This order was very generally observed throughout the Commonwealth, until the thirty-four thousand men which we were to raise were organized into regiments, and sent forward to the war. In the appointment of field officers for the new three years regiments, the Governor determined to appoint men who had seen service, and who had given unquestionable evidence of bravery and military capacity. Accordingly, he wrote to Mr. Stanton, at different times, for the discharge of Captain Bates, of the Twelfth Regiment, to be commissioned major of the Thirty-third; Lieutenant-Colonel Batchelder, of the Thirteenth, and others, that they might be promoted to higher commands in new regiments. It appears that these applications met with serious opposition from army officers, as we find on the Governor's files a letter, dated Aug. 24, addressed to Mr. Stanton, in which he says,—
I am right, no matter what the army officers think or say, in asking you for some officers to be promoted in the new regiments. Our old ones have plenty of men well worthy of promotion; and, when I take out an officer, I merely make it weaker by one man: a good man below him stands ready to make good the place vacated. In a new regiment just marching to the field, a few good fellows, who know what camp life and battles are, are valuable beyond price to all the rest of the command. Batchelder, of the Thirteenth, is not needed there. That regiment could furnish officers for a whole regiment outside of itself, and be no more weakened than is a bird by laying its eggs. It is remarkable for its excellence of material. . . . I beg you, my dear sir, to forgive my explicitness; for I know that if here, where you could cross-examine me, you would be satisfied I am right.