This letter to General Sherman requires a simple explanation. General Sherman was a United-States army officer, and entertained the prejudice which prevailed to a great extent among that class of gentlemen against the enlistment of colored troops; and, when agents from Massachusetts were sent within his lines to enlist this class of soldiers, they were not well received by him, and in the heat of the moment he made remarks not only disparaging to the agents themselves, but to the State which they represented. Like a true and gallant soldier, as every one knows General Sherman to be, he wrote to Governor Andrew, expressing his regret for the words spoken in haste, and took the occasion to speak of the two regiments of Massachusetts volunteers in his command, in commendatory words which their services made so proper. On the 30th of December, the Governor wrote,—
The Secretary of the Commonwealth will place on the nomination book, to be justices of the peace and of the quorum thereof in this Commonwealth, the names of— Brevet-Brigadier-General Horace B. Sargent, late aide-de-camp. Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Lee, Jr., late aide-de-camp. Colonel Harrison Ritchie, senior aide-de camp.