of the educational labors among the liberated slaves, which has been attended with so much good.
On the 19th of May, the Secretary of War
telegraphed to the Governor
to know if he could raise four more new regiments at short notice, to which he replied affirmatively; but, in the letter expressing his readiness to comply with the Secretary
's demand, he says,—
If our people feel that they are going into the South to help fight rebels, who will kill and destroy them by all the means known to savages, as well as civilized man, —will deceive them by fraudulent flags of truce and lying pretences, will use their negro slaves against them both as laborers and as fighting men, while they themselves must never fire at the enemy's magazine,—I think that they will feel that the draft is heavy on their patriotism.
But, if the President will sustain General Hunter,—recognize all men, even black men, as legally capable of that loyalty the blacks are waiting to manifest, and let them fight with God and human nature on their side,—the roads will swarm, if need be, with multitudes whom New England would pour out to obey your call.
A copy of this letter was sent to the Governors
of the New-England
States, in the thought that mutual conference might be useful, and tend to unite and concentrate opinion in New England
upon the subject to which it relates.
On the 25th of May, received from Mr. Stanton
the following telegrams:—
Send all the troops forward that you can, immediately.
Banks is completely routed.
The enemy are, in large force, advancing on Harper's Ferry.
Intelligence from various quarters leaves no doubt that the enemy, in great force, are advancing on Washington.
You will please organize and forward immediately all the volunteer and militia force in your State.
Upon the receipt of these telegrams, orders were immediately issued by the Adjutant-General
for the militia of the Commonwealth
to report at once for duty on Boston Common, to proceed to Washington
; and four thousand men were in Boston
, and ready to start, on the 27th.
But, on the morning of the