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[546] refusal to allow the companies a regimental organization, the Governor said,—

This I consider to be one of the most bold and unjustifiable of outrages. Our men are to be scattered about, without organization, head, centre, field, or staff. I do not complain that they are called for, although raised for special duty here. They will go as good men, with good cheer. But this treatment is not to be passed by without remonstrance. I trust you and the delegation in Congress will see that eighteen hundred men of Massachusetts volunteers will not be called to the field, as they are intended to be called by the Government, without a regimental organization. The next step will be to draft our people per capita, to fill the regiments of other States. If need be, claim at the hands of the President our proper rights. He is the responsible head: let him be held responsible.

A portion of these companies were sent to the front; but the battalion under Major Cabot, on duty in Fort Warren, was not allowed to go. The necessity of its services at the forts for the defence of Boston, and the large number of rebel prisoners which they had to guard, were duties of too great importance to be intrusted to inexperienced companies of militia. The other companies were placed on garrison duty in the defences of Washington, and were soon after given a regimental form of organization.

There were at this time one hundred and seventy-two rebel prisoners at Fort Warren, among whom were Captain Reed of the ‘Tacony,’ Captain Webb of the ‘Atlanta,’ half a dozen of Morgan's guerillas, several of Longstreet's officers, and a large number of blockade-runners; many of them desperate characters, all of whom required close watching. There were one hundred and one guns mounted in the fort, and the magazines were well supplied with proper ammunition. Major Cabot had given great attention to the discipline of his men in heavy artillery practice. He had also made a valuable chart, showing the range of the various channels. This knowledge was of great value, and had been gained through much practice. There was a constant detail for guard duty of seventy-five men. For these and other reasons, it was deemed unadvisable to relieve the fort of this garrison of practised artillerists, and to supply their places with companies of raw militia.

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