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[350] letter, dissuading him from his purpose. The letter was sent to Harrison's Landing, Va., and did not reach General Couch, as he had come home to Massachusetts on short leave, to regain his health and strength. The Governor therefore wrote him again, on the 28th of July, representing to him ‘the great need our country has of all good officers and patriots,’ and assuring him that his fame as a soldier was not to be tarnished by official neglect or oversight, however hard to bear. ‘It would give me,’ the Governor says, ‘and all my staff, great pleasure to be assured you have no intention of leaving the army till this war is ended.’

General Couch had raised the Seventh Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers, and was commissioned the colonel of it. Whether he intended, at this time, to tender his resignation as brigadier-general, and retire from the service, we have no positive knowledge. We know, however, that he did not resign, but served, like a gallant soldier and gentleman, until the end of the war; and rose, by his bravery and merit, to the rank of major-general and corps commander.

On the 23d of July, Brigadier-General Buckingham, of the War Department, addressed a circular letter to the Governors of States, calling their attention to the great number of officers and soldiers in their respective States who had obtained furloughs on account of wounds and sickness, but who had recovered, and were overstaying their time. On the receipt of this, the Governor prepared a circular, calling the attention of the public to the matters complained of, in which he said,—

Except cowardice in the field, there is no baser offence than absence, from their regiments, of officers and men who ought to be back to their posts. In some cases, these soldiers delay here from ignorance how to return to their regiments; all such should be instructed by their more intelligent neighbors. Let all who are guilty be shamed into an immediate return to their regiments: if they will not voluntarily return, they are deserters, and should be arrested, and sent back.

The evils complained of existed in all the States, to a very great extent, and could only be eradicated by organized effort on the part of the States and the nation.

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