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[532] Had the General Government offered no bounty, they would have rested satisfied; but it is the exception which is made in their case which rankles. It is regarded, and properly so, as a stain, and they feel it as a wound.

Again, we received last evening, from the War Department, copies of general orders, which announce that “a bounty of $400 will be paid to veteran volunteers who enlist, or re-enlist under existing orders, and a bounty of $300 to raw recruits who enlist in any three years organizations authorized by the War Department, either in service, or in process of completion, until the first day of March, 1864.”

This, I understand, is the law of the land. Now, this Springfield company is an organization authorized to be recruited by the Secretary of War, and it is a three years organization. Why, then, I again ask, should the men not be paid what the law of Congress establishes, and the orders of the War Department promulgate?

I wish it to be distinctly understood that I am a friend of Secretary Stanton. I have defended him on all occasions when I have heard him attacked. I have no complaint to make against any officer in the War Department. My official and personal relations with that Department have been pleasant; and I have never had cause for complaint, and have never made any. I therefore speak as a friend, for justice to deserving men. I think the Secretary of War has made a hasty decision, founded upon an error, and that he will generously correct it. The twelve companies of the Second Regiment Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, into which these men expected to be placed, are at the seat of war. They are in the forts by companies from Norfolk, Va., to Newbern, N. C. The two additional companies which we ask to raise, one of which is already raised, expect to take their chances with the others. Why should they not be treated like their fellow-citizens who have just left the State?

In conclusion, I would ask, is it well to raise a question of this kind at the present juncture? It is too insignificant a matter for the War Department to make an issue upon; while to the individual persons, who have enlisted in good faith, it is a matter of great importance. Please show this letter to Mr. Dawes and to our Senators, if you think proper; and if the subject is thought by you of sufficient importance to again see the Secretary, and present the case anew, I shall be pleased. All I can say is, that, whatever may be thought of the case in Washington, it is of importance here.

General Butler was written to in regard to this matter, to know whether he had made any promise to the Secretary of

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Edwin M. Stanton (1)
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B. F. Butler (1)
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