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[325] Commonwealth, and originally designated by him as the Eastern and Western Bay-State Regiments, were sent from the State to Louisiana without a single commissioned officer. Persons selected by General Butler had been designated by him to act as officers. As many of these persons acted in good faith, and were believed to be competent to command men, Colonel Dudley, of the Thirtieth, and Colonel Gooding, also an army officer, who was commissioned colonel of the Thirty-first, were directed by the Governor, upon joining their regiments in Louisiana, to make a careful examination of the qualifications of the gentlemen acting as officers, and to report to him the names of those who were qualified, that they might receive their commissions. This duty was performed, and, in due time, the officers were properly commissioned. The young gentleman, Mr. Morton, referred to in the above letter, was afterwards commissioned by the Governor in one of the cavalry companies raised by General Butler, and serving in the Department of the Gulf. He was a good officer, and died at his home in Quincy, before the end of the war, from disease contracted in the service.

Feb. 20.—The Governor writes to Mr. Stanton,—

I earnestly desire authority to change the battalion at Fort Warren to a regiment. It consists of six companies, and needs the staff officers pertaining to a regiment. Major Parker has repeatedly urged this, and is by my side while now writing.

The battalion here spoken of was raised by Francis J. Parker, of Boston, for garrison duty at Fort Warren, and remained there until the retreat of General McClellan, in the summer of 1862, from before Richmond, when it was sent forward to the front, at a day's notice, to meet the pressing exigency, which then existed, for additional forces. Previous to this time, Mr. Stanton persistently refused to allow the battalion to be recruited to a regiment. After it had left the State for the seat of war, permission was given, and four new companies were added to it, and it was designated and known, to the end of the war, as the Thirty-second Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers.

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