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[317] the family, according to the system adopted by the State. Our Massachusetts system proved most satisfactory, as it avoided all risk of chance of omission by transmission of a check by mail, and secured payment directly to the family at home. The payments to the soldiers, from the General Government, were to be made at or near the close of every two months, commencing with January. But, owing to sudden or hazardous movements and other causes, these payments were often delayed, and both the men and their families were much distressed. To remedy this evil,—in part, at least,—and secure, if possible, the retention of a large share of the soldiers' wages at home, the Massachusetts Legislature, in 1863, at the suggestion of Governor Andrew, passed an act, authorizing the State Treasurer to assume the payment of all the Massachusetts volunteers, provided that Congress would permit this to be done. For some reason, permission was not given, much to the regret of the soldiers and the Massachusetts authorities. The act passed by the Legislature of Massachusetts, March 11, 1862, provided that the Treasurer of the Commonwealth should receive and distribute, without expense to the soldiers or their families, all money which our volunteers might forward for this purpose; and that the distribution should be made to parties in the State by the Treasurer of the Commonwealth, through the town and city treasurers, who were to notify the persons to whom the money was assigned, and, if they failed to call for it, return the money to the State Treasurer, who placed it on interest, until further order from the soldier. Persons living out of the State, to whom money was assigned, were to be notified; and, upon the return of a proper order or draft, the amount was forwarded, by a check upon a bank in Boston or New York, as would best serve the interest of the claimant. In many cases, the money was directed by the soldier to be placed at once in the State Treasury, where it drew five per cent interest, thus virtually making the State Treasury a savings bank.

It appears, from the report of the State Treasurer for 1866, that the first allotments forwarded to him were in April, 1862; and that—

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