, and was forwarded, by mail and by special messengers, to Colonel Wardrop
of the Third Regiment, at New Bedford; Colonel Packard
of the Fourth, at Quincy
; Colonel Jones
of the Sixth, at Pepperell
; and Colonel Monroe
of the Eighth, at Lynn
The order was to muster the regiments under their command in uniform on Boston Common forthwith, ‘in compliance with a requisition made by the President
of the United States
: the troops are to go to Washington
An order was also issued to fill all existing vacancies in regimental and line officers, waiving the usual notice.
The reason for ordering four regiments when only two had been called for was, that, by detaching strong companies from weak regiments, the two called for might be filled to the maximum.
The call aroused the people of the entire State to instant action.
The State House
became the great centre of interest.
The Governor's room and the Adjutant-General
's quarters were crowded with citizens, tendering their services in whatever capacity they could be made useful.
Telegrams were received from military and civil officers, living in remote parts of the Commonwealth
, making the same generous and patriotic offers.
As if by magic, the entire character of the State
was changed: from a peaceful, industrious community, it became a camp of armed men; and the hum of labor gave place to the notes of fife and drum.
On the morning of the 16th of April, the companies began to arrive in Boston
; and, before nightfall, every company that had received its orders in time reported at headquarters for duty.
There has been some controversy in military circles as to which company can claim the honor of first reaching Boston
I can answer, that the first were the three companies of the Eighth Regiment belonging to Marblehead
, commanded by Captains Martin
, and Boardman
I had been at the State House
all night; and, early in the morning, rode to the Arsenal at Cambridge
, to ascertain whether the orders from headquarters, to send in arms, ammunition, overcoats, and equipments, had been properly attended to. Messengers had also been stationed