I then shew you an order to take regiments already raised, and not assigned to other officers, for another purpose, and you offered to assign me Colonel Jones' regiment.
You also said, that an Irish regiment, now being raised, you would like to be assigned to me; to that I assented, and left for the purpose of organizing recruiting in Maine, and from thence to Washington.
On my return, I find that recruiting officers have been making publications injurious to me and the recruiting service; so it becomes necessary to know exactly what is understood between us.
He then proceeds, ‘I desire, therefore, the simple announcement, by general order
, that I have authority to enlist men for a regiment, to be numbered as you please, also a squadron of mounted men; these troops to be a part of the volunteer force of the State
; these to be in addition to those already assigned by you.’
He also says he will make no objections, if the Irish regiment is withheld.
These requests granted, he adds, ‘I see no difficulty in the way of filling up all these regiments at once, save this one,’ which was the practice here of ‘recruiting officers offering private bounties for men, of five and seven dollars.’
This he regarded as vicious, and as ‘the sale of men,’ and mentions other objections.
The Governor replied to the letter of General Butler
the same evening, after his return from the cavalry camp at Readville.
The letter is of considerable length.
In the beginning, he says,—
I beg leave to say at once, in reply to your remark relating to some supposed promise of mine, that I did not at any time say, that, while we were already raising so many regiments in Massachusetts, I could consent to an embarrassment of the service by additional competition for recruits.
But while I assured you of my willingness, so far as it lay in my power, to assign to you, out of regiments in progress, our fair proportion, or more than that, of the six regiments you told me you wished to raise in New England, I have constantly declared that I could not concur in a policy, which, by crowding the competition of regiments, would be fatal, or very dangerous, to successful recruiting.
The Governor thought that we were overdoing recruiting; and, until the regiments already ordered were filled, recruiting for new regiments should not be undertaken.
Having given his