rebel forces from Virginia
The troops had been called from their homes and workshops, and sent from the State
to perform this duty, not to put down a negro insurrection in Maryland
They had not volunteered for that purpose.
They were to go to Washington
with all possible despatch, and report to the United-States officers in command of that post.
The capital of the nation was in imminent peril.
They were to defend it against the enemy.
Thus Governor Andrew
remonstrated against their being diverted, in violation of express orders, from the purpose for which they had been called into action.
, in his reply, does not touch this point, which was the strong point in Governor Andrew
The General goes into a long argument upon the question of slave insurrections, illustrating his meaning by references to the atrocities of San Domingo
, and the barbarities committed by the Indian
allies of Great Britain
in the war of the Revolution.
It is not our intention, however, to pursue this subject further.
The correspondence makes an interesting episode in the war record of Massachusetts
, and therefore could not properly be passed over without remark.
Nor is it necessary now to criticise the argument used by General Butler
, to show how utterly, at that time, he misunderstood and wrongly appreciated the character of the colored race in the Southern States
The only notice which Governor Andrew
took of General Butler
's letter was in a letter addressed to him, dated May 21, 1861, from which we extract as follows:—
Your note of the 16th instant is before me. While I have no objection to your publishing your views on military, political, and moral questions in the character of a private controversialist (for of that it is your own supreme right to judge as a gentleman and a citizen), yet I cannot engage in the controversy, however agreeable to me it might be to do so under other circumstances, since a great and noble cause ought not to be disturbed or imperilled by personal complications.
And therefore, although your paper, by its discussions of questions not logically arising out of that to which it is in professed reply, has the tendency to mislead the reader injuriously to myself, yet I cannot persuade my own judgment that I should do otherwise than wrong, considering our mutual and public relations, were I to join