Upon arriving there, they found how miserably they had been imposed upon.
The promises held out were delusive, and the men whom they had trusted were cheats.
They were left without money to support themselves; and many letters were received by the Governor
and the Adjutant-General
, asking that transportation be furnished to return to Massachusetts
Strenuous efforts were made by the Governor
to have the men released from the trap in which they had been caught.
We find among his letters, at this time, many relating to this unfortunate occurrence.
He wrote to General Dix
, then commanding at Baltimore
; to the Secretary of War
; to our members of Congress; to the Governor
; and to the men themselves.
In a letter to one of our members of Congress, he thus describes the transaction:—
It has been done by the most dishonorable and outrageous fraud; and my efforts have been baffled, and these men and others have been entrapped into organizations in which they find only discomfort and misery; and I think that their condition appeals strongly to the sympathy, as well as to the sense of justice, of the War Department.
He had the satisfaction in a few weeks to know that his efforts had been successful.
The men were released, and afterwards enlisted in Massachusetts
Feb. 18.—The Governor writes to the Secretary of War
I am informed by Colonel Dudley, that, from conversations he has had with Major-General Butler, he is satisfied, and feels it his duty to report to me, that, if I commission any other person than Mr. Jonas H. French as lieutenant-colonel, he will compel him (Colonel Dudley) to recognize Mr. French as such, and to repudiate the gentleman I appoint, notwithstanding the commission.
Colonel Dudley states, that, as a pretence for this action, General Butler states to him that he proposes to rely on Special Order No. 11, of the current series of your department, which is of course inoperative, so far as it undertakes to designate officers over a body of men which it rests with me alone to organize by the appointment of commissioned officers, but which, nevertheless, Major-General Butler cites, in opposition to the law. I respectfully suggest to you, that that order should be annulled, and that General Butler should receive, from his commander-in-chief, directions suitable to the occasion, and to the demeanor thus assumed by him.