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[297] the wounded were forwarded to the North; the military hospitals at Washington, Fortress Monroe, and elsewhere being filled to repletion. On the 13th of May, the first instalment of the wounded at Williamsburg reached New York. Colonel Howe on that day telegraphs to the Governor, ‘I am compelled to send off thirty-three wounded to-night, by eight-o'clock train, all able to walk,—all from Williamsburg. Twenty-six of them belong in Boston. The transport “Daniel Webster” in, with three hundred more.’ Next day,—May 14,—he telegraphs, ‘I send, by eight-o'clock train, six bully Chelsea boys, of the First Regiment, in care of a Councilman, John Buck, also five more brave fellows. All will have to ride from the depot. We are with the sick and wounded day and night, ladies and all. Have one hundred at rooms, and one hundred and fifty coming in this morning. Not one complains.’ Every assistance in the power of the Governor, the Surgeon-General, and other State officers, was rendered the brave men, upon their arrival in Boston. Among the many despatches received at this time is one dated New York, May 18, to the Governor: ‘Have sent forty-eight men,—Twenty-third Regiment,—by five-o'clock train, to Boston, from Burnside's Division, all able to travel.’ This, on being referred to Surgeon-General Dale, was returned to the Governor, with this characteristic indorsement: ‘The men came four hours ago; and I am sorry I was not informed of it, though none of them required medical assistance, probably; yet it is better to be there when they arrive. It looks more friendly, and as if the State was solicitous about them. No harm done now, however.’

From this period until the end of the war, the number of our sick and wounded soldiers increased; and the duties of the several State agents were rendered more important and arduous. The Governor was fortunate in the selection of gentlemen to fill these places, and discharge these duties. The most important of these agencies was the one established in Washington, of which Colonel Gardiner Tufts, of Lynn, was placed in charge. A brief sketch of its origin and subsequent growth deserves a place in this volume, and may as well be given now as hereafter.

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