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On the same day, the letter was referred by the Governor to a committee of the Executive Council, who reported that ‘the Committee authorize the Governor to procure, on the basis of the letter, two steam-vessels, the State to take one half and the underwriters the other, to be managed as armed transports to convey troops and stores, and, when not so used, as a coastguard or despatch vessels.’ These vessels were immediately purchased,—the ‘Cambridge’ at a cost of $75,000, and the ‘Pembroke’ at $30,000. The outfit of the ‘Cambridge’ cost $10,000. The Council also ordered, ‘that the Governor, with the advice of the Council, employ John M. Forbes, Esq., to procure proper rations for the supply of four thousand men in service for thirty days, to be furnished immediately.’ Mr. Boutwell arrived at Washington on the 28th of April, and, on the evening of that day, wrote the following interesting letter to Governor Andrew, which was the first satisfactory communication he had received from Washington since the regiments had left the State:—
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