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[368] Major William L. Burt, all of whom held commissions under the Governor in the Massachusetts militia. The Governor draws the attention of the President to chapter 201 of the Acts of Congress of 1862, which gives him power for the appointment of such a board. The suggestion of the Governor was not approved; at least, the board recommended was never convened.

The battle of Antietam, in which many of the Massachusetts officers and men were killed and wounded, was fought Sept. 15, 1862. Dr. Hitchcock, of Fitchburg, a member of the Executive Council, was requested by the Governor to obtain, if possible, from General McClellan, the transfer of the Massachusetts soldiers to our own State hospitals for treatment. Dr. Hitchcock says,—

I called at General McClellan's headquarters, and delivered the Governor's written request, which he immediately telegraphed to the Secretary of War, to which a favorable reply was returned. This interview, which lasted but a few minutes, was remarkable for politeness and deliberation on his part. He sat cross-legged, and puffed away at a fragrant Havana, and, at the interval of each clearly expressed sentence, would gently snap the ashes from the end of the cigar. During this interview, with the most perfect nonchalance, he made known the fact that eleven thousand wounded men were lying near his tent, and that the headquarters of General Lee, with his rebel army, was only three miles distant, across the Potomac. It is needless, perhaps, to add, that the consent of the Secretary of War, and the willing word, but non-action, of General McClellan, failed in the fullest sense to realize the urgent request of Governor Andrew in reference to our men. Many of our soldiers were, however, brought home from that bloody field, and tenderly cared for in the hospitals of the State, and at the homes of the men.

It would be difficult to describe accurately the excitement and interest which the great battle of Antietam created in Massachusetts. The great majority of our regiments and batteries were engaged in it. Several of our best officers were killed; many were wounded; and the fatality which attended the rank and file was terrible. It was a victory, however,—a victory for the Union, a triumph for the Army of the Potomac over the

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George B. McClellan (3)
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