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[132] May, 1861, the President called for thirty-nine regiments of infantry and one regiment of cavalry, to serve for three years, or during the war, making an aggregate of officers and enlisted men of 42,034 volunteers. On the 4th of May, General Order No. 15 was issued by the Secretary of War, in which directions were given respecting the organization of the volunteers, but nothing was said regarding the number of regiments which each State was to furnish; and it was not until the 22d of May, eighteen days after the call had been made, that the quota which Massachusetts was to furnish was received from Washington. During this interval, companies in all parts of the State were offering their services, and pressing to be accepted. These companies comprised in the aggregate at least 10,000 effective men. After much solicitation on the part of the Governor, by letter, telegram, and gentlemen appointed by him to visit Washington, leave was given to furnish six regiments of infantry. But, before entering upon a narration of the three years regiments, other matters claim attention.

Reference has already been made to the valuable services rendered by John M. Forbes at the outbreak of the war. His labors ceased only with the war. In a letter of recent date, written by Mr. Forbes, he says:—

When the war fairly broke out, on the Monday after Fort Sumter fell, 14th or 15th of April, I first remember taking part in the transport question. In common with all Massachusetts, I then offered my services to the Governor, and was authorized to make preliminary arrangements for securing transportation. I accordingly got posted up, with the help of George B. Upton, Esq., of Boston, and Colonel Borden, of Fall River, as to the available steamers at both places, and was accordingly prepared to act, when, about five P. M., of Tuesday, the 16th [?] of April, Colonel Harry Lee, of His Excellency's staff, conveyed to me an order to go ahead with vessels; the despatch having arrived to start two regiments for Fortress Monroe, besides those which it was arranged to send by land. I remember well the electric shock which this order gave me. I felt that it would the whole country. A north-east storm was blowing; and a glance at the window was enough to enable me to tell the colonel, “Too late for to-night.” But, with the help of the friends above referred to, you will remember, that, the following night (Wednesday), we got off one regiment by the “Spaulding,”

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