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The ‘Cambridge’ had arrived in Washington from Boston, with troops and military stores. Judge Hoar was in the city. There appears to have been no one to act for the Government to take charge of the stores, or to superintend their distribution. The following letter from E. Rockwood Hoar, one of the justices of the Supreme Court, to the Governor, relates to this matter, and to the hardships borne by the Fifth Regiment, from the time it left Boston until it arrived in Washington, which, in part, were occasioned by haste and bad management in loading the transports at New York, by which the rations and the bales of blankets, which were to have been distributed to the men, were covered with other merchandise, and could not be got at, so that the men suffered for want of food and blankets:—

Washington, May 6, 1861.
To His Excellency Governor Andrew.
dear Sir,—Mr. Foster, I learn, has gone with General Butler, and cannot be communicated with. Dr. Howe has not arrived. The ‘Cambridge’ arrived yesterday afternoon. I have therefore, as I wrote to you yesterday, ‘taken the responsibility,’ which I trust will meet your approbation, as there is nobody here to attend to the business; and, unless instant attention be paid to it, in the present extreme confusion of affairs here, there would be even great delay in getting their private packages to our troops. I saw the President this morning the instant he left the breakfast table, presented your letter to him, and explained to him the whole business. I also saw General Cameron, and he has agreed to take the stores, with the exception of such as we may retain for hospital use, and for the reasonable comfort of our men, at the invoice price, with the freight added at the price you named. The President sent for Mr. Seward; and I had a conference with them jointly as to the purchase or employment of the steamers, and also with General Cameron. The strong inclination of the Government is to purchase rather than charter vessels; and I think the arrangement can be made to sell them. But to-morrow they are to have a detailed report of the number of vessels already engaged, and I am promised a definite answer on Wednesday.

I took Senator Wilson with me, and consulted Colonel Lawrence, the senior officer in command of the Massachusetts men, and Colonel Monroe, and the quartermaster of the Sixth Regiment, as to the supplies and stores which should be retained for the hospital service and the comfort of the troops, and we have examined the invoice and made

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May 6th, 1861 AD (1)
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