)
1858 AD (3)
1854 AD (3)
February 4th (3)
January 8th (3)
February 2nd, 1861 AD (2)
January 1st, 1861 AD (2)
December (2)
February 8th (2)
February 6th (2)
January 30th (2)
January 5th (2)
July 9th, 1867 AD (1)
June 13th, 1867 AD (1)
March 4th, 1865 AD (1)
1865 AD (1)
March 4th, 1863 AD (1)
August, 1861 AD (1)
April 15th, 1861 AD (1)
April 11th, 1861 AD (1)
April 9th, 1861 AD (1)
April, 1861 AD (1)
March 29th, 1861 AD (1)
March 21st, 1861 AD (1)
March 4th, 1861 AD (1)
February 6th, 1861 AD (1)
February, 1861 AD (1)
January 16th, 1861 AD (1)
January 7th, 1861 AD (1)
January 5th, 1861 AD (1)
January 3rd, 1861 AD (1)
January, 1861 AD (1)
1861 AD (1)
December 31st, 1860 AD (1)
1859 AD (1)
1856 AD (1)
1850 AD (1)
1848 AD (1)
1840 AD (1)
1820 AD (1)
May 31st, 1818 AD (1)
January 8th, 1815 AD (1)
1812 AD (1)
1787 AD (1)
1780 AD (1)
1707 AD (1)
1668 AD (1)
November (1)
April 5th (1)
April 3rd (1)
March 25th (1)
March 23rd (1)
March 19th (1)
March 6th (1)
February 22nd (1)
February 11th (1)
February 9th (1)
February 1st (1)
January 31st (1)
January 29th (1)
January 28th (1)
January 26th (1)
January 24th (1)
January 23rd (1)
January 21st (1)
January 19th (1)
January 18th (1)
January 16th (1)
January 14th (1)
January 12th (1)
January 11th (1)
January 7th (1)
January 6th (1)
January 2nd (1)
January (1)
23rd (1)
8th (1)
6th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: